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February 11, 2016

Foolproof Strategies for Conquering Love at the Box (sort of)

Written by Damect Dominguez

There are plenty of CrossFit power couples in our community. Lauren Fisher and Rasmus Andersen, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Dave Lipson are just two that come to mind. I’m sure that there have been plenty of flings and relationships between members at your affiliate too, and why wouldn’t there be? A bunch of fit people, half-naked, gyrating and thrusting as sweat cascades down their bodies. Sounds like an X-rated movie set, not a CrossFit affiliate. There is plenty of eye candy at the box, but there’s just one problem: CrossFitters, for the most part, are completely insane. To the outside world, we’re a bunch of cultists dedicated to an ancient diet and the pursuit of never-ending fitness, sporting cuts and ripped hands as badges of honor. In fact, we’re so committed to CrossFit that one might wonder how we could ever be committed to a relationship. But worry not, potential CrossFit-dater. There are ways to charm them.

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Step 1: Make contact

You might have the cojones to tackle the nastiest, most-fear inducing workouts in CrossFit, but you can’t seem to utter a more enticing phrase than “Hey how’s it going,” or “Nice job on the workout” to your crush before you unceremoniously exit stage left—you wuss. True, gossip does tend to fly fast in an affiliate, but if you’re properly interested in this person, you shouldn’t be afraid of striking up a conversation with them at the gym. Besides, it’s not as if the first thing you need to say to him/her is, “Hey, I like the way you work out. Let’s go grab a drink and potentially bang.” Easy tiger. First, introduce yourself, and get all the chit-chat out of the way with regards to how long they’ve been doing CrossFit when they started at the gym, blah-blah-blah. Next, throw a compliment their way. And since you’re not at a classy bar, you can’t really spit game discussing how nice their hair looks or how pretty their eyes are—especially after a workout when they probably look like crap. But one thing all CrossFitters LOVE to hear is praise after a big lift or cool gymnastic move. So even if their clean and jerk isn’t that pretty, tell them that it’s the greatest friggin Olympic lift you’ve ever seen in your life (or perhaps tone it down a little unless you want to come off as completely insane). That’s a great intro, but keep it up throughout the following days and weeks.

Step 2: Ask them out

Of course, you don’t want to wait too long and continue to heap praise on them for their (supposed) athletic prowess before you enter the dreaded friend zone, where you’re more of a personal cheerleader rather than a viable option for a date. Use the confidence from hitting a huge PR or dominating a workout to march over to your crush and say something along the lines of, ‘Hey girl/boy, I know you like the way I handled that barbell. But I got plenty more left in the tank for a beer and dinner tonight.’ OK, that’s a JOKE. But if you try that and it works, kudos to you friend. But returning to the world of normal human beings, simply say that you’ve enjoyed getting to know them at the gym and would like to know if they’d be up for dinner and/or drinks this weekend. Don’t sound desperate, be a smooth operator (again, using that confidence from the big PR).

Step 3: Rock the date

Hopefully, your crush says yes, and now you have an opportunity to make a second first impression—introducing the non-CrossFit side of yourself. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of where you should take them (since everyone’s different), but needless to say, you want to make an impression—a good impression—so make it special. Again, steer clear of CrossFit. Try to find other ways to charm them aside from how quickly you can do Fran. Take them a place where you can actually put on real clothes, make yourself look nice and talk about things other than your snatch PR—you know, what interests and hobbies each of you have? What makes you, YOU? If you are going out to eat, you might discover that your crush is a little too intense for your liking. Unless they’re en route to qualifying for Regionals, there should be little to no reason for them skimping on an alcoholic beverage or food that may not be entirely paleo. You’re out on a date, so you should be able to enjoy yourself! That’s a big red flag in my book, and a deal-breaker in many others. So be prepared.

Of course, I’m not stopping you from going in the other direction completely and keeping CrossFit at the center of your date. Maybe you can even ask them if they want to come over to watch the new Rich Froning documentary. Froning and chill?

Step 4-Maintaining the relationship at the gym

Ok, you’re now dating your crush—congratulations! But in order to keep the romance alive (and not make things awkward at the box), it would behoove you to keep out of their way during a workout—if you still work out at the same time. That means, no internal competition and smack talk for a WOD (at least not yet), no celebratory make-out session after one of you PRs while the rest of the class looks on in horror, and no griping if she/he can’t make the movie because they have to prepare for the Open or train for a competition. You’re dating a CrossFitter—you do realize what you’re getting yourself into, right? Also be cognizant of who else you interact with at the gym. If you find yourself paired up with your girl’s/boy’s arch-rival, you best believe they’ll find out about it. If you think you can weather the tirade that’ll surely await you upon said discovery, then you’re a braver person than I. To avoid a hefty argument, find yourself another partner, quick.

Step 5: Maintain the relationship outside of the gym

If you’ve successfully navigated your way through the previous steps, then hazaar! You’re well on your way to becoming one half of a CrossFit power couple. But while signing up for competitions together, getting matching T-shirts and taking a vacation to the 2016 Games is a great way to maintain your relationship in your CrossFit circle, don’t forget to enjoy the other things in life. Grabbing beers with your buddies, watching the game, not forgetting that you actually have a job where you need to do work, taking a trip to the beach/mountains. Sounds so idyllic, doesn’t it? Save the CrossFit jibber-jabber for the box as much as you can (save of course Christmas and birthdays, when new shorts and wrist wraps are most definitely a good idea).

Photo courtesy of Andrew Hoffman/CC BY 2.0

About Damect Dominguez

Co-founder of BoxLife Magazine. Author: Training Day: 400+ Workouts to Incorporate in Your Training.

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