The Proof is in The Pudding

They always say cross training is good for your running...

In March of 2015, I had yet another appointment with my longtime physical therapist. This visit, I was seeing him for hip instability and pain on my left side—and probably some other aches too. I have loose ligaments that create issues when running, a tweaked back from college, a subluxed cuboid bone, a rotated pelvis resulting in a partially torn hamstring, a whacked-out hip…the list goes on.

It just so happened that my physical therapist had moved his office to share space with CrossFit Roots, a local chapter of the extreme fitness franchise.

“You should do this,” he said after my appointment. I watched the nearby athletes seemingly thrash their bodies doing he-man/she-man moves. “No way,” I said. “I’m too fragile.”

“It may be just what you need,” he replied. Tired of struggling with injuries for decades, I considered the suggestion.

A week later, still worried about overtaxing my ligaments, throwing out my back or tearing something new, curiosity won out. I walked into a free “Intro to CrossFit” class.

It always surprises me that "runners" don't heed the advice of cross-training that the average Joe probably sees in Runners World every month.

As a runner (and a human), I have notably slumped shoulders. By the second month in, I could tell my shoulder blades and upper back were stronger, my chest muscles less tight. I began to feel less pain while running. I said “yes” more often to longer trail runs with girlfriends.

The proof is in the pudding. Doing more than one sport or exercise regiment is normally better than specialization.

What Happened When One Runner Tried Crossfit