Outdoor experts’ diary: How a sports-phobe came to compete in an extreme fitness event in the Lake District.

Think CrossFit means being stuck in a gym? Think again!Blog - outdoor crossfit

I have never been interested in sports. Hand-eye co-ordination is not my strong suit and I’m not a natural at following complex rules. However, I do like to keep fit and after becoming bored at the gym turned to CrossFit.

CrossFit is defined as “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity” and covers a wide range of movements and levels of ability. Of course, at a professional level, CrossFit as a sport is extreme, however at an everyday level you will find in a CrossFit gym, mums, dads, teachers, doctors, all ages and backgrounds, using the sport to improve their fitness and ability to take on the challenges at life.

For me, CrossFit helps me keep fit and has created a community of friends and like-minded people. No day is ever the same so for me, I can’t get bored and it’s showed me I can achieve things I never thought possible – like entering my first team competition.

Competitive CrossFit has a selection of levels and formats and in May 2017 I took part in an outdoor ‘tribal-style’ event called District L with a team of six (three men, three women) over two days in the beautiful setting of Ullswater in the Lake District.

The weekend consisted of six qualifying events including movements such as sled carries, synchronised pull ups, rope climbs and lifting concrete atlas stones. CrossFit is all about being ready for the unexpected and that was certainly true with a team paddle-boarding event (minus the paddle!) and even a tractor pulling semi-final.

One of the amazing things about CrossFit is that it caters to all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds and is truly adaptable for anyone, the comradery between teams and amongst competitors was exceptional.

Everyone was treated the same, with all teams waiting until the final trail runner had crossed the finish line and people from all across the country getting together to share the pastime that they love.

Getting out of the confines of a gym and enjoying the beautiful hills and water of Ullswater was a truly special experience and just plain fun. It’s easy to get overly-competitive but a weekend spent outdoors flipping tyres and working together as a team to essentially solve a puzzle, it’s just adult PE!

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