The CrossFit Games are this weekend. You know that already. There’s a pit in your stomach and you’re not even competing in them. How the hell can that be? How can you be so wrapped up in an event that your stomach is churning for something you will watch starting on Friday? What is this thing we call CrossFit and what has it done to us? How do we even describe what is going on here?

We all know how to talk the CrossFit language to other CrossFitters. We are skilled in the CrossFit vernacular for people who share our world. But when faced with newcomers, most of us struggle so much in attempting to explain it. Describing CrossFit is like trying to say why you love your kids so much. Words have been written for thousands of years but no one yet has come up with the right ones to say what we feel.

It will be totally inadequate, but allow me a few words to try to describe what CrossFit is:

It’s a way of working out. It’s a sport. It’s a community. It’s a way to live your life.

It’s Heart. Soul. Love. Victory. And Loss.

It’s getting up early to do some horrible workout with others, or alone. And going to bed late some nights because you’re waiting for the next day’s WOD and you just have to know what it is before you shut your eyes.

It’s sprinting 400 meters again and again, even though you hate running, but you sure want to do it faster and better.

It’s learning Olympic lifts and obsessing over your clean technique, even though you’re a 15-year-old kid, or a 58-year-old grandfather, or a 25-year-old bad mofo stud.

It’s getting back on the pull-up bar, even though every muscle and bone in your body hurts and you’re shaking and you can feel lunch rising in your throat and your heart is pounding out of your chest. You can’t quit now. You can’t quit ever. You must see things through to the end, no matter how painful that might be.

It’s realizing the power of the barbell is mightier than the lure of the couch and the television. One will make you stronger, but the other will weaken your body and your brain. I do not exaggerate when I say the barbell may literally save your life. And your soul.

It’s a community that comes together to perform and witness feats of strength and stamina. A crowd that recognizes heart more than standings, and that victory must be earned or it is worthless. Cheaters will not be tolerated. Character and honor still matter here.

It’s a place that is growing faster than anyone could ever dream, propelled by heart, soul, hard work, and dedication. This CrossFit world is ours. And it’s about to become the world of so many others too. No one can contain the passion that CrossFit generates — good or bad. And we wouldn’t want them to. The energy in those stadiums this weekend will be off the hook. Passion in life is fascinating to behold and even more exciting to possess. Consider yourself blessed.

So, when the competition begins, let us all revel in these days and these ways. Let us lift until our muscles give out, pull up until our hands are raw, and cheer until our dry, raspy throats can manage no more words. These Games – these people – deserve no less.

Heart and community. We’re about to witness huge displays of both. How lucky we are to be here.

This year’s Games are going to be fabulous for many reasons. I have goose bumps just writing about them. Hold on, CrossFit World, this is going to be a hell of a ride . .  .

By Lisbeth Darsh/ Note: This post was written last year for the 2009 Games — but the heart and soul of CrossFit are timeless. I polished it up a tad. Give it a roll. We’re off to California to watch the CrossFit Games. Enjoy!

Donna with Jen and Lis from CrossFit Watertown at the 2010 CrossFit Games 🙂