How to CrossFit as a Tall Person: Part 1

What do Rich Froning, Tia Toomey, Mat Fraser, Katrin Davidsdottir, and Justin Hroch all have in common? In Justin’s dreams, it’s that they’re all CrossFit Games champions. But for the sake of my prompt:

They’re all built the same!

In case you haven’t noticed, most people who are competitive at the sport of CrossFit aren’t tall, skinny, big or small — they’re typically shorter than average, crazy strong, and have an ungodly motor. They are compact and powerful — like a pocket microwave.

Early on in my CrossFit hobby (let’s be honest… it ain’t a career), I asked myself the question, “Where is my place?”… in both the CrossFit world and in my home gym.

I quickly learned that I’ll never be able to sprint the fastest or jump the highest or burpee the best. But I also learned that while I probably won’t be Games-level elite — I can get faster, jump higher, or get better at burpees. 

As a tall dude (6’5”) who weighs more than 250lbs and has old baseball shoulder injuries… CrossFit tends to ALWAYS humble me. The only days I feel any kind of competitive edge are the days when the movements are tailored to my size. Movements like rowing, the assault bike, wall balls, box jumps, deadlifts, or fast barbell cycling from a hang position are just some of the movements that make tall people feel like Mat Fraser — even for a second.

So if you peep the workout the night before and see it’s a long grinder full of running, handstand pushups, and ring dips and you think to yourself, “mmm today sounds like a great rest day for me.” You’re not alone, BUT here’s my encouragement to you (and to myself): show up, do what’s hard, and keep at it. 

CrossFit is less about your Wodify score, and more about whether you’re fit to pee on your own in your 70s. It’s about wanting to take care of yourself because you have people in your life who depend on you (family, friends, furry family friends) to be there with/for them. 

Now, that’s not to say there aren’t some things we, as Sadie would call us, Tree People, can be working on to make us more CrossFit friendly — but you’ll have to stay tuned for Part 2. 

Until then: meet me at the gym on a day that looks like a real solid rest day, and we’ll get after it together.