"CrossFit Saved My Life"

Cultivar+Health+Open+Day+%2860+of+93%29.jpg

By Ellie Bowden

CrossFit changes lives. Those who are in it, know it. Those who have not tried it struggle to understand its impact. The following is a piece which was written by a close friend who said “CrossFit saved my life” after just one year in CrossFit:


“I wasn’t going to write this – but something changed when I realised that perhaps these thoughts and struggles are not just my own, but shared by many. So here goes.

I work in branding and advertising and I analyse culture for a living. We look at what people want and need, and map how this changes over time. A year ago, we were asked to look at the future of femininity – which is where my story begins.

Anyone that has seen the videos posted on CrossFit’s Youtube channel about women and strength and beauty could tell you that in the last few years, something has changed exponentially for women. I’m not talking about pay gaps and equal rights; I’m talking about how it feels.

When you have spent your life being considered as an object (to be admired), and then you understand that instead you are a subject of action (to do epic shit) you rewrite the blueprint of femininity. When you are an object, you must look a certain way to be successful at being said object.

When you are a subject of action, your success is defined by your performance. That is what CrossFit has done for women. That is what CrossFit has done for me.

Around a year ago, I walked into my first CrossFit session, analysing how well I was doing as that object. How did I look? Did I fit here? Did everybody like me? Should I be thinner? I’ve spent years asking myself that last question, and I spent years starving myself to get a different answer – I can tell you the answer never comes. Even when everybody is begging you no more, it’s never enough. You can be a bag of bones and you’ll feel just like one – empty.

But CrossFit said something different. They said, how well can you perform? How much can you grow? Not for the sake of admiration but for the sake of performance itself. How well can you perform for you? In the box you work on yourself, by yourself and for yourself. About a month after I arrived I realised I wasn't there for anybody but me – I was there because it felt good. It felt like I was building myself up rather than tearing myself apart. It wasn’t about criticism anymore; it wasn’t about needlessly changing aesthetics. It was about growing. It was about strength.

So the next time you wonder if your arms look bulky, ask yourself not how they look but how they perform – in action. Ask if you want them to be a certain way for yourself, or for somebody else’s (out-dated) idea of what a woman should look like. Are you object or subject?”


This is the reason why the five pillars of health is the cornerstone of our CrossFit gym. We know that a gym can have a far bigger impact on a life than simply changing a person’s physical appearance (which is often why people sign up to a gym).

This member completely turned around a lifelong mindset (pillar 4) in just one year of CrossFit in a supportive community (pillar 5), through exercise (pillar 1) and nutrition (pillar 2) for HEALTH, not for the sake of being thin.

When people come to their first trial session, we ask the question “why are you here today?”. More often than not, the response is “I feel like I am missing something in my life.” We want to help you find that something you are looking for.

Cultivar Health Open Day (75 of 93).jpg
Ellie BowdenCultivar Health