Finding Balance in CrossFit and Life

CrossFit is well named. Its goal is overall fitness across many physical skills, among them endurance, strength, flexibility, speed, and coordination. CrossFit training is meant to be balanced and inclusive. If we push too hard in any one modality, we may lose fitness across other modalities.


This concept of balance pertains to life in general.


Most of us know professionals and business owners who have dedicated their lives almost exclusively to advancing their careers and businesses. They are financially well-off and highly respected. In the process, however, some have given up too much. They may have left little room for family, friends, and physical health. They may have money but not happiness; status but not health.


As a fitness professional, I have worked with many 50-60-year-olds who have let their profession be their focus for too long, and who desperately want to find health and happiness. Unfortunately, I have known some who never got the chance because of a sudden illness brought about by their imbalanced lifestyles.


As a CrossFit affiliate owner and coach, you may be surprised to hear me say this, but I see CrossFitters become imbalanced, too. It is not uncommon for CrossFitters to overtrain, or become obsessed with hitting personal records (PRs) or endlessly count their macros.


If you are so sore from overtraining that you miss out on playing with your family or friends, you’re out of balance.


If you avoid social gatherings for fear of eating foods that don’t comport with your dietary plan, you’re out of balance.


It’s great to dedicate extra time and energy to train for a competition, but if that extra time and energy become the norm, you’re out of balance.


It’s good to have a goal to train five days a week, but some mornings it’s worth skipping class to catch an amazing sunrise or spend time with your family if they need you.


It’s ideal to eat a healthy, whole foods diet every day, but that doesn’t mean you should never enjoy eating out at a restaurant.


It is important to set goals, but it’s also important to make sure that achieving a healthy balance in life is the primary goal.


After all, without balance, what are our goals really good for? Isn’t the ultimate goal to lead a joyful, healthy, generous, and meaningful life during our brief time on this planet?


Nick Birdsall is the founder of CrossFit Acadia, CF-L2, an EMT and Firefighter, and a former Marine.

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