The beauty of a hobby or, better yet, a passion, is that you want to share it with everyone. Cue the classic, “How do you know someone works out? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you!” joke. But it’s the truth. Functional fitness doesn’t just happen in the gym. It’s not just a fitness program. It’s a lifestyle. It means that those “gym struggles” can quickly turn into real-world struggles. Here are five struggles all functional fitness athletes know to be true.

5 Real Struggles of Every Functional Fitness Athlete

1. Missing Double-Unders

Double-unders continue to be an exceedingly frustrating movement to a lot of new functional fitness athletes. The frustration stems from the fact that the concept of the movement is so easy to grasp — just jump a bit higher and move your hands faster. But alas, the body does not always cooperate.

What’s worse is that everyone knows when you are trying to learn doubles because you leave the gym sporting tiger stripes down your arms and legs. The rope is very unforgiving and leaves a reminder of every failed rep that will have every coworker doing a double take at you.

Also. It hurts. Quite a bit.

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2. The Endless Laundry

There are a lot of hidden costs in functional fitness, none more obvious than the amount of laundry you’ll do every week. It’s a never-ending cycle of washing, drying, and folding gym clothes. As soon as you’re finished, it’s time to start again, especially if your significant other trains as well.

Personally, I’ve just skipped the whole “folding and putting away clothes” part of the equation at this point. My clothes go from the washer to the dryer and then to my body. Repeat.

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3. Explaining Why Your Hands Feel Like…

Depending on your profession, your hands can be your moneymakers — think of dentists, massage therapists, and professional hand models like George Costanza. So having hands that feel like you drag them over a cactus every morning could pose a problem.

For everyone else, a simple handshake is usually followed by a quick “I’m sorry” after a few odd glances. Thankfully, hand-care products can help mitigate the problem, but I prefer to wear my rough hands like a badge of honor — much to the dismay of my wife.

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4. The Mental Hurdles

Forget the physical. There is nothing more mentally devastating than missing a box jump. I have seen people have horrible flashbacks of the first time they attempted a box jump and missed. It’s almost like mentally they want to, but physically, their body won’t cooperate.

These are small mental battles that become a daily hurdle for so many athletes — jumping on a box, climbing a rope, deadlifting a heavy weight, etc. Overcoming these roadblocks is just as big an accomplishment as any PR you can set in the gym. Greg Glassman once said, “The greatest adaption to CrossFit takes place between the ears.”

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5. The New Wardrobe Responsibilities

The evolution from newbie to grizzled vet in the fitness world is not just measured in body composition or your Fran time but also in how decked out you are in the latest gear. We always make a big deal of it when a relatively new member shows up with their first pair of Adidas Powerlifts or Romaleos — it means they’re in. They drank the Kool-Aid.

But it can be a slippery slope — keeping up with the latest trends, the newest model shoes, matching clothes in every color combo imaginable, etc. With a great wardrobe comes great responsibility.

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