In the process of building muscle, the children are also building character. “Kids could cheat, but they’ll often say, ‘That last rep didn’t count.’ ” Martin says. “Those things transfer to the real world.” Same goes for the confidence they get from accomplishing something difficult, adds Mikki, who’s especially pleased with how CrossFit Kids affects girls’ self-image. “They focus on what they can do rather than what they look like,” she says.
Like CrossFit, which has become a global phenomenon over the past decade, CrossFit Kids is expanding rapidly. But it can still be a challenge to find it: In the Washington region, which Glassman recently calculated has the densest concentration of CrossFitters in the country, there are more than 50 CrossFit affiliates but only eight with kids’ programs.
Jerry Hill, owner of CrossFit Old Town, sees that changing as awareness builds. He brought in CrossFit Kids because he and his wife were getting nagged by their daughters — and their members’ children.
“Kids imitate you,” says 34-year-old Meg Hixon, whose three CrossFit Kids, ages 10, 7 and 6, are well on their way to earning callused palms just like Mom’s. “I like it better than team sports, because those don’t teach them about fitness. When the sport is over, you’re done.”
In just two years, word has spread beyond the CrossFit community that these kids’ classes provide an alternative athletic outlet. That’s why Elizabeth Schneider, 47, recently brought her 13-year-old son. “At many gyms, like ours, you have to be 16. We haven’t found good options for this kind of stuff,” she says.
With CrossFit Kids classes growing in schools and arriving at camps, expect a lot more options — and a lot more power snatches.
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Hallett edits the Fit section of Express.
Also at washingtonpost.com
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Where to do CrossFit Kids in the D.C. area
The eight D.C. area locations that offer CrossFit Kids are:
CrossFit Silver Spring, 2700 Garfield Ave., Silver Spring. 240-706-7312. www.cfsilverspring.com.
CrossFit Done Right, 12160 Nebel St., Rockville. 301-535-1316. www.crossfitdoneright.com.
Patriot CrossFit, 2130 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington. 571-207-5634. www.pcfkids.com.
CrossFit Old Town, 805 N. Royal St., Alexandria. 703-347-3931. www.crossfitoldtown.com.
CrossFit Fairfax, 2799-G Merrilee Dr., Fairfax. 571-449-7059. www.crossfitfairfax.com.
CrossFit Reston, 310 Victory Dr., Reston-Herndon Business Park, Herndon. 703-283-0539. www.crossfitreston.com.
Hammer Down CrossFit, 14088-G Sullyfield Cir., Chantilly. www.hammerdowncrossfit.com.
CrossFit Liberation, 9000 Lorton Station Blvd., Suite M, Lorton. 703-408-7997. www.crossfitliberation.com.
CrossFit Impavidus, 21660 Red Rum Dr., Suite 133, Ashburn. 571-918-4690.