To be fit, or CrossFit?Lifelong amateur athlete Stephen Madden decided to put himself to the test. He immersed himself in the culture, diet, and psyche of CrossFit—the fast-growing but controversial fitness regime that's a stripped-down combination of high-intensity aerobic activity, weightlifting, calisthenics, and gymnastics. Madden is just one of over two million athletes worldwide to do so. But what's crazier? The fact that such a grueling regimen—in which puking and muscle breakdowns during workouts are common—is so popular, or that people pay good money to do it?In Embrace the Suck, the former editor-in-chief of Bicycling magazine explores with irreverence, humor, and soul-touching candor the fitness revolution sweeping America. Madden chronicles the year he devoted to trying to master all the basic CrossFit exercises, like double unders, muscle-ups, and kipping pullups, and immersing himself in the Paleo diet that strips weight from its followers but leaves them fantasizing about loaves of bread. Along the way, he explores the culture of the sport, his experience becoming a CrossFit coach, and some basic questions about himself, his past, and his athletic limitations—and why something so difficult and punishing can be at once beautiful, funny, and rewarding.Whether you are a CrossFitter or a nascent athlete, you will come away from this book understanding the limitless potential of the human body and mind, and will learn what it takes to welcome and defeat any kind of suck.