I promise I wrote this last week, but didn’t post it on Thursday like I meant and because of the holiday figured I’d hit two this week. So another to come in just a couple of days to get us back on track!
This (last weeks!) Fitness Hippie
Old Dogs and New Tricks
CrossFit is simply a vehicle for where I hope all of you on the train of this blog want to go, that whole fitness place. CrossFit isn’t new. It isn’t novel. Its premise, advertising, MESSAGE is new. The fact that Coach Glassman wasn’t afraid to define fitness ( https://journal.crossfit.com/article/what-is-fitness ) was a huge step in the evolution of how fitness was understood and done.
It has revolutionized and popularized functional fitness, which is the hackneyed way of saying “using your whole body to do things it is capable of doing” in a layman’s parlance.
Can you squat, run, jump, lift, climb, carry, fall, move through space in unique and varied ways? Can you do it with varied loads and directions and across different time elements and above all can you do it efficiently and quickly? The answer to “how fit are you?” is how well you can be affirmative to those scenarios.
At first, the pursuit of all the new things is exciting, and coming tho the gym every day is exciting because quite frankly you haven’t been an athlete like this in a long time, or ever maybe. I know I was in that boat. I would very loosely call myself an athlete, but I tend to be good at most things physical. This new pursuit I could get SO much better at that made me stronger, tougher, faster, and all other things I liked piqued my interest. I worked hard and got better at squats. (Fun fact, I have torn labrums in both of my hips, and when and why I started CrossFit was because I couldn’t squat to depth with any weight). I learned basic gymnastics, first only being able to do a few kipping pull ups at a time, and (FINALLY!) muscle ups. I hit a snatch PR 25 lbs over my body weight. I deadlifted 2.4 x my body weight. All of this was within 6 years of starting this CrossFit thing.
Why am I bragging? I’m sorry, I only have my own example, that’s not my point. My point is, unfortunately the pursuit of NUMBERS, the pursuit of learning so many new things, well, it can seriously taper. I haven’t hit numbers I could hit two and three years ago in, well, two or three years.
So what happens when the novel and the fact that no longer being a neophyte means that maybe this isn’t that exciting, and damn it, this is kind of just hard.
I don’t have a great answer. CrossFit itself is in a bit of a transition as to what’s really important, in case you hadn’t heard (https://morningchalkup.com/2018/08/23/how-greg-glassman-is-reshaping-the-crossfit-games/ ). For those of you who know me well, I don’t really care much about competitive CrossFit. It’s interesting, fun to watch, and I marvel at the work ethic of those who make regionals and the games. Yet, I much more care about the health and fitness of my members and the person who is like me, they want to golf when they are 100 and do cool stuff until then too. I marvel much more at the lifetime decision to be healthy and able. I will write more on this another day, but for now I will leave that giant nugget out there to get back to my main point today.
What I want you to understand most of all is CrossFit is all grown up now. It’s not the cool fitness craze. I used to be asked, when will CrossFit fade, when will the next craze come? I think in some ways CrossFit has faded, however I don’t believe CrossFit is a fitness craze because of this: CrossFit really is nothing except for an hour of your day, a coach and community who cares about you, and the challenge of testing and using your body regularly to do tasks you’ll do in the gym or not. Just depends how ready for the tasks you’ll have to do in life outside the gym. Ever entered a test you didn’t study for? You really want your 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s to be a test your body hasn’t prepared for for the past several decades?
My strongest advice to you that is wary or bored of the gym is this: don’t think new or tricky or different means better. In fact, being healthy may be downright boring sometimes. Its easy to take for granted the ability to knock out 10 pull ups or do an overhead squat that most people can’t dream of, or be able to in the same day run 2 miles and do 100 pull ups 200 push ups and 300 air squats. What isn’t boring is what those things then allow you to do outside of the gym.
Be thankful for the ability to have more use of your body than most people have ever experienced because of the tool of functional training with intensity. Love the challenge that lies ahead for all of us: can I be this healthy until the day I die? That isn’t boring, and that isn’t easy, although the vehicle is, like many things, after a while. Eat healthy, do functional exercise, and have people around you who care about you.
I was asked about being burned out on CrossFit, which I totally understand. Maybe a step back is necessary from “CrossFit,” but never ever forget the lessons you learned in the CrossFit gym. My favorite are: showing up is the hardest part, be focused and intentional, listen to the purpose of the workout, always be open to failing, comfortability doesn’t create adaptation, and most of all, being fit is more fun with people who care about you around you. Whether you “CrossFit” or not, and whether the CrossFit program has burned you out, those lessons I hope have been instilled and can be taken anywhere, in or out of the gym. Stay healthy friends