THE TWO FACES OF CROSSFIT
Today's post is brought to you by the letters F.R.E.D.
When I first started CrossFit 18 months ago I, like many others, felt I had found a way to workout that was different to the usual gym session, gave me goals to move better and allowed me to work on my strength and other aspects of training-all wrapped up in one handy package! As I became slightly more experienced it gave me a focus that allowed me to step back from rugby without losing the competitive aspect I needed to continue to train - I was going to be the next Froning!
However with experience I have come to realise that, as awesome as CrossFit is, it is just one of many types of training (and that I am not going to become the next Froning). Whilst it resonated with me, it may not with the next former rugby player or mum of three. It is just one tool to be used to get people off the couch!
This brings me to the main body of this post. I have accepted that I am not going to the Games as an athlete. As a result I have had to take a step back and reflect on why I began using the CrossFit method. Away from the competitive side of things, it provides an outlet to move better, eat better, learn new skills and generally be better at life. Greg Glassman's definition of fitness in 100 words ends with "regularly learn and play new sports." CrossFit is a fantastic tool to allow us to do this - in fact I truly believe this statement should be at the start of the definition.
The CrossFit Games is a fantastic event and it is awesome to see how far the human body can be pushed-We are nowhere near our potential. It is also the main advert for CrossFit. As a result, in the same way rugby players want to be All Blacks and hockey players want to become Black Sticks, CrossFitters are drawn to becoming "The Fittest on Earth." This has bred the CrossFit athlete who do it to become better at CrossFit. Unfortunately, as with any sport, if you do too much it can become unhealthy. Do you find yourself constantly at the physio, shoulders like sandpaper, glass in your hips? Do you have to regularly modify your training because a certain movement pattern causes you pain? Constantly tired? These are all signs of training too much. If this is the case have a look at why you started CrossFit. Was it to get to the games or to allow yourself to live a full, healthy life?
At the risk of sounding like a leftie hippie take a step back and have a look at whether you are really enjoying your training. If you are and it is helping you improve who you are and allowing you to have a full, fit life, that's awesome! Competition is a great tool to test yourself and one of many reasons why we train. But.....if it is making your life miserable have a think about those goals and see if they align with why you first started this great sport.
Lastly think on this. Who is fitter? You who can do 15 unbroken muscle ups and overhead squat 100kg but struggles to get out of bed in the morning and hobbles around for an hour before warming up. Or the mum of three who CrossFits 3 times a week as part of a balanced exercise program, hasn't got a pull up yet but is fitter than she's ever been and able to spend her day at work, before coming home and spending the evening playing with her kids.