I was thinking this morning. That doesn’t happen often and when it does it’s potentially dangerous for those within a 10 block radius. However, this time my pondering was inspired by a video I had viewed with Dave Tate, founder of EliteFTS. EliteFTS (fitness) has a massive amount of educational literature and videos for those interested in the strength sports and gym life in general (disclaimer – possible explicit language). It’s some of the gym life talk that got me thinking. My thoughts were also perked by something Coach Ellis had mentioned about writing an article about CrossFit or more importantly, “why CrossFit?” Believe me, this computer has plenty of unfinished documents pertaining to that topic. So, I present to you an arc on the idea of, “why CrossFit?”
In a previous article, we presented to you components needed in life and CrossFit; passion, consistency, and intensity. For what I am about to present, those three important aspects have not changed and will always remain present. First, I’ll ask a question. Why do you CrossFit? I want you to think about this. The “why” in training is not only crucial it’s fundamental. The “why” is more essential than any special repetition scheme or progression. It is even more important than midline stabilization, toe position, hip position, and spinal loading. All of those things are vital to lifting. And why you do those things are vital to how you lift. However, why you even train is effectively far more critical than all the rest. I believe that those of us who perform CrossFit train for purposes outside of just looking good. We have a “why” that gets us through the day each and every workout. The gym life we share runs deeper to the core of who we are. To provide a more substantial example I’ll perform the grotesque and talk about myself.
Sean Grady, sent me a text last night after watching our team train and said, “I don’t know how you do it.” Don’t worry about the big head. The leaderboard shows there’s about 10,000 other male Crossfitters better than I am. I train because I love to train. I first began to lift weights as a sophomore in high school. Grabbing on to the barbell just felt right. The clang of the weights when you slid them on was like sweet music (or sweat music). Racking weights, dropping dumbbells, and blasting the tape/CD player at Dynabody and the fieldhouse was heaven on Earth for this guy. However, I sucked horribly at it. Ninety-five pounds on the bench press barely went up and its fight against gravity was not all together linear. Those dumbbells were close to the ones with rubber and neoprene handles. Even the CD’s were not mine. Those were left to the real lifters at the gym. Twenty years later I still see some of those men lifting. They know “why.” I got my hands on any piece of literature I could afford or whatever was lying around the gym. I ate about 4000 calories a day. I worked out eight days a week. Go so hard. And my faulty genetics began to come alive. I gained seventeen pounds in twenty-nine days of training. My JV basketball pictures look crazy from beginning of the season to our conference champ picture. I’ve managed to gain about another twenty pounds over the last twenty years of training and I’ve never been far from the gym. For me, since that first day, the weightroom has ignited whatever primal thing lies deep inside. It’s also allowed me to control it. The weights feed the beast as well as help keep it caged. I think everyone, man and woman, has some sort of beast within. That’s what I see in the daily performances at CrossFit 2232.
The beast lives inside the parameters of 1131 Main Street. Have you seen Marzena Bradley’s pictures? Have you heard Ron? Witnessed an Esau Burpee or a Brian Thomas press? Or Cody on the rings and Debi and Diane on the bar? Oh yeah, there is something that comes alive in that hour of the day.
People like to focus on picking apart CrossFit without understanding of the methodology, fundamentals, or structure. They see Olympic lifts performed outside of the normal triples or singles and executed at thirty plus repetitions and freak out. Or they squabble about planes of movement or what is truly functional fitness. Or they geek out about shoes, shirts, singlets, and gear. Cotton impedes my performance (neoprene too). I came to train. However, they hardly approach the “why.”
All exercise can be performed safely. And all exercise can be beneficial to those who do it. However, you still have to know the “why.” I perform CrossFit because I love to train. I want bigger and better numbers. I want faster times. But, ultimately I just care about putting in work. Now in life I feel it’s a way to glorify God too. The weights have given me so much. CrossFit has given me so much.
CrossFit allows you to always have a goal or avenue to take your training. How many CrossFitters are now switching to Olympic lifting? How many CrossFitters are entering races; running, swimming, biking, boating, etc…? Possibly more interesting is how many groups of people are turning to CrossFit as their training regimen; law enforcement, military, martial arts, Country music singers (Josh Turner).
CrossFit trains the beast. It calms the beast. It strengthens the beast. As my CrossFit Murphy contemporaries say, “God, Family, CrossFit.” Do work people!