Written by Sarah Loogman
At the essence of CrossFit is to evolve our human race – to build increasingly more functional, adaptable mechanisms of the body for inclusive fitness that advances our abilities across a broad range of physical tests. By improving our physical being, we are able to improve cognitive function, elevate mood, and manage disease and dysfunction in a way that few fitness programs have accomplished on such a mass scale ever before. We are evolving ourselves with purpose and consciousness.
Yet for all the effort we put towards improving our aesthetic or physically healthy selves, what are we putting into the other areas of our life? The concepts we commonly associate to the identity or definition of this modality itself have application far beyond the walls of a gym or the constraints of whatever fitness regimen we have decided to pursue. We are a multi-faceted beings of mind, body and soul and to achieve true wellness and peak human capability, we must be willing to extend our “training” to everything that we are. We can look at the identifying markers that make CrossFit unique and by which it identifies as a greater framework to living an expansive lifestyle aimed to improve us in all manner and form:
Increased Work Capacity
The goal of CrossFit is to keep improving. It’s why we get amped up about PR’s and continue to set new goals. We want to be able to do things faster, lift heavier weights, and do more. This pursuit of continuous growth keeps us motivated and entertains the process, no matter how challenging – we enjoy the outcome of improvement, even when the journey requires some suffering. How are you working to improve the other areas of your life? How could you do more and be more or have you become disinterested in the results and abandoned the process of growth?
The intent of compound, full-body movements seen commonly in CrossFit overcame the “globo gym” routine of isolation exercises. Our body is meant to move as a fully incorporated machine, not just one piece at a time. Your role in your family, among your peers, community, or greater society is much the same – we are all designed to work together. As you work to improve yourself, how can you better serve those around you? What is your function within the space that you are at and how can you contribute to the “body” as a whole?
Broad and Varied
In CrossFit, the application of this principle is to train an all-inclusive range of movements and exercises that are given constant variance to avoid the lull of adaptation or plateau. Are your interests and hobbies as varied as your fitness program? The truth is, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Your life is more than your job and it’s more than the routine you’re currently caught into. If you feel that you are no different today in who you are than you were yesterday, last week, last month or last year, what can you add or exchange to improve that?
This concept hit most of us like a train the first time we tried CrossFit. It’s the masochistic piece that we keep coming back for because we know it works. When we face our sufferings head on and we attack, it is difficult and it might hurt, but we never lose as long as we don’t quit. When you’re flat on your back after Fran, you’re in agony but you’re also proud. So why do we tend to shy away from other “intense” or even “scary” experiences? Maybe you don’t need to go jump out of a plane or try extreme sports, but what is the fear that stands between you and an incredibly proud accomplishment?
Unknown and Unknowable
The ultimate test of CrossFit is to be tested in a set of unknown and unknowable physical tests at the CrossFit Games – an annual competition in which athletes compete in events that often fall outside of their regular training modalities. Some of these tests are even unknown to the athletes until the days, hours or even minutes before go-time. Even for non-competitors, however, CrossFit training is intended to prepare us for life – to give individuals the physical freedom to adapt to unforeseeable circumstances that require us to move quickly or move load. Beyond physical abilities, are you prepared for any troubles or challenges that come your way? When the task to become a hero arises, are you mentally or emotionally prepared? When a gigantic opportunity presents itself, will you be ready?
CrossFit is more than a fitness program – if we choose to look outside of our aesthetic endeavors, it is an illustration of how we can evolve to become better humans in every aspect of our lives. Break the routine of your life in the same manner you’ve broken your fitness routine for a revolution in who you are and “PR” your life!