Are We Having Fun Yet?
At the end of every Foundations Class we’ve included a lecture on training perspective. The emphasis of this lecture is all about taking the long road with your training and enjoying the process. Today is a good opportunity to reflect on why you train and what you’d be missing in your life if you stopped. Think beyond quantifiable gains, specific numbers or movements you’ve gotten strong enough to do. At a more fundamental level, appreciate the simple fun of playing with barbells, learning new skills, regularly challenging yourself and realizing that you’re more capable than you were before. CrossFit should be first and foremost a fun and enriching experience. What you do is not normal, most people don’t take the time to learn technical exercises, most people don’t push themselves to discomfort and many wouldn’t come to a gym without air conditioning in the summer heat. Reflect on why fitness is important to you and what, beyond the performance markers stimulates you.
Recently, Coach Josh showed me an interview on the CrossFit Journal featuring Ben Bergeron, coach of 2011’s 1st place affiliate team talking about training and competition. Ben quipped that if people are part of a running club, they typically run races, if they’re part of a Judo club, competing in tournaments is expected. He considered his gym a CrossFit club and said one of the primary reasons for their success is their emphasis on people going out and competing in CrossFit events. It could be the Open, local throwdowns or even national events, the point was that there are physical and mental elements of sport that can’t be developed by working out in the same place with the same people under the same psychological pressures. Another example of a gym finding success through regular competition would be the famous Westside Barbell Club in Columbus Ohio. Owner and world renown strength coach Louie Simmons has said that people who come to train at Westside but avoid competition, even informal in-house challenges are permanently kicked out of the gym, that’s how highly they value it. Now that sounds all well and good for world class CrossFit athletes and Powerlifters, but what about your every day middle of the pack CrossFitter? On CrossFit.com, under the “What is CrossFit” tab there is a famous line that might give you some perspective, it says, “The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.” While this quote is speaking about programming specifically, we can still extract the concept that often it’s the degree not type of stimulus that needs to be modified. Local competitions exist so that a wider net of people can experience the benefits of competing, you don’t need to have your eyes on Regionals or the Games to sign up and you don’t have to go in expecting to win. I have yet to meet someone who put themselves out of their comfort zone, signed up for an event and didn’t come out better on the back end, regardless of how they did. It’s a profound learning experience about yourself, a great way to focus your training and an opportunity to meet more like-minded people. If you’re on the fence about signing up for the Subway Series, think about what you have to lose versus what you could gain from the experience.
- There is still room availible to sign up for the 2013 Subway Series event happening here at CFSBK on 8/17. There are both Rx’d and Scaled divisions. For more information and to register, click here.
- Saturday is the first event of the season happening at CrossFit Queens. Good luck to all the athletes signed up already to compete!