Friday, 10-31-14

 In WOD

Strength : Bulgarian Squat

4×8

WOD:  24-18-12-6

Walking Lunge(each leg) #95/55
Wall Ball
Rest 1 min
2 min ME Double Unders

3 things CrossFit teaches you

As a CrossFitter, over time it can be easy to overlook the nuances of what makes the CrossFit culture so damn great.

Most recently, I was thrown a curveball that has left a morbid cloud hanging over me. It’s through this experience, I’ve taken time to reflect on the three things that CrossFit has done to help propel me through this.

1) Develop Perseverance

“What the hell am I made of?”

There is a saying I often use that says, “Nothing worth doing is ever easy.” CrossFit is worth doing because as most of the fitness world has begun to realize, the workouts are not easy. They never get easier, they just suck less. It is more of a mental exercise to get in there on the days that you don’t “feel” like training and still attack the WOD. It is intimidating when you walk into the box and the whiteboard reads 100 pullups, 200 pushups, and 300 air squats sandwiched by a mile. But when you really think about it, WODS like the one described above (aka Murph) serve a far greater purpose… They make you dig deep into your core and ask yourself, “What the hell am I made of?” The answer should be: perseverance. These exercises do far more than transform your body and wake up your dormant muscles, it builds stamina in your brain, shaping your mind to overcome obstacles far greater than you ever imagined.

2) Integrity and Character

It takes integrity to admit that you finished last, but completed every damn rep prescribed; it takes character to root on a fellow boxmate during their struggle.

Once again, I feel like I’m part of the CrossFit Journal echo chamber, but I can’t say enough about how the culture helps build integrity and character. You are accountable to no one, but yourself. It’s one thing to lose count on reps, it’s another to continually come up short in order to compete. We all know that not doing all the work only cheats yourself and cutting corners is the easy thing to do. The same rule applies in real life. Don’t cheat at your work, your relationships, or anything else. It’s not healthy and bleeds toxicity. Don’t be that guy. It takes integrity to admit that you finished last, but completed every damn rep prescribed; it takes character to root on a fellow boxmate during their struggle. CrossFit bolsters these type of behavior and your coaches will respect you more if you are there to lift others up than continually talk down to them or cheat on your reps.

3) Discipline

Life is an amalgamation of tasks, goals, and objectives that most often are not served on a silver platter.

Discipline is one of those principles that are among one of the toughest to champion. It’s difficult to stay the course of maintaining a clean diet and working out every day among the 1,000 other items on your to-do list. Life is an amalgamation of tasks, goals, and objectives that most often are not served on a silver platter. CrossFit breeds discipline. I thought it was nearly impossible to make it to the 6:00 a.m. class with my 30-minute commute and work schedule, but the first time I did, I was humbled to notice all the hard-working individuals (parents, athletes, coaches) that had gotten up at 4:30 a.m. (or earlier) to make it to the 5:00 a.m. class. That’s when I started to develop some discipline. Then there was the time I arrived late and the entire class was punished by my tardiness with burpees… Needless to say, I try to leave at least 5-10 minutes earlier to avoid that shame. CrossFit demanded that discipline from me and helped me understand the importance of discipline.

In case you are wondering, CrossFit isn’t just about the Paleo “caveman” diet or the aesthetically beautiful bodies, although both are added benefits; it’s about building mental stamina and basic core values that shape you into a better person. It’s about fighting the good fight and sharing the struggle so that when life throws you a curve ball you puff up your chest and say, “It’s not what happens to me, it’s how I respond.” Respond with perseverance. Respond with character and integrity. Respond with discipline.

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