The Perils of Participating in Life

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Ok, spoiler alert here, this is a post about Crossfit — and  I am a drinker of the Koolaid, so just letting you know.

Just saw this:   http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2013/08/finally-a-scientific-study-on-crossfit.html   article, which makes me feel good.  Mostly.

It’s no surprise to me that the testing has resulted in pretty spectacular results across the board.  No surprise because I have witnessed these same results in myself, my wife, and a whole bunch of new friends that I have made along the way.

I am healthier, happier, stronger, leaner, more flexible, and just generally feel younger, studlier, and better looking.  My teeth are whiter too.

I am more aware, at any given moment, of the state of every joint and muscle in my body.  What is sore, what is rested, anything that isn’t working quite right, or things that are chomping at the bit and ready to try for a new PR.

I’ve uncovered old injuries and limitations in range of motion that have lain hidden within me for years, and with slow, careful, work I have cleaned those problems up.  By doing that, I’ve also waved goodbye to old, nagging, aches and pains in other parts of my body which were caused by compensating for those weak spots.

I have; however, injured my machine on occasion.  Pulled a muscle, stretched a ligament, fallen on a box, torqued a joint in the wrong direction, even dropped a bar on my head and sported a blue goose egg in the middle of my forehead.  All of them my fault.  All of them a result of being tired and pushing past safe limits, and further, not listening to the little voice in my head.

All of those injuries are little (or sometimes big) reminders to listen to that little voice.  And in a way, those injuries are indeed another valuable benefit of Crossfit.  You are more aware than ever of your body’s limitations, and you make better decisions about what you can or cannot do.  This applies not just to Crossfit, but to activities in everyday life as well.

“A mans’ gotta know his limitations” as Josey Wales said.

My life of exercise started out as a mad tree climber at about 5 years old.  I soon moved heavily into biking, and somewhere in that shoebox in the closet, there’s a picture of me with my first shiner, from my first bike accident, which was on my first bike ride.

In the years since, I have ridden and raced bikes and motorcycles, run track, cross country, participated in trail running events, boxed, wrestled, climbed big rock walls and Himalayan peaks, and done several years in the Marine Corps.  Pretty much all of them have left mementos etched upon my body or or buried deep within my joints.

But those things are what makes me – me.  I wouldn’t give them up for anything, and wouldn’t give up Crossfit either.

We aren’t here to audit life, we’re here to live it.

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2 comments
  1. I do have fits of crossness, but I’d never heard of this. Impressive endorsement, but a warnging to avoid overdoing things.

    • I find my fits of crossness have gotten fewer and farther between since the start of my crossfitness.

      Crossfit is a method of working out, combining weight lifting, body-weight exercises (chin-ups, sit-ups, etc.) with aerobic exercises like running and rowing in a short, intense time frame. The emphasis is on developing all the various muscle and cardio systems in the body equally while also working on joint strengthening and flexibility (often do Yoga poses while warming up) all with an eye toward enhancing your ability to enjoy and participate in all the daily activities of life.

      It can also be quite competitive. There are competitions all over the world, and some people are now professional Crossfit athletes. Lots of the rest of us compete with our friends for fun and bragging rights, and that is a great motivation, but there is where the self-control needs to kick in, or you will do yourself a mischief before you know it.

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