Did you learn anything? That was a common thread asked of me when I returned from my CF Lvl 1 cert. Most already knew the WHERE & WHEN. So I was asked the WHO (I met) & WHAT (we did). But mainly I was asked what I LEARNED.
Which is a good question, because I learned a lot. I learned to define fitness, and the parts of it that are a bit ambiguous. I was taught the key points of our (CrossFit’s) fundamental movements. I gained better understanding of why we look at fitness through the three different models, and how the 10 physical skills we use to determine it are as important as the 3 metabolic pathways. I learned about the basics of CrossFit’s programming methodology, and how to intelligently look at variance in your workouts. I learned a lot.
But what did I LEARN? That was the question floating in my head as I drove home. What was the fundamental idea, and how does it translate into the real world life of a (not so) ordinary guy?
I think it is balance.
Balance; CrossFit, it’s definition of fitness, and everything that goes along with it requires balance. Most long distance runners are well versed in cardio/respiratory endurance, stamina, and hopefully speed. But they’re that way at a sacrifice to strength & power. The strongman competitors in my gym can pick up 300+ lb Atlas stones, demonstrating some serious phosphagen capacity. But ask them to do Fight Gone Bad, with a time cap of 15 minutes worth of work & max load of 75 lbs. They look bewildered and give grunts about ‘cardio comes from walking to the car’. It’s completely out of their realm of training, they would be gassed by the end of the first round.
The point being that in order to be fit as we define it, you have to remain balanced in all physical endeavors. You need to practice ‘lifting heavy stuff’, as much as you need to run 400 meter sprints. You need to work on Double-unders the same day you work on your Clean technique. Constantly Varied, you have to continually work on all aspects of your fitness to reach your maximum potential.
So what about meeting your maximum potential as a human being? What traits do we want to work on, what energy systems are involved? What balance do we need to seek? I know for me it’s a constant juggling act between family needs, personal goals, and career requirements. As in fitness, different aspects overlap one another, but it’s a constant balancing act. But that is what leads to excellence, and the pursuit of excellence is noble in and of itself.