Monday, July 25, 2011

Limits and 5 Answers to a Dumb Question

It's been a while because I've not had a lot to say.   With a busy job entailing conference calls, then home to make baby talk with a 9 month old, guys tend to run out of words.  Warning, this one is a ramble ;)

Many people sipping the Crossfit Kool-Aid (like me) believe it creates a sense of limitless improvement in your fitness and performance.  I tend to agree with the statement but with some notable exceptions.  Full disclosure first, I'm 41, 6 foot 3, and have 1 full arm and 1 with a slight birth defect.  Crossfit has put me in the best shape of my life... at 41.  My journey is well chronicled but as a reminder, I have pushed SO far beyond my perceived capabilities, it's great.  (Awesome is the actual word, but this is supposed to be a respectable, if not totally awesome blog, so I don't use words like "awesome".)

Limits.  I have them.  I have started finding some of them and I'm completely OK with them.  Before you lynch me as the Crossfit anti-Christ, let me explain why this is a GOOD thing.  As I said, I have busted so many barriers, it's not funny.  I've run a sub 7:30 mile, I've beat some our best athletes in certain WODs (I got them drunk as hell the night before while I played DD, but hey it COUNTS, right?).  I've pushed through pain and exhaustion time after time.  I've pushed past people that should beat me only because I wasn't afraid to hurt worse.  I've changed my diet 180 degrees and kicked a drinking habit that was headed for alcoholism.  I have felt invincible at times.

So what the hell am I talking about?  I have found some things in Crossfit I consider beyond my capabilities which I have no desire to bust through.  1 arm rope climbing.  At one time, I considered trying it.  Instead I have chosen NOT to work toward that goal.  I assessed the situation and decided it was too dangerous and would take more work than I am willing to give it.  Some people would consider this bad... a failure.  BUT, I've redirected that energy to getting better at something else.  Specifically for me, my core strength with should not have a limit for me.  In a twist of fate, Crossfit pushed me past the limits I thought I had but at the same time has exposed some limitations I DO have with my arm.  I had always held a belief there was very little I couldn't do.  I used to prove it in sports when I was younger.  Nothing ever arose to convince me different.  I kayaked, played basketball well, tennis, swimming, spelunking, rappelling, football, volleyball, and ultimate frisbee.  I was pretty good at all of them.  Oddly the thing I sucked the worst at was soccer... which didn't even require arms :D

Then at 40, it was easy to pretend I didn't have limits from the safety of my couch.  So I find it refreshing that I have FINALLY found something so challenging, it has taught me limits.  I'll never do an overhead squat, nor a handstand pushup.  It will simply never happen, my physiological realities won't allow it.  And... I'm

I wasn't at first, but I have slowly learned to accept them and not wish them to be different.  How many of you would have paid an iota of attention had I been "normal"?  Would I have inspired as many people, or made people work harder (people hate it when I yell "the handicap dude is beating you"!!!).  I have limits, but knowing some of them has liberated me... and caused me to focus on the areas where I can kick your ass.  So watch out!

P.S. I don't yell that at people.

Now your payoff for reading that crap:

5 Answers to a Dumb Question:
All the time, people want to know:  "Is Crossfit hard?"

5. "No"
4. "Only on the days when I show up."
3.  "If you rearrange the letters in 'Crossfit', you can make 'of course it's f--king hard you idiot'."
2.  "Have you ever been chased by a bear for a mile, then climbed a tree only to have the bear knock down the tree so you had to run another mile, then climb another tree and then fight him off with your boot?  If so, then Crossfit won't seem that hard."

1. "It's hard, but not as hard as the bodies it produces." Queue cheesy 70's music!!!! Booyah!