Thursday, July 19, 2012

Means to an End?

It may try your patience to read this blog... it wanders a bit :)

Like many of my fellow Crossfiters, I watched some of the 2012 Crossfit Games this past weekend.  For those of you that (a) don't care or (b) don't Crossfit, both of last year's individual winners... well... won again.  It was the first repeat and it happened for both the men and women.  And it wasn't even close.

We had a large contingent make the migration to Cali, and each said it was great.  I'm sure it was, because the coverage showed a well oiled event this year.  The equipment was awesome, the WODs were fun to watch, and the staff who managed the equipment and athletes as well as the judges looked top notch.  In the event that required sledgehammers and moving block with said hammers, the staff did sort of a synchronized "resetting" of the equipment.  Each staff member walked to each station, reset it, then stood and waited for everyone else to finish.  Once they did, they moved to the next one, etc.  Pretty slick IMO.  It shows how much cash will improve the presentation and professionalism of a sport.  (Note: the announcers still suck! LOL  However, I credit them for not saying the best athlete in the world, they were careful to say fittest.)

Now, I have to admit, I can't imagine sitting and watching my favorite sport (football) live for 3 straight days for almost 12 hours a day.  So doing the same for people working out would probably drive me slightly insane.  Mainly because of the guilt I'd feel while scarfing beer and peanuts (which IMO is required at live sporting events).  One day I'd like to go (and hopefully a year when our team makes it all the way there), but I'll need help making it through.  You know, like wearing a weighted vest and making "Beer Run AMRAPs", or drinking beer out of some special Rogue design beer mug that weight 50 lbs and requires a full squat to get the liquid to come out (after seeing those crazy team sleds, I'm pretty sure they can pull a design like that off.)

The other thing that struck me was working out was now a legit sport.  Given that sport encompasses SO many different things, the concept works.  However, I hope there will be there is the re-injection of more traditional sports into the games.  When I started Crossfit two years ago, I read much of the primers on the Crossfit Journal website (most of them are free).  One of the main themes was the concept of Crossfit as a means to make people better at athletics.  In other words, to help me get better at basketball, kayaking, or spelunking.  Whatever the hell an athlete chooses to do, Crossfit would help them get better.  Glassman even went so far as to state that on the "rest day", everyone should go out and "do the sport you enjoy".  In other words, you need to reap the benefits of all the hard work "in the box" by doing stuff "out of the box".

At some point, many of us have lost that concept.  Crossfit stopped being a means to the end for many people, and became the end itself.  I am COMPLETELY guilty of my own charge.  The Crossfit "Company" has reinforced "Crossfit as an end" by continuing to grow the games into its own legitimate sports event.  I think for some, Crossfit became more enjoyable than whatever they were doing before.  I know many runners who have given up running because they find Crossfit a more fun alternative.  I get that, it makes sense.  But personally, I started Crossfit with the goal to be able to play basketball again.  I certainly got in good enough shape to do so, but I never did.  I think that was a huge mistake on my part.  I have decided to correct it, but not with basketball (too hard on my 42 year old knees), but with kayaking and a serious hike in Colorado in September.  I have refocused my energy at Crossfit to be a means again... not an end.  I encourage you to at least decide if you want Crossfit to be the end or the means.  I didn't decide... it just happened.

Examine your motivations, did you start Crossfitting to improve your life, and to better enjoy an activity?  Are you using your newfound fitness to realize that end?  Just make the decision, then work your ass off to realize your "end".

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