It all started from a friend, a colleague, a peer . . .
From being bored with the same routine, from plateauing time and time again . . .
I wanted to get healthy, I wanted people around me who cared . . .

They called it constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity . . .

It's about taking the first step -

It's called CrossFit and I friggin' love it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why So Serious?

Serious - Demanding careful consideration or application

Unattractive Synonyms:
businesslike, cold sober, deadpan, grave, grim, sober, solemn, staid, steady, stern, and my last three favorite:
unhumorous, unsmiling, & weighty. . . .
So the CrossFit Games are in full swing and there is a lot of unhappy people around.  I hear it at the box, I see it on Facebook, and I see it on faces.  

First - Stop!

Think about the unhappiness that you are adorning yourself with.  It is completely unattractive: 

Second - Is this about the money that is being thrown to the winners at the CrossFit Games this year?  Has it really turned people that serious?  The last thing I have ever known about this group of people is that money doesn't mean shit.  Literally.  The Garage Games have proven that.  People can make equipment, used equipment adds character to a gym, and the last thing you want to do is paint yourself as a pompous ass to this community of people.

Third - Has the rise of Reebok, Lululemon (Lululemon Athletica inc. which just hit an all time high on their stock on the NASDAQ), and other material companies started to change the way in which this grassroots culture started?  Have we started to become materialistic, judgmental and cocky?  I would hope that this isn't the case.  I hope this is just growing pains as we are starting to evolve as a culture We should still embody the same principles of friendliness, openness, honor, compassion and integrity.  The workouts are still provided daily, they are (for the most part), simple, effective and brutal.

Kevin Daigle wrote a great blog about the Open's Format for the CrossFit Games - please be advised that it does have some rather heavy cussing in it.  But if you don't mind, please give it a read:

Now onto my serious note, I want to flip this around just a little:

CrossFit is meant to be fun.  It is meant to hurt(in a positive fashion) so that we can grow, as fit people who want to better ourselves.  There are days when you can be glum.  But for the most part, the majority of people in my classes are positive and cheerful.  It is quite easy as a Coach for me to turn a frown upside down.  Lord knows that a personal record does that on a daily basis, last night included.  

There was a particular athlete who was late to class.  Knowing this, she still came - bad mood and all.  As is my usual ritual, late for class = burpees.  After finishing them, she stretched and then was getting set up for power cleans.  She was close to tears (of frustration from her day) because of work, because of everything outside the gym.  Those all went to the side when I told her to focus on the now.

Focus on the now - what a concept, you know the age old adage - "live in the moment."  Have fun with the workout, sure you want to be focused, resolute, but the child inside of you wants to come out as well.  Remember, we are jumping on boxes, throwing balls at a wall, jumping rope and swinging heavy metal between our legs.  We still giggle when people say, "Now that was a pretty snatch."

It all started to go away as the rest of class wore on, she did well on her power cleans(I think she PR'd), then hit the workout violently.  

At the end of the class, I got a thank you.  Startled, I was inquisitive - I didn't particularly do anything differently, but that was the point.  Take your mind off of the day and focus on you - in the now.  I focus on what you are doing, you are thinking about what you are doing.  When our thoughts wander mid workout it's part of my role to bring you back.  And for you to finish what you started.

When you start to feel yourself getting too serious, step back.  In fact, come on down to the box at 4:00-5:00 pm on a Monday or Wednesday - watch a kids class.  Then try to duplicate that.  And I don't mean by throwing a dodge ball at someone (although that can be fun).  But make a joke, laugh a little, change the mood.  

I may have a serious side when coaching - there is usual a reason for that 1) Safety and 2) Efficiency.  But all in all, I want you to enjoy yourself, because I have been on a treadmill by myself, I don't like it.  I work out by myself at night - not really my favorite.  But a small crowd (usually 5-10 people) is something I can work with.  I can enjoy the camaraderie, the joking, and the atmosphere - all while bettering myself and others.

Let loose, let go of any fear and anxiety you may have.  Push aside your doubts and disbelief's.  Enjoy yourself and just work with a smile.  After Games Open workout #2, I will tell you that my attitude has dramatically changed:  I could care less that I am not in the top 100, but I will try and continue trying.  In the end, I am here for the same reason that I started - this is fun, I get to stay healthy, and I enjoy helping others achieve whatever lays before them.

- Coach Tony


1 comment:

  1. "We should still embody the same principles of friendliness, openness, honor, compassion and integrity."
    This is what makes Crossfit the best workout I have ever experienced. I would be crushed if this changed. Nice piece!