Sometimes when I’m at work, surrounded by people who don’t understand enjoying time at the gym or being active, I have to defend one of my favorite pastimes; working out. My coworkers know that I love CrossFit style programming. I like lifting heavy things and testing my limits. AMRAP’s, Max lifts, who doesn’t? Some of my co workers don’t understand it. I can only assume they are intimidated by it. Intimidation can lead to a bullying type situation. Bullying sometimes involves teasing and being made fun. Recently, my coworker made it a point to tell me that doing CrossFit serves no purpose other than vanity. Getting slim, getting big arms or to get “ripped up” (his words) and that no one would ever need to heave a 100 pound stone over their shoulder, do olympic lifts or push double their body weight on a sled. I argued that people lift things all the time like bags of dog food and children, what if your car stalled you might need to push it to the shoulder of the road and Oly lifting trains your body to move weight in a controlled and balanced way, body awareness at it’s best. His argument to that was saying no one buys ‘that much’ dog food, tow trucks were invented for a reason and everyone is always aware of their body else they would be tripping over themselves all the time. We went back and forth as he named his idea of useless movements like a clean and jerk, kettlebell swings and pullovers. I continued to compare these movements to real life situations. I am a patient woman to a point, and he had taken me to that point. Just a note here; I don’t condone doing what I did. Strength is not a parlor trick. To stop the mockery and to end this pointless argument I asked to touch him and swept him off his feet and cradled him. He’s much taller than I am and outweighs me. I looked at him and said “Wouldn’t you be thankful if you were injured and had to be carried out of a bad situation like a building collapse in an earthquake?”. After placing him back down, he looked at me in a stunned silence. Haven’t heard any teasing since. But that got me thinking just how useful it is to workout and lift heavy things. Again, it’s not to end arguments or to show off. It’s to be able to live your life and be capable of doing things you may not have thought possible.
Another great example of function from our fitness was when coach Holley helped me move a few weekends ago. I had to get my couch through a narrow fence door but the couch was too wide. The only option was to get it overhead and walk with it. Holley was at the end closest to the door. After examination of the door and couch she paused, looked at me and said “Clean and press?”. Brilliant. On a three count we jumped the couch up to shoulder level, pivoted our hands and pressed it over head. From there it was about 6 feet of walking with the couch overhead and then back down to thigh level. Boom! Done and done.
Sean had a real life event in which he helped a woman who had fallen. This is keepin it real at it’s best. In a nutshel he helped a woman who was unable to help herself at the time. She had fallen and Sean, being nearby and able bodied, lifted her up off the ground. Another recent example comes from a friend who is also an avid CrossFitter. One of her athletes had hurt her ankle during a run. The athlete was unable to walk and my friend carried her back to the gym in the middle of a workout. Everyday examples abound. Carrying groceries = farmers carries, Increasing your length of play time with the kids, pets or sports = cardio fitness. Olympic lifting = improved body awareness which translates into everyday movement. Flexibility and learning skills to recover quickly from injuries = skills days. The list is long.
Keep it real people. most of the movements we do in the gym correlate to movements we do daily. Doing a workout creates a more balanced, functional and stronger human being. Enjoy that and use your power well.
Video by CrossFit HQ.