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Tactical Tic Tac Toe

By admin | In Philosophy | on October 26, 2010

Barbells For Boobs Class

For those of you who like to geek out, CrossFit style, you may have seen that the Exercises and Demos page on the main site includes a section on self-defense and tactics. This is a topic we don’t post about much (or at all) but it’s just as high on the health and wellness priority list as nutrition, strength, metabolic conditioning, and recovery (especially living here in LA). Now, I’m not saying that you should all immediately go out and get black belts in a martial art (though a minimum understanding of self-defense is a must), but you need to all train your mind set to be ready for anything.

In my line of work, I get a chance to interview victims of crimes ranging from burglary to domestic battery, bar fights, car jacking, and far worse. Watching the news affords us to keep a safe distance from the grisly and sensationalized crime that occurs around us. However, it also allows us to stay in a complacent bubble until a fateful day someone pops it. Most of the time, the common thread with victims is that they ‘never expected it to happen to them.’ In the first few seconds of the assault (which can feel like an eternity) their minds processes the following thoughts: “I can’t believe this is happening to me. WHY is this happening to me?” Only after the shock and surprise do their brains start to process how to get out of the situation as safely as possible. Those first precious milliseconds that often determine the outcome of the situation are wasted.

In CrossFit, we prepare for the unknown and unknowable. So, I invite you all to play a game this week. The name of the game is Tactical Tic Tac Toe. Basically, there are four frames of mind that we find ourselves in with respect to our safety:

White: Completely relaxed, guard down. Most often this mind set is adopted when you’re at home, though sometimes at your work place.
Yellow: Alert and aware of your surroundings. Neither paranoid nor complacent.
Orange: This is where your spidey senses tell you something is wrong. The hair of the back of your neck stands up. And your senses start to sharpen. Imagine walking in a dark parking lot and you hear footsteps behind you.
Red: Full on fight or flight. Those footsteps behind you catch up to you and a voice demands your wallet. This is where your adrenaline is pumping hard and everything becomes slow motion and you are able to assess a trillion things at once. Alia and Mike encountered this zone not too long ago.

Rules of the game: Constantly assess yourself during the day. Every time you find yourself in the white zone when you are not at home or work, it’s a strike. Three strikes, and you’re out for the day. Given that some of you guys may work in higher security locations at work, we’ll include work with home as a safe zone for the first week. However, given that workplace violence has increased exponentially in the last few years, don’t make this a habit. Starting tomorrow, let’s see who can stay “alive” the longest. Post results to comments.

These zones are fluid and you will be constantly (and most of the time subconsciously moving back and forth between white, yellow, and even orange zones). In the beginning this will be an exercise in self-evaluation to see how often you are alert and how often you are not. Later on, it evolves into a way of life, just like how paleo started as a conscious effort for most of you.


WOD 10.26.10

Jerk 1-1-1-1-1
Cash Out: max consecutive double unders or 40 double attempts

16 Comments to "Tactical Tic Tac Toe"

  • Jake says:

    October 26, 2010 at 8:38 AM -

    I’m feeling white right now and the above pic has really, really, ridiculously good looking people in it.

  • Drew says:

    October 26, 2010 at 8:41 AM -

    aren’t jerk and press sort of in the same wheelhouse?

    1. ruth says:

      October 26, 2010 at 9:00 AM -

      Short answer is yes. I’ll post longer reply later. However I removed the press due to time constraints.

  • melissa says:

    October 26, 2010 at 9:42 AM -

    i am from a small town in the south, and i watch too much law and order. i thusly find myself in a constant state of orange. i’m not trying to make light of your post, i’m totally serious. even scott freaks me out, so i don’t even get to experience the white zone at home. :)

    also, i second jake’s comment about the ridiculously good-looking people. we’re a pretty sexy group, even when we’re all sweaty and gross!

  • Holley says:

    October 26, 2010 at 10:09 AM -

    I am the same as Melissa, I’m pretty much in a constant state of orange (maybe some yellow at work, but only when I’m in the office). Even when I come home I check closets and behind the curtain in the bathroom, and double check that windows and doors are locked. I check on every noise, especially when I’m home alone…but not always, just ask Nick, I’ve interrupted his sleep to check on noises many times. Don’t even get me started on public places (especially parking lots) at night. Can paranoia like that cause more problems or bring more attention to myself in a bad way?

    Double under contest tonight Jake?

  • Jenna says:

    October 26, 2010 at 10:12 AM -

    who is the jerk with the blue shirt on????

  • Jake says:

    October 26, 2010 at 10:55 AM -

    @ Holley…I went this AM. but I’ll give you props if you top 112

  • Jake says:

    October 26, 2010 at 10:56 AM -

    oh and the 112 may or may not be true

  • Pooja says:

    October 26, 2010 at 11:39 AM -

    dude, i’m always in a “white” zone! now im scared! ha. does CFI count as white.. i think i definitely feel the safest there and at my parents house.

  • Alia says:

    October 26, 2010 at 11:41 AM -

    Jake, I’m pretty sure she’s gonna get like 200. There is some great combat stuff on the Crossfit main site. This is one we should all get to know. http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitBlauer_ElevatorSaftety.mov

    On a side note: I will start to carry my other lens so that the people in the back of group photos are not so blurry. =)

  • becky says:

    October 26, 2010 at 12:21 PM -

    @ jenna, don’t call my friend a jerk!

    this game sounds fun! I’d like to say i’m a white girl (jajaja) most of the time, but nope, yellow and sometimes orange arise throughout my day, thanks to growing up in LA. I feel the need to constantly be watching my back. ask viv, she does the same, but worse.
    i think it’s good to stay alert and not be lolly gagging and setting yourself up to be a target.

    esp now in a foreign land (kind of) i have to be very aware of what’s going on around me.

    great post ruth!

  • Anna says:

    October 26, 2010 at 2:55 PM -

    Holley hurry up and beat Jake’s 112 so we can have a double-unders clinic!

  • Holley says:

    October 26, 2010 at 3:57 PM -

    112 may be unbeatable…but I’ll do my best. Maybe Jake should be giving this double-unders clinic.

    Does that mean “may or may not be” is code for “is not”?

  • Jake says:

    October 26, 2010 at 4:05 PM -

    Lol, I’ll tell you tomorrow

  • Nick says:

    October 26, 2010 at 5:03 PM -

    you should all be code red when near holley. she’s dangerous.

  • Scott says:

    October 27, 2010 at 8:20 AM -

    I probably need a better definition of Yellow if I’m going to play this game. I feel like I’m usually in the White. Although I do try to be aware of my surroundings when I’m walking down the street or crossing a street, just so I can watch for traffic or react if something crazy happens. Does that mean I’m Yellow? I guess anytime there are cars around I try to be aware of my surroundings.

    How about if you’re walking through a public area? If I’m at a mall or walking around campus I feel like I’m totally relaxed. But I do try to be aware of my surroundings so I don’t bump into people. It amazing how many people seem completely oblivious to their surroundings. It’s often comical to watch. Does that mean I’m yellow? Or white? I don’t think I’m watching out for anything bad, but I am trying to be aware of what’s going on around me.

    If those situations me I’m Yellow, then maybe I do follow your guidelines. Except when I’m on my cell phone…especially if I’m texting/emailing….which is quite often. Then I become the person walking down the street oblivious to the world. I’ll say that I should stop doing that….but it’s not likely to happen. :)

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