Driven and Inspired

So I have fallen off the chats that last week and I apologize.  The week at work was rather busy as we are in full swing of summer training.  So it was imperative that I was in bed at 9:30 each evening… 5:00 am on an alarm clock comes very fast.  Combine that with studying for my Certified Exercises Physiologist exam with is in two weeks and then arrival any day now of our first child, I have had a lot on my plate.  But enough with the excuses.

Last time I talked about my thoughts on Crossfit, told you my beliefs about the interference model and referenced two great groups here in Calgary that I would only recommend.  So each year, Corssfit puts together a Crossfit Games, a mini Olympics if you must, crowning the “fittest Athlete Alive”.  I know you are going to put in your vote for Lance Armstrong, who is an animal in his own right, or one of the tri-athletes.   And the Crossfitters will acknowledge that yes, tri-athletes, professional athletes are fit, but they sacrifice specific areas of fitness in order to excel at others.

So let’s review.  Physical fitness in the capacity to meet successfully the present and potential physical challenges of life, or the level of adaptation to the stressors of one’s life.   Therefore to meet these stressors we, as physiologist aim to manipulate the components of physical fitness… muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, muscular power and flexibility.  You can also include speed, agility and coordination in this group if you like.  But Crossfit stance is, if we were to put 60 athletic events into a hat, pit two athletes; a “crossfitter” and a tri-athlete against one another; an randomly draw an event, how would these two individuals compare.  Well, I am going to tell you the tri-athlete will crush any run, bike, or swim (or nay combination of the three) and leave the crossfitter in the dust.  However it is not the ability to do well on one or two of the events, but to have the best average score in ALL the events.  That is the person who possesses the combination of the above components.

And why the rant?  Well this weekend, I was able to judge the Canadian Qualifier.  The top six males and to six females would qualify to head to California to compete in the Crossfit Games.  The interesting part of the event is that the actual workouts are not posted until 4 day prior to the event date.  So what do they train for. EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING. It was absolutely inspiring to watch so many fit individuals compete.  The ability to push themselves was amazing.  I have never been in a room with so many sets of six pack abs in my life.  Now I can only imagine the amount of adrenal fatigue these individuals accumulate, but I admit I would love to be that fit.  I watched one girl tear off the skin of her hand doing pull-ups, and come to me later and as I inquired about her hand she proceeded to show me that she “Crazy Glued” the skin back.  I didn’t attempt to argue with her about the number of toxins in that glue now entering her blood stream.  It was inspiring.

So the lesson for today.  Unless you are a professional athlete, don’t train to be good at one area of your fitness.  Aim to be good at all of them.  Vary your training, while still being smart about it.  It makes your workout so much more fun and interesting.  Be ready to do anything and everything.  I will admit, I am going to train for the game next year.  Am I going to compete… Hell no.  My ego cannot take then embarrassment of being out lifted by a girl from British Columbia who tossed around a 290 lb tractor tire like it was kids float device.

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