So last night a friend invited me to his gym for a game of racquetball. Not knowing where, or how big his gym was I said yes. So we headed off. When we pulled up I thought we were at an airport. When we walked in I thought we were at the mall. OMG! This was not a gym, but a city. I can honestly say I was nervous standing at the front desk waiting to enter. I have been in the industry for 8+ years. From 150 sq/ft personal training studio to a 50 thousand sq/ft complete health and fitness center and I can honestly say I was intimidated by this place. So how does the average Joe or Jane feel? Someone who has never experienced creatures the size of V.W bugs walking around or woman that grace the covers of magazines. They must feel incredibly scared.
After we played racquetball for over an hour and played some hoops in between games, I was really starting to get good use of my $30 drop in fee. But as I looked around nobody was training hard. There were a few guys running on the treadmill, a couple doing crunches and one guy watching a game on T.V. But nobody was training hard.
We are a 700 sq/ft Strength and Conditioning center called CrossFit Scottsdale and I will put anyone of my students up against any Globo gym member any day. I would even go as far as saying “I would join this Globo gym just to play sports and use the sauna and enjoy a 7$ protein shake” But I would never train there!
The CrossFit workout is ‘Fight Gone Bad.’ In this workout you spend one minute at each of five stations, resulting in a a five-minute round after which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. This event calls for three rounds. The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On call of ‘rotate,’ the athletes must move to the next station immediately. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower, where each calorie is one point. The stations are:
You are not wired for progress. You seek a state of sameness, one where mental and physical stressors are nonexistent, and every day is just like the one before. Routine is bliss for you. It’s not your fault. Evolution left you ready to do battle with nature, and civilization gave you a neutron bomb.
You should be outside, spear in one hand and shield in the other, looking for something to kill. Instead, you’ve got forty-five aisles of floor-to-ceiling shrink-wrapped grub, obtainable with nothing more than a plastic card and a smile.
You should be sprinting away from predators, seeking safety, but you’ve got fences, freeways, and a fifteen-digit algorithmically protected front door. You’ve got two guns, a can of mace, four layers of body armor, and nothing to worry about.
Unfortunately, your DNA doesn’t know this. Your hindbrain is programmed to save your resources for another day, conserving energy for an apocalyptic event that will never come. “Eat more, move less,” it says, and you’re eager to comply. The result is a forty-five inch waist and a mean case of diabetes.
You need a prod. A thousand volt, fifty-milliamp foot to the backside, designed to override your nonsensical attachments to comfort. You need me. I am the stress that humanity has removed from your existence. I’m a grizzly bear charging at twenty miles an hour, the uncertainty of your next meal, and the reason you sleep with one eye open. I’m your CrossFit Coach.
I’m not yelling at you because I’m angry. I’m yelling because you need to be shoved away from calm and toward performance, brought to a place where death is imminent and action is the only option, and it’s my job to bring you there. When my volume goes up and my tone gets clipped, you move rapidly. You execute. You drive faster and further into physiological discomfort, and you stay there. You leave six-way adjustable leather seats and lumbar support for the weak, and transport yourself to a place where ease is a distant memory.
Your hindbrain wakes up, and those resources, heretofore held for Armageddon, know that it’s go time. Fat melts, lungs sear, and muscles break down, all in service of getting away from me.
Day after day, you undergo this process, overcoming unreasonable obstacles until your recalcitrant brain is born again hard. Embracing pain and shunning comfort, you’re ready to kill or be killed. You’re rewired, no longer subject to the temptations of easy living and all-you-can eat buffets. You’re an athlete.
The pull of a painless life is too great to get here alone. You need me, the harbinger of change, the bullwhip, the irresistible rush of progress. I am your ticket to growth, and I’m sending you to battle civilization’s paradox with nothing more than a pointy stick. Ironically, you’ll win, and if that apocalypse ever comes, you’ll be ready. – Jon Gilson