First posted on 11/29/2009.
"A HIGHER ORDER OF THINKING"
CrossFit One World trainer Eric Gohler nails a 285# thruster. Last weekend, Eric also nailed a 600# deadlift. I constantly give Eric a bad time because I dog him about his super strength and his lack of metabolic conditioning (metcon). He tells me he hits a new huge lift, I ask him if he has also pr'd his 5k run. I know, I am kinda being a dick, but Eric knows two things: #1- I am just messin' with him, and #2- I am right. :-)
For Eric, and the situation is the same for many of you, sticking to a regular CrossFit program is hard. Life in general is a cold-hearted bitch. Work, family, relationships, etc. all play out in your ability to remain focused on sticking to your workout program. Couple that with the fact that CrossFit workouts take you to some very uncomfortable places, and it is easy to make excuses as to why you don't need to train on any given day. String a few days of not training together and the next thing you know you are back at square one.
It is this point of the post that I introduce to you what I am calling "OPTisms." James Fitzgerald, aka OPT, was one of the presenters at the Black Box Summit, which I attended last weekend. One of OPT's presentations was "CrossFit Pain and Higher Orders of Thinking." The lecture was literally life altering for me. The lecture talked about the mindset of a competitive CrossFit athlete. Really good stuff. The thoughts of the presentation actually pan out to all CrossFitters, not just CrossFit Games competitors.
One of the first things OPT mentioned in the lecture is "Know pain, know gain." As a gym owner and author of this blog, I have to be careful about how I market the pain aspect of a CrossFit workout. A good CrossFit workout promotes high power output when performed by an athlete giving a max effort (average power output defined as work divided by time). In CrossFit methodology, we equate power output as intensity. The problem with constantly training with intensity? It sucks. It is, in fact, painful, both mentally and physically. This scares a lot of people away from CrossFit.
Pain as defined by Webster: "a basic bodily sensation induced by a noxious stimulus, received by naked nerve endings, characterized by physical discomfort (as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leading to evasive action" also, "acute mental or emotional distress or suffering"
Pain is the reason why there are so few CrossFitters in the world. Yes, CrossFit is growing, but in the worldwide fitness industry, those who do CrossFit are a drop in the bucket. The workouts are intense, and training with intensity sucks. Most people look at what we do as total insanity. They want the easy way out. They want "six minute abs." They want to pay $19.99 in three easy payments for a program that you can do with a smile on your face the entire time because its easy. They want to pay a low monthly fee to walk aimlessly around a super sized gym with lots of fancy equipment. They have no goals, no guidance, but it sure is easy.
CrossFit workouts are not easy. Those of you who do CrossFit workouts regularly know that the rewards for all the hard work you do are well worth any short time spent being uncomfortable. You feel better, you look better, you are in fact fitter, which means you are healthier. You know pain, and you have first hand experience of knowing gain.
Please note that I am talking about two different types of pain here. You must listen to your body. Pain from an injury or pain from movement that can cause impending injury due to being performed with bad technique is completely different from the pain I am talking about. I am talking about being mentally beat down and physically uncomfortable and learning how to deal with it on a regular basis. Physical injury is a reality with any type of training and must be respected and dealt with accordingly. Overcoming physical discomfort via a stronger mindset is a completely different beast. You have to visit that discomfort regularly to get better at it.
So, I applaud all of you who have been regulars for so long. Keep up the great work and continue to be an example to others. I implore that those of you who are new or are thinking about starting, STICK WITH IT!!! It doesn't get any easier (despite the fact that we keep telling you it does...haha), but it sure gets better when you experience results first hand.
Know pain, know gain.
Note- 5/28/2011: Eric is still throwing up huge numbers in the strength department, but his metabolic capacity has increased a lot too!
Closed on Sunday. Enjoy the day off by coming to the pool party! (Check yesterday's post for info.) On Monday all regular training sessions are cancelled, but there will be open gym to do the Monday workout and/or Power Hour from 11am to 1pm.