Get Active – Stay Active!

Nearing my sixth year working out at Crossfit Newport – I continue to be grateful for this particular approach to fitness. During these times… Exercise and diet are more important than ever. While certainly not the only determinants of health and wellness – the frequency with which we move and the fuel we provide our bodies are unquestionably critical to maintaining our wellbeing.

“Oftentimes we see self-improvement merely as goal achievement. Tim Ferriss notes that achievement is only 50% of it. He says, “The other 50% is gratitude and appreciating what you already have, not focusing solely on future accomplishments.” – Noelle Bloom (Interviewing Tim)

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more: “Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. They are also leading drivers of the nation’s $3.5 trillion in annual health care costs.” – CDC.

Stack COVID-19 with one or more possible comorbidities and a bad situation has become even more dangerous.

Filmed at classes in August ( How many different movements in this video? Front squat, ring dips, running, box jumps, rope climbers, squat clean, jump rope, walking lunges, row, push ups, push jerk, wall balls, box jump overs, air squat, power clean, various yoga, burpee bar jump overs, pull ups. Maybe more…

What’s the fix? A clean and healthy diet. Exercise. Movement.  Not difficulty in theory.  Right? “The truth is a lot of people want wellness, but it’s really not about a quick fix. It’s about a lifestyle, and it’s tough, especially if you’re not coming from a place of wellness.” – Brad Stulberg

About six years ago I discovered my silver bullet. Sounds cliché. And, for a time it was in our cultural lexicon. The numbers speak for themselves: CrossFit has 13,000 gyms in more than 120 countries, up from just 13 in 2005.  That’s pretty amazing growth.

Those closest to me are unsurprised at my continued reverence and affirmations for one of my favorite hobbies and life shaper.  Although, no longer the buzzword it once used to be, the activity model remains unchanged for the average athlete attending classes at thousands of gyms or “boxes” across the globe.  Crossfit continues to implement “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains.”

Recently, at my workplace we have convened our Wellness Committee. As I was brain storming what kind of survey questions we might ask employees I realized we might try and determine our shared language and vocabulary. What does wellness mean, anyway? What constitutes quality of life for one may be very different for another. Work in progress.

Crossfit Newport, my gym, like many businesses has experienced hard times during COVID.   After closing the doors we initially followed the enthusiasm of our ownership, trainers and other athletes with many creative variations of workouts replicated at home. 

During our early response to Coronavirus I was thrust into some of the longest days of my working career.  At the front lines of emergency response for our County my workout routine was sidelined. I felt like I was lucky to get though the day, after day, after day – trying to avoid burn out. I found it difficult to get motivated without my fellow comrades, under the watchful eye of a trainer and the pressure of the timer in the center of the gym.

The months away from the gym had a few silver linings. My appreciation for a place to congregate has been reignited. The sense of “community” that we feel from our place of anaerobic worship is the the real deal. People need people.  My home routine resembled more of our average warm up at class than and actual hi intensity strength and cardio session. Thankfully, the gym closure felt short lived with the blurring of workdays. A few of my intermittent aches and pains had magically resolved themselves after the extended period of rest. A little bonus.

As we reengaged at the gym – our newest trainer took over my former position as MWF training lead.  For the first time in nearly five years I was able to be a student athlete, once again. Now, I have some extra time. I am free from the cognitive load of preparing to teach class.

I love the quote because it’s often one that I need to be reminded of. Procrastinating until I have the perfect set and setting or waiting until I acquire the perfect gear for my fantasy activity: I have been guilty of both more than once. But, when I do break it down the objective to simpler components and get my ass in gear – yes, I realize it’s often mental. Mind games. Fear. Low self-confidence.

Five years training Crossfit at an average of 2 hours per class (including travel and preparation) is a total of roughly 1,440 hours.  Instead of a 4:20 AM alarm setting – it’s now 4:45 AM. Instead of reviewing “points of performance” and lifting cues (CrossFit’s anatomy and biomechanics Cliff Notes) at 9 PM – I am free to watch Netflix.  Total time savings not teaching classes = 12 hours per month. Sleeping in until the very last minute before working out = priceless. Nevertheless, I still like to take a shower, make a cup of coffee and “wake up” before working out.  

But, currently… I don’t have to.

Since the gym has reopened, I have been working out and average of two days a week. The experience has been fantastic! After a couple of weeks of acclimation, the spark returned. I am reliving “the feeling” I discovered six years ago as I began to exercise on the regular. I LOVE it all over again! (