There is a point of fitness for all of us at which we can achieve our daily needs. For most of us, it’s a relatively low point. I need to get out of bed, walk the Gentledog, sit all day at work – ugh – and carry the groceries. My fitness ‘needs’ don’t require much strength or endurance. So what’s the point of pursuing a greater level of fitness?
Being a badass is a valid answer. Having fun is also acceptable. Looking good naked is the right answer.
Not the only right answer of course.
This weekend, the Gentlelady, Gentledog, and myself travelled to the coast for a hike. We ended up jaunting along the beach for a little bit afterwards and as I watched them run into the waves, I figured it out: this was the point. I’m not going to preach and say that getting outside into nature is the only way to live. Hell, my Sundays very often are occupied by the couch, football, and beer. What I will say is that it’s really fucking nice to be able to get up off that couch and hike for five miles if I want to. It’s nice that I can sign up for a turkey trot with the Gentlelady and be excited for it rather than terrified of it. Plus, after that run, I’ll be able to stuff my face guilt-free… even though that’s already happening.
For a long time I thought that people who went to the gym were stupid. Being active was fun, playing sports was fun, getting outside was fun so why not do that instead? Maybe the people who go to the gym still are stupid, but now I’m one of them. Maybe that’s why CrossFit resonated with me – it’s not so much lifting weights as it is being active. It’s more sport than exercise to me.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. In fact, I just saw a new CrossFit series, inFlux, which touches on this very topic. The point of being fit is that we enable ourselves to take advantage of the world and all that it has to offer. Clean and jerking is fun in and of itself, but it’s more fun when I can jump higher in basketball. Pull-ups are cool, but when I ascend a boulder is when I really see the benefits. Doing new things in the gym every once in a while gets me excited to try new things outside of it. I can’t surf and I’m no good at shooting a bow, but I want to try them both. I want to concur them. I want all the movements!
This might just be me rambling, but it seems necessary. I had a friend from college visit me this weekend and ask why I did CrossFit – in that kind of CrossFit-is-absurd tone that most of us have heard. The first three things that came to my head: it’s fun, it helps me have more fun, I look better naked. Are these the only things that matter in life? Yes. Well, no, but they are great. Really great, in fact. I could write a whole blog post on how great they are – maybe I will – but I won’t here.
So as you squat, or dance, or run, or do whatever movement you do to ‘exercise’ this week, keep in mind why you’re doing it? For most of us, I think that it’s fun in some way. And if it’s not, what’s the point?