My fitness is my health. The fitness that we pursue in CrossFit is not for the Crossfit Games. The kind of fitness that we are seeking is functional. It makes us better at everyday life. It’s the kind of fitness that allows a father or mother to pick up their child without throwing their back. It’s the same kind of fitness that our grandparents need to keep their independence and avoid a nursing home. It’s the kind of fitness that prevents chronic disease and reverses type-2 diabetes. The key word is functional and it means something different in different stages of our lives.
As a twenty-year-old I wanted to have the bragging rights of doing 60 push up. In my late 20’s and now 30’s it means keeping up with my kids. As I get older into my 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and beyond, fitness will take different meanings. But the goal is the same, staying strong, keeping my independence and staying away from a nursing home as long as possible. My fitness is my health.
So what is health then? It depends who you ask. Ask the medical community and they may define it as something along the lines of “the absence of disease”. Ask the founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, and he’ll tell you there is more to it than that. Can you call a person that has no illnesses but can’t walk without a walker healthy? What about if they can’t use the toilet on their own? Of course, there are medical conditions and orthopedic calamities that took some people’s ability to do those things. But image for a second that we are not talking about them in this conversation. We are talking about those people who simply lost the ability to walk because of a sedentary lifestyle.
If you consider your ability to do everyday physical tasks as part of your health, it then takes a whole new meaning. Do you know anyone in their 50’s who has back issues? What about someone in their 40’s with knee problems? CrossFit can help them get their functionality back. In other words, CrossFit can help give them their health back.
It can also help you avoid any of those issues. All you have to do is considered your ability to do stuff as part of your health. What kind of stuff you ask? Consider lifting a 5 gallon jug of water into your 70’s with ease. It can help you carry your 50lb son or daughter on your shoulders on the way back to your car after a day at the fair. If you can’t do that, you may have lost some of your health.
Health, according to Greg Glassman is “increased work capacity across broad time, modal, and age domains”. Sounds fancy, but it just mean to do physical stuff across many activities throughout our entire life.
How do we do that? Easy, we start by teaching people what healthy eating looks like, not diets. Then we add physical exercise as constantly varied, functional movements, performed at high intensity. We do it in a CrossFit gym, we call it a box, and we do it with a group. The group classes makes it more fun and keeps us accountable to each other. We support each other through the process and welcome anyone who is ready to take their health into their own hands.
A CrossFit box is filled with your neighbors, some fit, some working on it, some young, some older, and most of us somewhere in between. There are families, couples, and there are singles too. The common denominator is that we have come to the realization that our fitness is our health. We are taking action into our hands to keep our health throughout life by doing CrossFit. Find a local box, and become part of the CrossFit community, you’re welcome here.