The CrossFit gym holds a pretty unique place in the modern gym world. It is characterized by open empty space, by both seriousness and laughter, by sweat, by respect, by austerity. As such, it is nearly antonymous to most other types of gyms, the golds and the 24 hours. A very lot of hard work goes on in the CrossFit gym. Hard work by people who drive themselves to work hard because that work is its own reward. Very few of these people have prize money or trophies or signing bonuses or contracts dependent on their hard work. That is perhaps the most unique aspect of the CrossFit box, the incredible effort for its own sake.
Yet, what if we approached the CrossFit gym not just as a place to workout, but as a classroom? The CrossFit gym is about more than just performance, it is also about education. Education in proper body movement and the mechanics of the deadlift, the clean, the snatch, the squats. Education in nutrition and our bodies’ reaction to what we put into it. Education in joint and muscle health and recovery.
It is also a classroom, perhaps a laboratory, into the human spirit. The will to never quit, never say die. For the CrossFit coach it is a laboratory, where he or she is ceaselessly searching and experimenting with ways to make the gym a place more conducive to expanding the spirit, finding that right alchemical mix of community, technique, competition, programming, intensity, and exhortation that pushes the spirit ever farther. For the CrossFit athlete, the gym is a classroom where they learn as much about themselves and the constant re-defining of their limits as they ever did about math or history.
What is the CrossFit gym to you? Please post thoughts to Comments.
Work up to a 1RM for the day, then drop down 10-20 pounds and do 3 doubles.
5 Muscle Ups
10 Thrusters 115/75#