I sat down with a friend from the gym that I train at and at one point asked her “why do you show up and workout really hard?”
She replied “I found that it’s just what I need to do. It sucks, but we need it.” I couldn’t agree with her more.
I’ve been thinking about my training a lot lately. Am I really stronger than at other points in my life? Is the training doing what I want for me? Why do I get up really early in the morning and push myself really really hard, often at unpleasant tasks on a regular basis? I have a sneaking suspicion that my family and some friends think I may be nuts. I look at the training I do in the gym and believe in its quality, and am excited about how it makes me feel. I’m seeing that my gym training correlates well to my outdoor activities, and I enjoy them more because of it. Beyond being physically stronger, the training I have been doing has made me mentally stronger, and in some sense, spiritually stronger. I haven’t been climbing a lot lately, but when I’ve climbed, I’m climbing stronger than ever, and I like it. I’m pushing harder and doing more, but it doesn’t feel that much harder. I look and feel great, and feel like I am investing in my future long term health. All things that validate my training.
But with all that said, there’s an underlying question. My friend hit it on the head- she and I, and the people we train with, we need this- why? The work we do in the gym is unpleasant- many people would look at the work done and wouldn’t be interested in participating. None of us are exceptionally strong, none of us are sponsored athletes, and frankly, few if any of us would really measure up on the grand scale of true elite fitness. And yet, most always, we all get out of bed well before the workday starts to show up to a cold box to give the best we have to the tasks at hand. I feel lucky to train with a group of people that are willing to push really hard. Crossfit seems to drive this in a large group of people, but I would venture to guess that our sessions are even on the far end of the normal spectrum of crossfit athletes. The exercises are not necessarily the difference- the participants and the coaching are the unusual part. Coaches that are willing to put a brutal workout on the board, and a group of people that are willing to pursue the perscription with exceptional tenacity. We push each other, we inspire each other, and we suffer with each other. For those of us who truly feel we ‘need’ this, the need is a part of who we are, and the need itself may just be reason enough.
To the 5:30am crew at Crossfit Fort Vancouver- thank you, I am really going to miss our sessions together. I will remember them as I train, climb, and travel this year.
“Right now, just go be you- do whatever it is that you need to do to just be you.” (Soren Spies)