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JUNE 29, 2019

Blog Post #20 Waves and Long-Term Fitness

I have been wanting to share with people what it is about CrossFit that makes me want to do it every day which is why I’ve pretty much done all the things I currently do like start a gym, workout, write, work on myself, my relationships, learn new skills, teach my son, blah, blah, blah; I think you get the idea.  At one point, I was going to make a cartoon with the funky stick people that they use in CrossFit to explain exercises but I haven’t really fleshed that idea out yet so I am going to do what I know I can and explain it in my own words using someone else’s analogue that was taught to me. Ben Bergeron breaks it down very simply in a talk he gave on programming, the first thing he mentioned which I learned the hard way my first two years of Crossfit was that programming does not  make the culture. I thought when I first got started what most people thought, if I follow the programming I’m going to have a six pack and be able to lift heavy weights really fast, like I said I was not always this bright intelligent ray of sunshine who speaks to you now. However, if you have a good coach that has the well-being of his members in mind there is no such thing as bad programming you just have to remember to keep your programming in line with our mission statement.  As a gym our mission statement states, CrossFit Gahanna creates a family focused environment for every member's individual fitness journey, if you were wondering. So we have to think of a few things such as short term versus long term, and waves.

If you consider your own fitness journey I am sure you can think of times when you were fit and active and times when you were not so fit and active, as we get older maybe we’ve gone in and out of these “waves” multiple times and we’ve struggled to stay in them for any number of reasons what I want you to think about for now is why those waves exist and what our mindset should be when we are in these waves.  The first wave is neurological and short term, when you start anything new we get a rush and we want to do it forever because it’s so fun and new and exciting and without a doubt it’s not going to last because it’s fun an new and exciting. Most people never get out of this stage, they expect everything to always be fun and always be exciting so they jump from shiny new thing to shiny new thing always chasing that high they get when they start something new.  Does that sound like anything else? Drug addicts! Yes! I’m glad you said that because it is the exact same thing and if you are stuck in this addiction to the first wave you have a problem, and we all know the first step to fixing any problem is to admit that we have one. If you find yourself as a first waver in the fitness realm don’t worry the majority of the world is in the same boat which is why CrossFit hasn’t saved the world yet and given people an answer to this simple problem that we could all be a little happier if we just trained not harder but smarter.  I could go on and tell you that CrossFit gyms should be the Starbuck’s of the fitness world if people were better informed about health and fitness and the people that fill our gyms are not crazy for doing CrossFit they are informed and they know what they do today no matter how hard and difficult it might seem is going to make their life better tomorrow. Ok! To review, fitness comes in waves and we are most likely stuck in the first wave where we are excited and motivated to … fill in the blank for what reasons you have to join any gym, or do any type of physical activity the odds of it being one of these are very likely.

-Look better naked

-Be more fit

-Look better

-Lose weight

-Become a better athlete


The Second wave, in Crossfit they describe the programming as GPP or General Physical Preparedness which is loosely defined as being prepared for the known and the unknowable.  The second wave is GPP and long term, going from the first wave to the second wave we have adapted to a certain level of fitness or put another way we have become a better athlete and if we stay on the path we will look better naked, be more fit, or lose weight it’s just going to take time which is why so many people quit or try something new during this wave because the excitement doesn’t come as easy or you are just bored like you were as a kid when the sport or activity was no longer about just having fun you actually had to put in work to get better or possibly enjoy what you were doing and what do most of us do when this happens? Quit! Yeah! I said we quit.  I remember when I was a soccer coach and I loved it but once it became more about the grind and more about the politics of being a coach I didn’t love it any more and I quit because I was not willing to take the next step to become a better coach I was not willing to play the game so I quit and I never thought twice about it because I was an adult and I was not willing to do what it took to go to the next level so I moved on to the next thing. I will never say that quitting is bad because for some people it is exactly the right thing to do, I was a soccer coach for five years before decided to quit and the biggest reason for me was because the lifestyle sucked, I was getting fat and out of shape and I would continue to do so if I wanted to be a better soccer coach and that wasn’t for me but I stuck it out and tried to make it work for five years before I knew without a doubt that my life was going in a different direction.  The point here is you have to look deeper into things before you make a decision and those decisions should never be made because your emotions or feelings are aggressively positive or negative. The best advice I can give you is make sure you can see yourself doing this every day, Yes Every day! I couldn’t see myself sitting at a desk for 8 hours then spending a few hours on the soccer field, and then spending even more time at the office or driving to recruit. I lived it for a long time but I couldn’t see myself doing it every day for the rest of my life so I had to evaluate what was important to me and make a change. The second wave is where we find out who we are and who we want to be, it’s not when things get boring or the fun ends it’s where the real work begins and it’s also where we will spend most of our life once we find that thing we like doing, think of your career especially if you have been in it for awhile you probably had a similar experience to mine weather you quit or you are still in it, you have chosen to do that job every day and there are skills you’ve learned, people you work with and experiences you’ve had that make that job something you have chosen to do every day and I would argue your physical fitness should follow the same path.  If you can stick with the second wave and most of us should, you will watch yourself grow as a person and an athlete to do things you’ve probably never even thought were possible and that if you are willing to put in the work can be very exciting. This is what we should strive for in a fitness program and with our own individual fitness journey. It’s going to be a long road ahead, but we have the choice to complain every step of the way or embrace the journey of becoming a master at walking.

I bet you thought I was finished, that’s right there is a third wave, the third wave is the three-headed monster and short-term.  Going from the second wave to the third wave is something a lot of us try but not everyone succeeds in accomplishing because again we have a hard time swallowing two very large pills, one being that this is what we have to do every day and two being that this is without a doubt short term and not something you will be able to continue every day for the rest of your life.  Sounds contradictory doesn’t it? Well think about it this way sports have seasons for a reason, even the most competitive person cannot compete every day and if we are in the third wave we have to know what season we are in and when to push but more important when to recover both the body and the mind. The third wave is sport specific, you have to train harder and build yourself up to compete at the highest level and that is something that is very short-term but that doesn’t mean it is unattainable for the majority of us maybe our competition is to finish a marathon we know that we are going to train harder and longer leading up to the competition than we will once we finish the race.  Whatever your season, whatever your goal I would suggest everyone has a time in their life where they are in-seaon training for a specific purpose. Now most people in the CrossFit world say that we are training for old age because we want to be kickass grandparents but leading up to that I am sure we all have a few bucket list items we want to check off the list or at least give us something to tell the grandkids about. Just some food for thought I hope this article helps you in some way in your own fitness journey.

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