Fitness Is… A Call to Arms
The purpose of working on our fitness is to improve our health & wellbeing, and to better interact with our physical environment: to be better movers. Our success in this pursuit affects not only the physical aspects of our wellbeing but aids in the development of our mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual wellbeing. Our improved fitness becomes a catalyst for change that extend well beyond the gym.
For decades the term “fitness” has been associated with a mix of low intensity, single joint exercises, with a blend of long, hum-drum, cardio sessions, performed alone among a sea of seemingly isolated individuals. This view of fitness is the result of the “Globo-Gym” (an overly crowded wasteland of people practicing machine based movement that is fully void of community), and the result of this approach to fitness has been boredom and poor results. The challenge going forward is: can we, as a global community, work towards a common goal of seeking a more effective approach to fitness?
CrossFit has introduced a definition of fitness that is broad, general, and inclusive; a fitness that works to best prepare athletes for any physical contingency—not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable. This view of fitness has no restrictions based on age or race. It demands the same effort, the same toil, the same sacrifice by all, to which we in the CrossFit community are all totally committed. This view of fitness seeks to teach youth proper movement patterns; this view of fitness is for the Average Joe who is relearning how to move efficiently after years of sedentary activity; this view of fitness continues to improve our health so that even as we enter in our more “advanced years” we can be in the best shape of our lives.
This view of fitness is hard, it is a confirmation of the idea that only through “sweat equity”—only through our resolve to give full effort—are we rewarded. In this view, fitness is neither a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, or a finished work. It is a global network of people and ideas; it is constantly evolving & growing, constantly being tested and re-forged, continually expanded by new information and the daring individuals who seek to challenge the status quo. This view of fitness is a realization that our capacity for fitness is limited only by our imagination—and by the breadth and depth of the effort we put into it.
Our generation has been appointed by history with the task of overcoming almost insurmountable health problems: diabetes, obesity, heart disease; and societal habits that lead us to dysfunction with sedentary lives and cheap, processed, and subsidized foods. It has been said that our health care system is really a “sickness maintenance system”. We must deal with these problems and forge a new conception of health & wellness, we must learn embodiment with our food, our rest, our very notion of movement. We must build habits to continually improve these aspects of our health as means to living and doing well.
We have the power to strive for this repurposed view of fitness by creating new habits and building relationships with individuals who become our allies in this quest, and, in doing so we may find new strengths previously unknown to us. Will you join in the battle to redefine fitness? To prove that fitness is an integral part of a rich and purposeful life?
There are those timid souls that say this battle cannot be won, that say we are condemned to our habits, to our body types, to the diseases of civilization; that we do not have the will nor the resources to change. I do not believe this to be true. We have the power to shape our future. But it will require perseverance, and dedication to our purpose. So let us from this moment begin to work towards a new idea of fitness so that in the future man will look back and say, it was then, after a long and weary way that our society turned from ease of living to live deliberately, to prosper by our efforts—to enjoy a life of health and wellness.