“What some people call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn’t much better than tedious disease.”
-George Dennison Prentice in 1860
While this may seem an odd sentiment to be expressed by the owner/coach of a CrossFit gym, I hope it explains, in some small way, my personal philosophy about the need for balance in all areas of life. Exercise and diet are the absolute cornerstones to a good life, however, in a good life, we also require a couple of other cornerstones to complete it.
Mind and spirit are the others and how we nurture these is as important as anything we will ever do in the box. Recognizing the “whys” of our fitness goals is a good first step. By being aware of what motivates and drives us to suffer on some level during a tough WOD, is vital to actually having it mean something. The “whys” are as different as people are, but vital to every one of us. Exercise is a beginning, not an end. Being good at box jumps for the sake of being good at box jumps is kind of stupid to me. Box jumps suck and cannot stand alone as motivation to me. Understanding how a higher fitness level translates into a higher quality of life is the key message here. So this week, be mindful of YOUR “why”. Exercise is meant to improve and supplement a better life. Only in a few, very perverse people does it define a better life. We all define our lives differently, but I believe that the relative amount of joy and happiness we have and can share is or should be a standard metric in making these evaluations.
Some days, the WOD is not much fun. It is important to remember what you’re working FOR. And it is equally important that many things more important than your FRAN time define your life. Be aware of these and nurture these things even if they include a late night spent with friends laughing and eating and/or drinking too much. Enjoy the balance of a banana split once in a while and know that it is a fine reward for your hard work. You deserve all good things that happen and have zero reason to feel bad about a reward for your efforts. Balance is the key. Keep it all in perspective. Work hard, but play and enjoy all of it!!! That’s the point. All else is pretty meaningless.