Am I a CrossFitter Only at the Gym?

By Dr Christopher Passalacqua

Alright, you just did a great WOD, you may have even bested your last time doing this WOD, now what? You hang in the box for few minutes busting chops, congratulating your fellow athletes, and possibly eating a Paeliopack that JD just sold you for $8.74. Sip some water on the way home. Now the real time of life sets in. The WOD lasted 12:43 seconds and the rest of the day or night is ahead, now what?

Time after time are we caught up in the delight of what we just accomplished with a stunning workout and lack legitimate zeal for the rest of what makes up out daily activities; work, house chores, family time, meals, rest and shoveling the driveway.

The very fabric of our daily lives is actually what puts us in line for preparing for the gym and most certainly repairing from the gym. Vinny asked that I write a few thoughts down; we recently had one of many good conversations at the clinic after getting him adjusted. Everyone understands that when you work-out, your muscles and tissues are being broken down, the recovery starts within a 15 minute period of time and can last up to 48 hours. Most if not all, have experienced DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness when your muscles and soft tissues are filled with metabolic byproducts, namely lactic acid and they are sore. Still rebuilding what was broken down from the WOD. The most important 15 minutes to a workout is what you put in the system to cause the healing process to get its greatest potential. Lots of healthy sugars, some protein, some fat. Right on, but then breakfast comes along and some bizarre foods start getting dumped into the system, cereals, toast, oatmeal, etc.  Not a fresh fruit or veggie to be found, no lean meats or healthy fats anywhere. How about a mid morning snack? What are you eating for lunch, now the WOD is only a few hours away? You see, every meal has its purpose and its rewards. Every meal either causes us to move in a direction of health and well-being or it doesn’t. Pretty simple stuff; don’t even get me started on water consumption…(half your body weight on ounces pr day is a safe place to start, but I’m not getting started!)

How many hours of sleep are you getting, the greatest amount of HGH (human growth hormone) is secreted when we fall into deep sleep. There is research to suggest that teenagers would well to be getting 10-12 hours of sleep per night. How much are you getting as an athlete? How about a cat nap during the day? Are we burning the midnight oil getting that project from work done and forsaking a good night’s sleep? Staying up late to watch the news, “if it bleeds it leads?”  Sleep deprivation also causes our immune systems to falter, can’t shake that cold or sniffle?

What are we reading, filling our heads with, and hanging out with? There’s an old saying, “what you think about, you bring about, and you’re judged by the company you keep” so what and who are you thinking about? What you read has a lot to do with what you think about. Don’t get me wrong, I am addicted to reading probably more so than training. Retirement for me hold lots of hours in the library or now with my new Kindle. At home I read only fiction, but at the office I read a ton of journals and health related books. Constantly trying to learn something new or at least turn the kaleidoscope of information to see how it can apply to my patients or me…there is just too much to learn out there for the benefit of others and self to neglect the process of learning. I try and share some info with JD and Vinny and it’s refreshing to know they’ll read it, have read or are least open to hear about it. Constant learning away from the gym.

If we train to be more functionally fit, are we doing the everyday chores that make up a majority of our lives? Shoveling the snow and not snow blowing? Mowing the lawn in the summer, taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, dusting the house, laundry, cooking in stainless steel not Teflon, washing our cars, etc. How about family time? It’s what we are doing away from the gym that matters most, after all, the man that got me interested in power lifting once told me, if I wasn’t looking forward to the time away from the gym, I wasn’t working hard enough in the gym. He was right.

Simple rules for Crossfit apply to life away from the box, don’t cheat because you only cheat yourself, do your best at all your events, there are no second chances or do-overs, have a ton of fun, don’t compare yourself to others, be yourself , and don’t obsess over any particular WOD or exercise, it’s just not worth it. “Almost anyone can be successful or win when everything is going right, they are feeling good and have no problems. The real champions are the ones who can come through when they are really hurting, everything is going wrong and the sky is falling all around them. Whether it’s an injury, a tragedy in the family, a business failure, academic problems or any other kind of adversity, true champions seem to overcome and even thrive on the challenge, using the adversity to make them better.”    Wayne Boughman

Am I a Crossfitter away from the gym? I’d like to think so, at the end of the day life is a series of constantly varied functional movements executed at a high intensity, I’m acutely aware that most of life is ‘outside the box.’

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