“If I were to wish for anything I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of what can be, for the eye, which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never.”—Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or (via nightmarebrunette)
I think advertising and the world created in the fashion magazines are about desire, ever-inflating, ever-more-florid desire, and desire is the opposite of satisfaction. It’s like rubbing, rubbing, rubbing and never having an orgasm. It’s ideally meant for people who don’t know how to be satisfied. My thoughts about the porn industry are similar; in a way, everything gets addressed in porn — love, hate, contempt, neediness, violence, tenderness, you name it, it’s probably in there someplace. But it has that same repetitive, numb, obsessive quality that ads do.
“World-Class Fitness in 100 Words: (1) Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. (2) Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. (3) Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. (4) Regularly learn and play new sports.”—Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, "What Is Fitness?"
“One of the things in my own life is, I feel like sometimes there’s a kind of high you can get from being so busy and so fast-moving, and that is in its own way a form of addiction. This warp-speed efficiency can be oppressive. When you think of all the things you can accomplish in a day — are you leaving out the central thing you should be focusing on? Like looking at your child, sitting with your child and operating on the speed they operate on? Too many parents try to make kids super-achievers rather than just sitting with them, looking at them.”
Whenever crossfit.com posts the Workout of the Day (WOD), they will write “compare to _____” and hyperlink to the previous time that workout occurred. Generally, I do the same thing but link to our blog.
If you click on that hyperlinked “070202” you see above, you’ll go back in time to the first full month during which our (then) tiny little gym was in existence in its own right, as opposed to being more of an idea than its own physical entity.
CrossFit NYC started out as workouts in Central Park and in gyms that would let Josh, Court and Keith rent out a couple hours a week to teach their athletes. This usually would last for a month or two until they’d get kicked out for the supposed disruptiveness of their workouts. What they were really disrupting was the standard corporate fitness protocols that promote supposed “safety” over actual tough workouts. (Not the safety of the athletes, mind you, but the safety of said gyms from legal liability.)
By 070202, Black Box Version 1.0 had recently opened its doors at 1026 Sixth Avenue in the grungy garment district of midtown Manhattan. I myself came by for my first class at the Box just days later. It was a lunchtime WOD with Keith. I had arrived early and sat and chatted with him while a couple other members filed in. When Keith learned I was a trainer, he said, “Oh, yeah, we had a couple trainers in here the other day. They couldn’t do push-ups.” I knew I had push-ups and even had some pull-ups (dead hang—had no clue how to kip yet); nevertheless, I was nervous to live up to what this crossfit tough guy considered “good enough” from someone who wore the label “personal trainer.”
Half way through the WOD he had created for that day (we weren’t yet following crossfit.com WODs), I wondered if I could finish in a timely fashion. When I somehow managed to do so, I knew that I wanted to train at the Black Box to become a better athlete and a better coach. From that day forward, I’ve been proud to be a part of CrossFit NYC.
So if you’re new to the Black Box, know that in a year or two from now, you’ll see a “compare to ______” that dates back to when you first joined the party. Seeing that “compare to” date might make you reflect on how far you’ve come as a crossfitter—might make you think about how much further you need to go.
Your progress won’t always be linear, and in fact I strongly suggest you try to hold onto beginner’s mind as much as possible, because CrossFit always finds a way to humble you. But it will also make you proud when you least expect it.
The interesting thing is that everybody really already knows this, because there are few examples in life that don’t follow the basic rules of the universe, the ones that dictate the behavior of everything.
One of the most basic of those rules is that, with the exception of the occasional lottery winner, you pretty much get out of an effort what you put into it. We’re all quite familiar with this reality, although we are often willing to believe people who tell us otherwise, about exercise and about life.
The sooner everybody—both halves of the population—accepts the fact that effective exercise is more like training for athletics and less like lying around on the floor, more about performance and less about appearance, the sooner it will be understood that women really don’t need their own figure salon.
“"Eating with the fullest pleasure—pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance—is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living from mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend." —Wendell Berry”—came across this quote in Michael Pollan’s most-excellent In Defense of Food