Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What's in this Kool-Aid anyway?



There is a lot of lingo in Crossfit. One piece of jargon, is “drinking the Kool-Aid.” This is a reference to the fact the Crossfitter’s quickly become strong advocates for the method, seem to be addicted to working out and that they often proselytize to everyone about the program or at least just talk about it all the time. Although the jargon actually stems from the 1978 mass suicide of Jim Jones followers who drank poisoned Flavor-Aid (generic Kool-Aid, I guess he wanted to save money), CrossFit is clearly not a cult. But Crossfit does create a kind of passion in its members that frankly can be considered “over-the-top” by outsiders.

If you know me, than you know I have definitely drank the Kool-Aid. Ok so maybe I have chugged it like I’m at a frat party, I can admit it! I talk to everyone I know about Crossfit. If they express any interest at all, I  send them the link to the affiliate near them ASAP and at least 75% of my Facebook status updates are Crossfit related these days. I work out like it’s my job, at the very least 3x a week. If two days pass without me doing the WOD(work out of the day), I miss it. And Although I know that there are all kinds of effective fitness methods and that Crossfit is not for everyone, I cannot help but feel the Crossfit method is superior to most. I am clearly not alone in my passion. All you have to do is scroll through the status updates of other Crossfitters on facebook to confirm that.

The Crossfit Kool-Aid is clearly an intoxicating drink. But why?? Why does it cause an intense enthusiasm for doing the very thing that a majority of the population only does (or thinks about doing) because they feel like they “have to” or “need-to?” I think we have to assume that this Kool-Aid is spiked. I can only take a guess at what mine is spiked with, perhaps others crossfitters get a different mix.  The Kool-Aid that is served up at my box (Aimee & Jason mix a kick ass cocktail!) is awesome. If I were to take my best guess at what it is that makes the Kool-Aid so damn intoxicating (for me), I would have to say it is four main things: Community, Empowerment, Effectiveness & Presence. Let me break those own.

Community - Crossfit is known for not being just a methodology or a place to work out but rather a community. The most basic definition of community is “a group of people interacting.’ At CrossfitKoP I have experienced the interacting that creates it’s community. In fact my first hand accounts are too many to tell. I could tell you about the lumberjack 20 WOD. The guy who finished first ran with me on my last 400m out of seven, despite the fact he said he could not feel his legs. Or I could tell you about the time the next class stopped to cheer me on to accomplish a 19inch box jump (I could only do about 7 inches a few short months ago.) Or I could let you know that during each and every workout there are people cheering me on and believing in my ability to do my best.

Empowerment: I have received an amazing amount of empowerment from Crossfit. Being able to finish Crossfit workouts that didn’t seem possible, empowers me to know how strong I am and in my ability to preserver. It not only empowers me in my physical strength and perseverance but also in those abilities in all areas in my life.

Effectiveness: This is the simplest ingredient, but most important. The CrossFit methodology WORKS. In a little over three months. I have the best body, I have ever had. I have a physical stamina I have never have known. I am stronger and healthier than I have ever been.

Presence: I actual believe this is this ingredient that can be the most subtle in the concoction, like the nicotine in a ciggeratte. When I am smack dab in a WOD, pushing my body to its limits, there is nothing in front of me but the next rep. My mind is quiet; I am completely present in the moment. I believe that experiencing the present moment, is the most basic and enjoyable experiences we have as humans. When we find something that takes us there, we love it. We want more of it. This is the part of crossfit that keeps me coming back more than anything else they put in my drink. For me however, I don’t return to crossfit each time to get just another taste of the present moment. I use Crossfit as a way to practice the present moment. The practice can help me with my ultimate goal, which is to live my entire life being present in each and every moment.

So am I and my Crossfit friends "over-the-top" (remember that movie?) in our enthusiam for Crossfit? Hell yeah we are!  How many times in life do you find things that truly make you feel passionate to point that you want to share it with the world?  These rare occurances deserve our full embrace.  And if all of my passion, gets someone else interested in Crossfit, and it changes their life like it has mine....then it is TOTALLY WORTH IT! 

Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug!  LOL!

Quotes:

“Love yourself as you are. Stop believing your life will be perfect if you are thin. Don’t weigh yourself. Don’t diet. Seek ways to lead a balanced life. Enjoy food. Find a physical activity you love to do. Never compare your appearance to someone else. Become media savvy and literate. Embrace size, gender, age and cultural diversity. Recognize your absolute uniqueness.”


Glimpses of love and joy or brief moments of deep peace are possible whenever a gap occurs in the stream of thought. For most people, such gaps happen rarely and only accidentally, in moments when the mind is rendered "speechless," sometimes triggered by great beauty, extreme physical exertion, or even great danger. Suddenly, there is inner stillness. And within that stillness there is a subtle but intense joy, there is love, there is peace.
Ekhart Tolle
The Power of Now


Links:

 
 
P.S.
 
I am excited to announce that I will be sharing with you a series of posts of Q & As each with a different "Radical Woman."   The series started with RADICAL Cindy Handler (even though I didn't know it at the time- read Cindy's Q&A.)  Through there own self discovery, these women are empowering others.  I honored to bring you their stories of their own brand of Radical Hateloss.  If you know a RADICAL Woman that would share her story, please send me an email letgobefree@comcast.net.

I am also delighted to tell you that I accomplished one of my goal for 2010 (thats right 2010 not 2009) of jogging 800m on Christmas Day! So for 2010 I'm gonna up my goal to 1 mile!

4 comments:

haladelphia said...

I agree with a lot of what you say... but I do have a problem with your analysis 'I cannot help but feel the Crossfit method is superior to most.' Really, there are a lot of tremendous great excercise programs out there. The important thing is to find one that is right for yourself. I know a lot of people that love their various training programs. And that is the important part. Personally, I have learned that crossfit is great for YOU... it is not great for ME (as I am still nursing an injury from my first Crossfit WOD 2 months ago. There are a lot of excercises that are part of the WOD's that many fitness experts would not consider healthy for anybody to do unless they are very experienced with that excercise.

Stephanie Vincent said...

Thanks Hal for the comment! I guess I misscommunicated a bit with that line. I do beleive as in all thngs different things are for different people. Crossfit is NOT even close to being the ONLY way. There is never one way, for anything. I do feel that Crossfit can offer things that most other gyms cannot, like a communtity, variety and training to do things like olympic lifting which most of us would never try, otherwise. The results are also impressive, but they do come with risks. I am so greatful you came that day (and i am sorry you have an injury from it :-( ) There is supposed to be training before crossfitting. I went to a fundementals class first. Usually new comers are encouraged even forced to scale workouts even after fundementals. The owner was not there the day you were, and she may have advised differently than the coaches who were. Unfortuantly crossfit affiliates hold different standards about this. This is a point of contention with the organization at the moment.

I want you to know that it is important to me not to be a FUNDAMENTALIST about anything. Your WRONG, I'm RIGHT thinking is never from a place of presence and love. I crossfit because it works for me...and I am willing to introduce it to others, because i know it might be the thing that works for them too.

Thanks Hal for being in my life. its my turn, to come work out with you....when and where???

Anonymous said...

Hmm I remember being in a class with Hal a few months ago. The coaches there actually recommended that Hal scale the workout... but Steph was pushing him, and Hal wanted to do the full thing. There were a few other newcomers in the class who did scale... and did not get hurt. All that being said... I'm sorry you're hurt Hal!

Stephanie Vincent said...

Hello Anonoymous... Without a doubt the coaches that day did encourage the new comers (icluding hal) to scale the work out. I now see how my words could be taken offensive to the coaches that were there that day. They were not intended to be. I love all my KOP coaches! They are competent & knowledgable...and i so appreciate each of you.

I can without a doubt tell you I would now encourage anyone new to scale. (while also pushing them to their potential). I LOVE crossfit and want any experience my friends have with it to be as positive as possbile, regardless of wether they actually like it or not after trying it.