Sunday, April 19, 2009
Why Do We Work Out So Hard and Why Do I Want This Job So Much?
After the workout today I was lying in a pool of my own sweat, my chest bouncing off the floor with each beat of a heart trying desperately to keep up with the demands of some really pissed off muscles. But I was happy - giddily so.
What’s that about? I had just voluntarily and for no good reason put myself through the most agonizingly painful thing I’ll experience today (hopefully). I should not be smiling. But there it was - grimace on the inhale, grin on the exhale. Have I finally met-conned myself into oxygen-depleted brain damage?
I wonder, why do I and all my CrossFit buddies do this to ourselves?
Are we just after a healthy body? That’s probably true, but by AMA standards we could reach optimal health by aping the knuckle-dragging troglodytes down at the local Y. There’s no need to go to CrossFit extremes just to keep our arteries clear.
Is Coach Glassman some sadistic bully and we his masochistic acolytes? As a rule I tend to avoid pain as much as the next person, and I’ve never met Coach, but from watching his videos he seems like a nice guy, so no.
Is it an attempt to maintain a fading youth? In my 45-year-old case, yes. But there are a lot of young wack jobs grinding away just as hard as me.
Is it the love of competition? I do love to compete, but who are my opponents? Some post with a cryptic name and a time to beat. Where’s the fun in that? The real joy in competition comes from looking your adversary in the eye and then stomping their poor excuse for an effort into the dust.
There’s the whole look-good-naked thing, but everyone wants to look good naked. We just seem to be the only ones doing anything about it.
I don’t know, maybe we are the final warning to this couch riding, soda slurping, chip shovelling, can’t go to the grocery store without a motorized cart society. Or more specifically to this rice cake eating, sport drink slurping, silly exercise machine riding, spot reducing, “I just want to tone, not get bulky” pseudo-health society.
Maybe we just realize that we’ve been gifted a precious set of flesh and blood tools and entrusted to make something strong and fast and hard with them. Maybe when the tale of my life is told I want to have spent more time squatting in the gym than squatting on the couch.
Which brings me to Why Do I Want This Job So Much?
I’ve been gifted a set of communication/creativity tools that I have been honing for most of my working life and now need to use for a better purpose than selling barbecue sauce and toilet paper. I need to help get the word out that people like my mom and dad can and should and would have fun exercising; that my cancer-survivor friend at work can walk without a cane again; that the kids in my small town school can compete without the well equipped gyms of their rivals. I want to help people get healthy and strong and I see no better vehicle than CrossFit to accomplish that.
Maybe the reason I work out so hard is the same reason I want this job - to show someone somewhere that they can live a healthier life. That they don’t have to live with the bulge in their belly and the ache in their back. And that if they try, really try, then they can be grinning/grimacing idiots lying on the floor like the rest of us.