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I was running on my treadmill, watching ESPN a few weeks back and was lucky enough to see the first round of the 2012 Crossfit Games, sponsored by Reebok.  I’m a huge sports fan and was immediately drawn to the method by which athletes qualify (e.g. global, regional workouts to qualify, and I believe they went from about 70,000 to a final 50 cross-fitters to compete in the games).  These supreme athletes don’t know which events are coming up, so they may have 24 hour notice that they are going to compete in a triathlon, can show up to an event that would have them compete in a graduated (ladder) dead lifting hundreds of pounds, or they could be doing some combination of pull-ups, sprints, etc.  Watching the competition, you can’t help marvel at the fitness level of these individuals, the fact that they are all “functionally fit” (their muscle tone, shape, etc. looks healthy and allows them to dominate multiple challenges/environments), and the fact that they’re having a blast while doing it.  Although I’m a bit slow, watching the competition, which is now a “record series” on TiVo in my household, it all started to come together and make sense to me.

Over the past year I have competed in 3 Tough Mudders, which are one of my favorite things to do.  During those “mudders”, I have seen a large number of people (individuals and part of teams) with some reference to crossfit on their clothing.  I thought that this was a brand or a certain chain of gym, bootcamp or other fitness company.   I realized that somewhere above the branding, marketing and quick money to be made with P90X, the Insanity Workout, and other compressed, modular based fitness packages to kick-start a heightened level of fitness (and these workouts can be very effective by the way), is Crossfit.  There is a brand, but Crossfit seems more about a goal, movement, mindset and way of life than a brand.  I personally think Crossfit signals a new era in physical fitness, and am hoping that it takes off and changes how people get and stay healthy.

Here are a few resources for you to learn a bit more about Crossfit.

Find out more via the Crossfit Community, which defines Crossfit as “An evidence-based fitness program, where fitness is the ability to do real work.”  You can even watch their “What is Crossfit?” video:

Check out the Crossfit Games on ESPN:

Check out the article by Jenna Bergon, in Prevention that specifies 8 Reasons Boomers Should Try Cross Fit.  I’m not a “Boomer”, but the 8 reasons are good to consider anyway.  Summary follows.

  1. You Can Start At Zero
  2. You’ll Skyrocket Your Metabolism
  3. You’ll Tone All Over (But Don’t Have to Get Bulky)
  4. You Can Start Slow
  5. It Will Give A Boost To Your Social Life
  6. You’ll Become a Better Parent
  7. It Keeps Joints Happy
  8. You’ll Reduce Your Risk of Injury

If you’ve read my blog before, I’m not striving to be the worlds greatest athlete, nor most fit individual.  I am striving to continually take small steps that will lead to a healthier, happier, longer life.  I’m hoping the scalable nature, variety of challenges/activities, and community aspects of Crossfit will help more people find 20 minutes a day to do something good for themselves.

Small steps add up!