Express your athleticism: Part 1/4 of "World Class Fitness in 100 Words"

October 2002 was when Greg Glassman developed what became known as "World Class Fitness in 100 Words". In it he categorized, better than any fitness professional before, what it means to be "fit" and, more importantly, how to achieve it.

A good question to ask would be: How many of us still adhere to this formula 15 years later?

Don't worry, you don't have to answer yet. Over the next 4 weeks we will be picking apart what is entailed in these 4 principles to better understand it ourselves but also to come to terms with our fitness and better understand it. 

Today we will be discussing what it means to "Regularly learn and play new sports." How many of us have tried a new sport/activity this past year? 

Let's start by saying attending CrossFit does not count as playing a new sport.

The original prescription for CrossFit is to attend 3 Days of exercise followed by 1 Day of rest, then 2 Days of exercise and 1 Day of rest again. How many of us on those rest days or after our scheduled CrossFit class are learning new sports or playing new sports? I will be the first to say that I have not done so in the past couple of years.

My original draw to CrossFit was to help improve my ability on the soccer field in college. I would workout 4-5x/week and when I wasn't exercising I would be practicing and refining my skills in soccer. There is no doubt in my mind that it helped me become a much better and more versatile soccer player but since those days I have not engaged in regularly learning and playing new sports.

Fast forward to 2017 and I was fortunate enough to experience what the principle truly means. This past weekend at the Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course I was reminded of the playgrounds I use to play on as a kid except these were a lot higher and lot more complicated. We were taught the fundamentals of how to use the materials connected to our harness so we were safe and it was the most fun of had in a very, very long time. What was I doing? I was "PLAYING." 

Lets define what it means to "play" and see what comes up.

play (plā/) verb

1. engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

play (pla/) noun

1. activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation, especially by children.

The latter definition of "play" as a noun hits it on the head with what we think when we hear the word "play". What I want you all to do is to instead hear the first definition. Hear enjoyment, hear laughter, hear tranquility and expression.

Why do we stop playing?  

For all different reasons you have convinced yourself you cannot "play" any longer: "I'm not quick like I once was", "I'll hurt myself", "I'm busy". Simply put, these excuses should not stop you. In fact these statements should motivate you to want to attain a greater level of "play". If you're not quick like you once were start working on your footwork or reaction speed by honing in on the olympic lifts where there is a fast connection between mind and body. If you were always hurting yourself in the past then work more on injury prevention through corrective exercises and making sure your body is structurally balanced. If you're busy you better start clearing off your schedule and allowing yourself to enjoy what it means to be human - enhance, engage and enjoy new experiences every day!

So, next time your friend asks you: "Hey, want to come try (crazy sounding activity/sport) this weekend?" Your answer better be: HELL YES!