To My CrossFit Friends: Try Adaptive Training for the Long Haul

Adaptive training is sustainable, body-wise, and freer compared to many manifestations of CrossFit. CrossFit has gems to offer, but I believe they were borrowed gems. Those gems were adopted from elsewhere and combined in a “Box,” or a “crucible.” The toughest gems came from elite forces training, that is, combat training. Do or die training. Still, part of military training, even elite military training, is readiness. And readiness involves recovery, and non-injury. If you’re injured, you’re not ready. If you don’t recover properly, injury risk spikes.

For some that may have temporary appeal, especially to younger people. Yet younger people lack experience, and seldom see conflicts of interest in business models that target them. Young people often appear non-conformist…all at the same time in the same way. It is a vulnerable time. And some people are lonely. Lonely as hell. The comradeship they lack they may seek in an intense, physical, shared experience. For that reason, they are less likely to see those conflicts of interest lurking.

Let’s think outside the Box a bit. What is a healthy versus unhealthy gift of individual power to a culture or authority for mind-body training? Some CrossFit groups may dial-in a healthy balance in their approach, especially after recent controversy. On the other hand, there are the other reports:

Getting Fit Even If It Kills You

CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret

Idea Fit Discussion

Navy Times

How CrossFit Forges Elite Failure

And you can Google the rest of the negatives, of which there are many.

On the other hand, you will also find the positives and Google them too. Any CrossFit member or gym owner will be more than happy to tell you the positives. Yet others will say if you aren’t committed, they don’t want you. And I’d say you should be ready to respond with a laugh at that manipulation game. Just remember, not every useful wonder of chemistry is good to mix at the same time. You can get hurt or die from the ensuing explosion or gaseous poisoning. True it is also of training. Excesses are not consistent with durable endurance or sustainable fitness, and therefore excesses in training are not always consistent with readiness.

Military, sport, art, and work readiness is about fitness and conditioning, but training isn’t about getting injured, it is about proofing against it when the real thing trained for is going on. Studies in stress inoculation make it just as much about mindset, adaptive sleeping, recovery, and rewiring after traumatic experiences. The stresses are measured and periodized¬†by time of exposure and response during training. Check out this summary of researched-supported points in the work of Lt. Col. David Grossman, specifically:

Section three describes the mental attitude necessary to be a warrior. The book goes into greater detail about stress inoculation and its importance to effective, realistic training. There are also some important training principles outlined.

Principle 1: Never “Kill” a Warrior in Training. Learners are expected to complete a scenario even if hit, stabbed or shot. As a trainer, tell them, “You’re not dead until I tell you you’re dead!” Don’t give up, always win.

Principle 2: Try to Never Send a Loser off Your Training Site. Have your participants go through a scenario as many times as necessary in order to have them succeed. Scenarios designed to make the trainee look foolish or fail just prove that the training designers are jerks.

Principle 3: As a Trainer, Never Talk Trash about Your Students. Don’t ridicule or try to tell funny stories about the last trainee who tried to complete your scenario. Your role as a trainer/leader is not only to pass along knowledge but also to inspire. You cannot do this when you are not respected. If criticism is to be given, give it in private. If praise is warranted, do so publicly.

I’m sure this could include: don’t give Rhapdo to your trainees. Don’t injure your troops in training so they are disabled for the real fight.

But are you training for combat? It is as much about mindset, and handling what your body does. Listen:

LTC David Grossman interview.

So to some extent CrossFit, run by those who are trained coaches, can achieve some of these training goals. Yet not everyone is training to be a warrior any more than every tool in a toolbox is a hammer. However, even military training leaves boot camp behind and graduates into a more sophisticated, measured, and periodized experience over time. It mixes individual control with leadership. Most individual civilians who are training for combat don’t have the rest of the training. They are not warriors per-se, but want to be ready for what this society teaches them to fear — which is about everything. Which begs the question: should training be motivated by fear? Or should training be inspired by the commitment to master fear?

For now, let’s discuss.

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Part II Internal: What Injury Did

copy-cropped-img_6270-e13762827104731.jpgAt launch, I was driven. I’d made the twisty-turning, detoured road to the trail head at about 10,600 feet. I started briskly, moving with intent to make a fast outing of it. I felt good. I was mildly irritated with the many distractions that had me coming out for an afternoon interval hike and run. Time is scarce these days.

I slipped, caught myself, and hurt my foot. See my previous post for that story and what it did externally.

Afterward, I was exasperated, scorning the decisions of fate.

Then I asked myself: what am I so attached to that I am upset about this?

As I tenderly hiked and occasionally ran along another six miles, I thought about that.

Is being “driven” healthy? Slaves are driven. Oxen are driven. Unloved horses are driven.

And yet, I’d been driving myself.

The injury stopped that with punctuation.

I was attached to ownership of myself, my day, my training, my business, my goals, my aspirations, and my expectations. All mine in Me-Myself-and-I-Ville. Forget my context, my purposes, what I was doing all of this for, and what I have dedicated myself to that is beyond me.

Yes. Subtly through growing impatience with delay after delay getting out there, I became more the slave driver. The Owner of everything. The hard-to-please judge of every little thing and how it was going. I allowed frustration to turn my day into a driven drought.

Then I hurt my foot and arrived at what I needed to do.

Let go and move, hike, and run free.

Boston: Prayers and Thoughts

Is it time to play hardball again?
–Photo linked from 9 News

Today terrorists (of whatever ilk or crazy ideology) took another shot at American freedom by bombing the Boston Marathon.

None of us will quit on freedom, not now, not ever. We love America and our fellow Americans. Maybe you know someone who hates or talks-up hating this wonderful country. There are too many blaming the US for defending itself after 1,000 times the people killed in Boston were killed on 9-11-01. One innocent life is too many.

Prayers tonight from here go out for the runners, families, bystanders, and people whose lives were changed forever today.