Many men and women greater than I have done this topic justice in the past, but I’d argue that it is still a neglected concept in CrossFit. We all have answered the question, “What is fitness?” for ourselves. We all have constantly-varied our ways to new heights, but I think we are, as a community, still coming into our own in the realm of what the expression of this newfound fitness looks like.
Sure, we know CrossFit is making us faster, stronger, more flexible, etc. Furthermore, there’s no real mystery as to what we can do. It only takes one look back at our training logs to see what we can front squat five times and how fast we can cover 5 kilometers on foot.
But, is that it?
I’d argue that the details of our capacity as athletes are impressive, but they are trumped by our universal ability to access it. You see, as folks like Greg Amundson and Kelly Starrett have much better articulated, we are training for a state of readiness. In Starrett’s example, we can, like a leopard, access our full potential at a moment’s notice. This miracle of nature and expression of human potential is primed and prepped by the “unknown and unknowable” nature of our training.
Greg Amundson often expands on this as well in pointing out the obvious parallels of a general physical preparedness program like CrossFit and the real world. In his words, this “ready state” is a valuable yield of the CrossFit harvest. And it’s the nature of our lives that makes this valuable. We don’t know what life will throw at us; CrossFit keeps us ready for that.
Think about the life of a police officer or a mountain biker and the varied demands of their activities. A “ready state” of preparedness to endure long efforts, short bursts of strength and power, sustained energy levels and/or coordination while managing an external load is invaluable.
So, yes — keep filling your workout log with quality training. Don’t forget, however, that we aren’t doing this just to get better at exercising. You’re turning on your own version of “ready state,” and I’d argue that that is the best tool in your arsenal, CrossFitters.
— Logan Gelbrich