Regularly Learn and Play New Sports
In 2002, Greg Glassman summarized world class fitness in 100 words in a CrossFit Journal article.
Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.
That last sentence is perhaps the most crucial for finding a lasting love of fitness. PR’ing your back squat is great … but spending the day on the ski slopes with friends and family is without a doubt what it’s all about; using your fitness to enjoy what the world has to offer with great company. Fitness in the gym should translate to fitness in the real world. That is why a lot of us choose CrossFit; the functional movements translate to real life. Lateral box jump overs look an awful lot like skiing through some moguls. Doing chest flys on a machine don’t really translate to well, anything.
So why should adults focus on learning and playing new sports? We’re busy with work, shuttling kids to and from their own sports, and trying to keep the house in working order. Where is the time for sports and play? That’s the beautiful thing, it doesn’t have to be often. Even sporadic sport events give you a sense of satisfaction from your fitness. It is also about getting away from your phone notifications, reconnecting with yourself and perhaps some friends. It’s about “me time.” Being able to just pick up a sport, play, and have fun is not something to take for granted. You’ve earned it from all the hours you’ve put into the gym!
What are some examples of adult sports you might be wondering?
Skiing / Snowboarding
Adult rec hockey/soccer/any sport leagues
Running 5k’s, 10ks, half marathons, marathons
Playing any sport with your kids and grandkids
Baseball / Softball
Fast forward and think about retirement. What are healthy retirees involved in? Sports. They are golfing, skiing, playing tennis, etc. They are active, using their fitness, in a social environment. I know when I’m 80 years old I want to be on the tennis court or doing a triathlon. I cringe at being confined to a couch or retirement home.
The beautiful thing is no matter your age, its never to late to start improving your fitness and get back to sports. Find what makes you happy and use the love for that sport to keep you motivated and disciplined to going to the box and improving your level of fitness. I have many great memories from CrossFit, but I promise you I have many MORE memories from snowboarding, playing hockey, running marathons, and doing triathlons. That is why I CrossFit. To express my fitness while exploring the world and making memories with my friends and family.
Coach Rob with wife Denise and son Blake after Ironman Lake Placid 2017