This week, to honor the launch of Reebok, our resident G.I. Joe (and Director of Business Development), Eric Janssen, is doing some guest blogging. Reebok is the main sponsor of the sensational and extraordinarily difficult 2012 CrossFit Games.
My personal fitness goals have evolved over the years. In a decade I’ve gone from ‘a little on the husky side’, to ‘you look like Brian Urlacher’, to ‘you look hungry’, and back again. My body has been in a constant state of change, which seems to be a direct reflection of the amount of time that I devote to thinking, acting, and being fit.
My fitness journey started with a goal of running a half-marathon in high school. In the past I’d been on a quest to ‘bulk’ (eat) as much as I could in order to advance my aspiring (started and ended in high school) football career (hobby). Running long distance was eye opening. I was out of shape, poorly conditioned, and realized I had awful flexibility and mobility. Running a marathon (half) was the first time that I truly set a fitness goal for myself, but ‘thinking’ fit by setting fitness goals is something that I’ve found immensely helpful on my fitness journey (battle). Thinking fit requires you to actively set goals and think about why you’re going to the gym on a Friday night, or running 5 miles on a Sunday morning.
Fit is a frame of mind, not an appearance. Fit is what makes you choose the grilled chicken sandwich over the burger and fries. It’s a reason to set the alarm an hour earlier, and run a mile longer. Fitness goals are nothing unless you put words into action.
Acting fit has come in a number of different forms for me. When I was a Lecturer I had the flexibility and freedom to go to the gym 5-6 days a week to achieve my ‘look like an NFL linebacker goal. As I began to travel more frequently, I needed to shift my training mindset and find more activities/workouts that I could do in shorter sessions. Enter Crossfit. Crossfit is the perfect mix of cardiovascular activity (which I dread), and strength training all wrapped up into a one-hour session. The sessions that you pre-register for ensure accountability (don’t miss or else you get publicly humiliated @CrossfitNYC), structure, and flexibility to modify the workouts and even do them on the road! You’re encouraged to write down your workouts, so that you tangibly see yourself getting stronger week by week.
Fit, as a definition is in the eye of the beholder. To me, working out used to be a means to an end – I lift heavy weight, I get bigger/stronger. I realized that not only is ‘bigger/stronger’ vague, it also wasn’t sustainable for my lifestyle (try eating 5-6 meals a day when you’re living out of a hotel for five nights a week). Today, ‘fit’ is a lifestyle. I do crossfit because I enjoy the workouts, I like goal setting and achievement, and I love the competitive nature of the ‘sport’ (yea I said it). My eating habits, and workout routine support my lifestyle – and this lifestyle is sustainable. This isn’t a ‘fad diet’, or ‘eating plan’ – this is the life that I chose to live and my eating and exercise habits support that lifestyle, regardless of whether I’m able to eat perfectly in a given week, or make it to the gym 3-5 times.
You (like me) may go through a series of fitness ups and downs, body transformations, and occasional cheat days (read: weeks…I love BigMac’s too!), but a ‘fit lifestyle’ is less about the cheat days and off weeks, and more about the dedicated months and upcoming years that you spend thinking, acting and being fit.
If you’re curious about crossfit, find your nearest crossfit ‘box’ – or try my personal favorites CrossfitNYC in Manhattan, or Reebok Crossfit Liberty Village in Toronto, Canada.