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The Tortoise and the Hare

The Tortoise and the Hare

We’ve all heard the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. It’s the story of a rabbit, full of talent and hubris, racing against the dumpy and slow turtle.

Knowing the story, we’re supposed to see the rabbit as foolish and the turtle as determined, and this is true. But like all fables, this one has a moral.

“Slow and steady wins the race.”

As flawed as the logic of the story is, this moral stands outside the reality of the “Tortoise and the Hare”.  I mean who honestly thinks the turtle was better suited to win a race?!  But I digress…  The moral of the story is a principle for life.  As a coach, I guess the best and most obvious example of this principle can be found in the thousands of different options available for people to choose between in the hopes of losing weight.

How many times have you lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks following a “quick fix” diet? How did week 3 go? Did your progress stall out? Were you able to keep your “progress” going? How long did it take for you to throw in the towel? And how long did it take for you to gain those 10 pounds right back?

My friend Mark was a quick-fix junkie, and he used to say, “I’ve been losing the same 10 pounds for the last 20 years”.

There’s a better way.

Slow and steady wins the race.

It’s likely that it took you years to gain your weight. Subtle gain over time, maybe 2-5 pounds per year. That may be a bit slower than you’re interested in, but that kind of change is real, and it’s quite a bit healthier for your body.

I recommend that people aim to lose around half a pound per week. And do this by developing healthy habits in a slow and methodical manner. Begin by cutting down (not cutting out completely) on the “junk”. What is junk? Junk is basically anything you can buy at the gas station. Make those things a treat instead of a staple.

Then start to replace the junk with smarter alternatives. Perfection isn’t the target. Just better. How about picking the sweet potato with real butter instead of french fries? Try having eggs for breakfast instead of cereal. Black coffee instead of the energy drink. Etc…

Finally, over time seek to prioritize adding more protein and veggies into your normal routine. It may be just a little at first, but eventually your goal will be to have a good protein choice with each meal, and a couple servings of veggies at least a couple times per day.

The problem with the quick-fix option is that it usually “works” really well… At first… And then, because it is unsustainable, unrealistic, or ultimately unproductive, we give up.

Or worse, we keep going with more and more extreme adjustments…

Our bodies want homeostasis and will fight changes, therefore dramatic changes will normally result in a loss of primarily water weight. Hopefully, that’s it! Sometimes, the change will be a result of a loss in muscle-mass.

Let’s be like the Tortoise! Slow and Steady wins the race.

CrossFitters Walk Different

CrossFitters Walk Different

By Charlie Sims

I had been doing CrossFit for a little over 6 months. My buddies and I were meeting in Caleb’s garage that we had outfitted with a few pieces of gear. We were, at this point, just doing random CrossFit workouts that we found on YouTube or CrossFit.com, and we were slowly becoming obsessed.

I was trying to get a masters degree in Theology at the time, and spent about a zillion hours every week at various coffee shops trying to read books, and write papers. But my new obsession with CrossFit was a bit distracting. So I’d take “study breaks” to read CrossFit Journal articles, or watch coaching videos.

Have you ever heard of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon? It’s a brain trick that kicks in when you discover something new or notice something for the first time, and all of the sudden begin to notice it everywhere you go. I never saw Honda Elements (you know, the toaster shaped SUV’s made by Honda) until I bought one. My son Asa named them “Cruck’s” because they’re kinda like a car-truck. But now we see them everywhere! We liked ours so much, we ended up buying a second one for my wife when her car finally died. Why Honda decided to discontinue their production will always be a mystery to me.

Back to Baader-Meinhof. I had worked in fitness for a long time, and I hadn’t ever noticed this new thing known as CrossFit. It was right there all along, but I was blind to it; distracted by other methods. But, wow! Once I discovered it for the first time, I started to see it everywhere!

So, during one of my, likely extended, study breaks at the Starbucks; I noticed a CrossFitter out of the corner of my eye.

Major note of emphasis: This was early 2011. Louisville might have had 300 CrossFitters in the whole city. This was before Reebok. The wave hadn’t hit Louisville yet.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Confidence. I saw a guy walking in with a purpose, and approachability. He didn’t come off as arrogant or off-putting like you get a lot of the time when you run into “Gym Guy“, but in a way that Jason Bourne knew that the guy at the bar weights 215 pounds and knows how to handle himself, I could tell that the guy walking in was one of my people.

So, I had to ask. I couldn’t just sit there wondering.

Ha! He was a coach at one of only two CrossFit gyms in the whole city. We talked for 5 minutes or so, and he gave me his card and invited me and my buddies to come do a couple classes at his gym.

A lot of time has passed since this day, and the number of CrossFitters in Louisville has multiplied exponentially, but I still notice the walk. It happens after an athlete has been drinking the CrossFit kool-aid for about a 2 years. Their capabilities in the gym translate into a humble confidence that comes out in their walk.

Only now, it’s confirmed without the conversation by the Nano’s and Rogue hoodie.

Are you Ready? – Part 1

Are you ready? Part 1

Charlie Sims

A few years ago, the CrossFit HQ team put together a series of commercials proclaiming that someone we’re supposed to know about in the CrossFit world is ready for the Open, and asking the question, Are You Ready?

They were clever and pretty funny. Here are a few of them.

Jason and Neal are Ready
Pat Sherwood is Ready
Dan Bailey is Ready
Boz is Ready
Sam and Lindsey are Ready

I love the Open. And I love that question.

Are you ready? Are you as ready as you can be?

Every year, the team at HQ makes improvements to my favorite time of year, and every year we at CrossFit Regeneration try to make improvements to your experience of the Open. But when I comes down to it, no matter how much fun we have with Project Teamwork, The Open is still a test of Fitness.

I’ve talked before about three different approaches to CrossFit to help get your mind straight for each task. But here they are again briefly:

1) Training: This is the daily grind. It’s the majority of our time, and honestly, the end-all-be-all for our program. You may or may not see these workouts again, but they’re structured with the end goal of helping you to achieve fitness defined as Work capacity across a broad range of time and modal domains.

2) Testing: These happen on a regular basis as well, and tend to have names associated with them. Think Fran, Helen, and Grace. The task remains consistent which gives us a very objective measure of the effectiveness of our “Training”. If your test shows positive results, it can with confidence indicate that your training has been effective. These tests require a bit of a different mindset, and tend to come with a feeling of anticipation and trepidation, and are usually accompanied with a higher level of effort and attention.

3) Competition: The competition is on a whole different level. In competition, we put our fitness to the test against others in events that are unlikely to be workouts we’ve ever done before. In Competition, there is a combination of Testing with Training.

So, I’d like to give away a bit of perspective to help you get “Ready” as we inch closer to this year’s Open.

The Open is a competition, but the competition is merely stuff you’ve been doing all along. If you’re feeling intimidated about the Open, it’s just a workout. Don’t let it become more than a fun way to keep yourself motivated. It’s no different than our Tuesday WOD. Why Tuesday? Because Tuesday is average. So just come in and do it. Get a score. Have fun.

I want you to succeed. I want you to get your best possible score. If that means you get to have an “RX” score, great! If you need to “Scale” it, also great!

Tomorrow, in Part 2, we’ll get into the weeds a little more about specific tactics and how to organize your week to give you the best opportunity to excel.