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Old 07-04-2004, 07:26 AM   #1
Michael Halbfish
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Hi,

I have been doing Crossfit for a little over 2 years (with a few occasional long layoffs and missed workouts). During this time I've often wanted to give a testimonial and thank you to Coach and Lauren, but I've held off. I held off primarily for three reasons: 1) there are people with far greater athletic and fitness accomplishments than me providing testimonials (ie BJ Penn-UFC Champion, & Eva-olympic skiing medalist, Mark Twight-alpine climbing champ), 2) there are people far more knowledgeable about fitness (ie Robb Wolf, Michael Rutherford), and 3) I thought my testimonial would be somewhat duplicative of so many others.
Today, I decided to post. Like many Crossfitters I could write about physical progress. Some of the changes include:
1) Doing Crossfit has improved my appearance by making me significantly more muscular and leaner (this was a bonus and never one of my goals). While I don't have bodyweight or fat percentages, I've had to have my waist taken in while my shoulders have gotten to wide for my suits.
2) Doing Crossfit has made me a better athlete
3) Doing Crossfit has significantly increased both my strength and my endurance. This should be expected with certain exercises like pullups which are done frequently with Crossfit. However, I find that this happens with all exercises. For example, the last time I did a bench press, I beat my previous single rep PR by 20 lbs and I did it for 7 rounds of 5 reps mixed in with pullups between rounds).

Many of the greatest physical benefits are more subtle and difficult to quantify. I know that my flexibility and balance is much better. This was especially noticeable when I did yoga again after a long absence from yoga. My overall work capacity and energy level is greater. I find that I can learn new physical skills faster. My coordination has improved and my body moves more effectively as a unit. I think Crossfit not only improves fitness, but also improves many of the more subtle aspects of athleticism. I would be willing to bet that my speed and reaction time have also improved. I find it much easier to change physical activities. ie I can change speed, stop on a dime and switch direction or hold a position.
Although these physical benefits are great, many of the greatest benefits from Crossfit are more subtle. Some of these benefits include the following:
While I've always been a life long fitness addict, working out has become more fun and addictive than ever before. The constant variety combined with occasional benchmarks to mark our progress, inspiration and competition from people who post their results, and challenge make crossfit extremely addictive to me. Logging on to the Crossfit website is usually one of the first, last, and most enjoyable thing I do every day.
The time efficient nature of Crossfit is also a big bonus. I now have a belief that there is always enough time for a great workout, and that I can workout anyplace. While most Crossfit workouts can be completed in 15-20 minutes there are many that can actually be done in approximately 10 minutes or less, and without special equipment.
One of the greatest benefits for me is joining the Crossfit community. Some of the finest people I know I've met through Crossfit. This is a community that inspires, suppports, motivates, and educates each other. While I'd expect to learn about fitness and diet, I've also learned about many other things and made connections regarding other interests with my friends at Crossfit. For example, I've chatted and learned about Lateral Thinking from Barry, the Great Books from Dave, and Open Source thinking from Coach.
There are many subtle mental benefits that come with Crossfit. The constant variety of challenge promotes a readiness for anything and a mental flexibility. Doing these workouts is a great way to "know thyself" as Socrates and Nozick are fond of saying. These workouts require tremendous focus and discipline. They also require thinking while under stress. The workouts encourage strategizing and experimentation (mainly with work/rest management, but also in other ways).
Crossfit workouts build my determination and goal setting muscles. Just like Crossfit triggers a neuroendocrine response in the body, I believe that Crossfit triggers certain other responses in the mind/body that result in mental benefits including a greater sense of relaxation, centeredness, and alertnsss. I believe that I think faster and sharper when I do Crossfit.
While Crossfit does not mention or require religion, one of the more subtle benefits of Crossfit is that there can be a spiritual element to Crossfit. Other Crossfitters have also mentioned this element to me. Interestingly, I find it in Crossfit even more than in yoga.

Each day I have something to look forward to with Crossfit. Coach and Lauren thank you. You have my eternal gratitude.

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Old 09-08-2004, 09:29 PM   #2
Jon Michael Varese
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This is an inspiring post. Thanks for posting it. I'm with you on the spiritual level of Crossfit. After only 4 months (about 2 of which I was traveling and/or out for some reason), I definitely "got the religion." I'm lucky in that I train at CrossFit HQ in Santa Cruz -- our veritable Cathedral if you will. The people there have a lot to do with the "spirituality" (or however you want to think about it). For me, I've also realized a heightened sense of the mind-body connection, similar to, yet different from, yoga. Anyway, glad to hear that you are getting so much out of this! You are not alone.
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Old 09-11-2004, 08:14 PM   #3
Brad Hirakawa
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Amen!!!! Crossfit is my daddy.
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Old 09-11-2004, 10:03 PM   #4
Jon Pappas
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Michael - CrossFit for me too, is a "constant"...
*A constant source of something to look forward too, especially during stressful work weeks
*A constant source of learning, both about fitness/diet and my own limitations, discipline, and spirit
*A constant source of challenge

On some particularly bad days (like finding out my company is being acquired) the only thing that seems positive in my life is CrossFit.

My deepest gratitude to Coach, Lauren, and the rest of the Crossfit Community.

Jon Pappas
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:34 PM   #5
Barry Cooper
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I like to think CrossFit as a homeopathic cure for life's ills, along the lines of swallowing a live frog every morning, so nothing worse can happen.
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Old 10-18-2004, 06:46 AM   #6
Michael Halbfish
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John, I think you put it very well. Crossfit assures at least one good thing in my life every day. It is a CONSTANT.

Barry, you've got a T shirt slogan entry with your post above.
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:39 AM   #7
Brian Gibson
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Great posts. I have only been following this regimen for about a month or month and a half and I can alread see things that are improving physically and mentally.

I, too, have to say thank you to Crossfit and I am sure I will be saying it many more times.
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