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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 10-18-2009, 07:06 PM   #1
Nancy Cohen
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WHY are your goals important to you??

I just read an article in a cycling magazine, about athletes, goals, and why we do what we do. Article was written by a sports psychologist. Here's the gist of it:

We need to set goals. Our goals are personal to us. We have to have a personal connection to our goals and to why they're important to us. If we lose sight of that connection, to the "WHY," we will frequently lose inspiration and motivation.

So, I'm trying to figure out the WHY part of it for me, and don't really have an answer.

Why do I want to swim faster? Why do I want to cycle faster? Etc.. I just keep coming up with the answer of, well, personal satisfaction. But there's got to be more to it.

The author of the article did not give any examples.

Anybody else have this figured out?

Note that, this is not to be confused with the discussion on the thread about "what do you do with fitness."
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:26 PM   #2
Tom Seryak
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Re: WHY are your goals important to you??

It's funny you bring this up. I just recently posted a blog entry regarding goals and motivation: http://www.highoctanefit.com/index.p...=510&Itemid=15 (w/f/s)

in short, i don't find goals to be effective for LONG-TERM program adherence and self-motivation. regardless of whether goals are met, one thing that they all have in common is that they end. in fact, that is the definition of a goal...a desired outcome or end.

with that being said, i agree with the author that true, long-lasting, self-motivation comes from the "why". When the "why" is "so that i can reach my goal" you are placing all bets on the future and dimishing the significance of the present moment. for me personally, i choose growth over decay. all growth requires pain, and that's why i love crossfit.

the "why" also includes the benefits that i can realize today: stress/anxiety relief, doing hard work feels good, it makes my whole day more productive, etc. do i have goals? sure, but it is not why i train and certainly not what i turn to for "motivation" or what moves me from thinking about it to doing it.
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:27 PM   #3
Justin McGinley
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Re: WHY are your goals important to you??

For me, my goals are things I feel I will be able to do. And because they are plausibly obtainable, then I fell I should make them real. I don't have a 400 pound deadlift, or a sub 20 minute 5k time, but I know I can work towards and beyond those goals. Because I know I can, I just kinda have to do it. I want to be better than I currently am.
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:27 PM   #4
Tom Seryak
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Re: WHY are your goals important to you??

can you reference the article? i would like to read it.
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:28 PM   #5
Dom Fruci
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Re: WHY are your goals important to you??

Survival of the fittest...
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:43 PM   #6
Marcus Allen
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Re: WHY are your goals important to you??

because every 4, 6, or 8 weeks I accomplish something that, prior to CrossFit, I would have viewed as impossible.

Scratching "impossible" tasks off my list keeps me going.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:55 PM   #7
James Rios
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Re: WHY are your goals important to you??

always had the desire to be the best,
not at something but at everything.
so crossfit= exactly my goals.
i also want to be the guy that someone calls to move something heavy so Crossfit Strength Bias
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:11 PM   #8
Jacob Cloud
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Re: WHY are your goals important to you??

WHY it's important doesn't matter...as long as it is.

I will squat 500 pounds. I don't care why that's important. But you better believe it is.
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:39 AM   #9
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Re: WHY are your goals important to you??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin McGinley View Post
For me, my goals are things I feel I will be able to do. And because they are plausibly obtainable, then I fell I should make them real. I don't have a 400 pound deadlift, or a sub 20 minute 5k time, but I know I can work towards and beyond those goals. Because I know I can, I just kinda have to do it. I want to be better than I currently am.
being better than you currently are, becoming something you feel you not only can be but really SHOULD be, is huge. the desire to fulfill your potential, to live up to some kind of standard of excellence, is downright fundamental. it's really the same as striving to be a moral person, only expressed through physical exertion. either you believe you OUGHT to push yourself to higher levels, or you accept sliding into a comfortable but inferior state.

i believe this "why" question is really about understanding the motivation that drives you, and understanding that the goal is not the same as the motivation. your goals are markers for measuring your progress in satisfying your motivation.

shel silverstein wrote a poem about a person who chases a pot of gold relentlessly... but as soon as he finds it, goes, "now what?" if all you are about is chasing the goal, then reaching it leaves you empty. but if you realize that your goal is merely one way of satisfying your deep-seated motivation, then reaching your goal does not leave you empty at all. the opposite, it gives you an incredible feeling of accomplishment... and then you can set your sights on a new goal.

so many people make their fitness goal about losing X pounds. but when they do lose those pounds, they're not really fulfilled. it doesn't matter if they gain the weight back again. and it doesn't matter if they then lose it again, and continue that cycle forever. if they would find their motivation in being slimmer and healthier and a better representation of themselves as people, measured in part by a "better" number on the scale, then they could maintain their weight and their good feeling about it. otherwise, they'll just be prime targets for every diet pill and slimfast drink and plastic "gut-busting" gadget out there. i think that's partly what people here mean when they tell newbies to focus on performance over weight.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:31 AM   #10
Kevin Wolfe
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Re: WHY are your goals important to you??

If we lose sight of that connection, to the "WHY," we will frequently lose inspiration and motivation.

I don't think you need goals in order to be inspired. You stated that your personal satisfaction is your "goal" if you had to state one. I am like...that is all I need to get me going.

I like to feel good. I guess you could day that is my "goal", however excercise is only one component to making that happen. I also have family, friends, a career and my relationship with God to help get me there.

And since I am not training for anything in particular, I simply try to beat myself.
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