Recently, there was some talk on other pages about this topic. Josh Bunch of Practice CrossFit put out this question: “There are many expressions of CrossFit that are more than acceptable. What then are the universal CrossFit laws that should never be broken?” Also, Becca Borawski of Breaking Muscle wrote “The Two Cardinal Rules of CrossFit.”
This talk got me to thinking (again): what are the rules? What is CrossFit? It might sounds nuts, but I think about this stuff all the time. As long as I’ve done CrossFit (and worked for CrossFit), I still often contemplate the very essence of it. What is true to CrossFit? What feels false? What is an easy answer, but maybe not an accurate answer? What is the cold, hard essence — the soul of CrossFit? What are the incontrovertible truths at the very heart of every CrossFit workout?
I thought, and realized, in my mind, there was only one rule, and maybe a second:
1.) It must be hard, for you.
Every time you CrossFit, you must be pushing yourself beyond comfort. Testing yourself. Making life more difficult than it has to be. If it’s easy, it’s not CrossFit.
Now, don’t mistake this with CrossFit being only about RX’d or super-heavy or crazy-fast. CrossFit is scaled to every person. It must be hard for you — whether you’re Iceland Annie or a wounded warrior or a grandma or a couch potato who finally stood up and went to the gym. Hard, for you.
2.) It must take you someplace you can’t get to by yourself.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to do CrossFit only with others. Nonsense. You can CrossFit by yourself. But that WOD must take you someplace you can’t get to by yourself — which means alone and untried, you simply wouldn’t get there. (Do CrossFit with others, and I think this effect is magnified.) It’s like that old Staples Singers song “I’ll Take You There” — I know a place, and CrossFit will take you there.
This might sound simplistic, and ridiculous, but I could write a million more words and nothing would get clearer. CrossFit must be hard, for you — and it must take you someplace you can’t get to by yourself. That’s what I think are the two truths of CrossFit. I might be right. I might be wrong.
What do you think are the two truths of CrossFit?
(Photo by Lisbeth Darsh, in the Media Gym, just messing around.)