Just Try It

23 Feb

Tonight was open gym and our first paleo potluck. I tried some awesome food, too many to list them all here, but my favorites were Meg Bell’s curry beef and eggplant and Holly’s banana pumpkin cookies. I don’t usually like curry, but i gave it a try and i was glad i did – I even went back for more. Awesome work by everyone though, I didn’t find anything that wasn’t tasty. My dish was seafood gumbo and it was, if I do say so myself, fantastic. I surprised myself with how well it turned out, I had never made gumbo before, but I figured I’d give it a shot. I’ll post the recipe tomorrow in case you want to try it.

This week has been funny. Most of the people I know are aware in some form of my relatively newfound enjoyment of CrossFit and of this little paleo challenge. Some are very supportive, especially friends and family. It gets discussed, and I try not to be that guy that talks about it all the time, but sometimes you feel like you have to give a reason why your declining that cookie or donut someone is offering you. What interesting is that I don’t judge others for what they do ( or more often, don’t do) about their health and fitness, but yet the same is not always true in reverse.

When I started Crossfit I got “your crazy”, “your going to hurt yourself”, and “that stuff is not good for your knees and your back”. 6 months later I’m still going and, knock on wood, my knees have not disintegrated below me, I haven’t hurt myself (significantly), and I turns out I actually am crazy, but that has nothing to do with CF. So when the paleo challenge started, so did the comments. “Why would you do that”, “so you’re just doing Atkins”, “I could never do that”, and my personal favorite “you don’t force your kids to eat that stuff do you?” As if encouraging my kids to eat real food correlated to bad parenting.

So, as I moved through the last couple days I really did some thinking. It helps me to not think about chocolate and ice cream if I think about something much less delicious. So, I thought a lot about why I CrossFit and why I am trying the paleo challenge. So, here’s what I came up with…

It’s really pretty simple… I do CrossFit because I decided that my life needed to change. Now, deep down I knew it for a long time, but couldn’t find the motivation. I wasn’t committed, I couldn’t stay focused, I couldn’t get interested. So why did this work, when so many other things failed? I blame three things:

  1. It scales to just about everyone, and as long as you are willing to put in the effort, it works. If you work, you will get stronger, faster, better. I’m not saying CrossFit is the only way to accomplish this, but it’s one way, and it works. And because it scales, it works without having to worry about getting hurt (assuming you have good coaches). Could I get hurt? Absolutely. But I felt FAR more likely to hurt myself trying to figure out how to lift weights at the “insert big-box gym here” than i have ever felt inside a crossfit gym.
  2. It’s fun. Engaging, not boring. I’m not a hamster on a wheel for 45 minutes. I’m not going through the motions, I’m actually doing something. I get to lift heavy things above my head and throw them on the ground. That’s frowned upon at work – it’s strongly encouraged in CrossFit.
  3. The people. OMG the people. When I go to the Y, no one stands there and cheers me on. Nobody encourages me to push myself. In fact, my wife and I have done some CrossFit type workouts at the Y. People think we’re nuts. If you’ve never experienced this, it is truly amazing how much more you can accomplish when you are being supported, encouraged, and pushed by other people who are doing it right there with you.

So, I needed to not be a fat slob anymore, and CrossFit worked, yay for me. Why paleo? For me it was simple again: Why not? I tried CrossFit, and it works for me. Paleo might help me reach some more of my goals a little faster. Or, it might not, but if I don’t try it, I’ll never know.

It all comes down to this. I decided that I wanted to do better. For my sake, for my kids’ sake, for my wife’s sake, and for my co-workers sake. I chose to try, to push, to challenge myself, and to change my life. I decided that I wanted to set the example for my kids or for my coworkers: to live a healthier life, to be active, to get up and move, to eat right.

The point is this: JUST TRY IT. Whatever “it” is. If you’re reading this and your just starting CrossFit, or your struggling to stick with the paleo challenge, or maybe you just have nothin better to do, I encourage you to stay strong and put forth the effort. It took me 35 years to find something that I liked, and more than once I gave up before I ever really started. Maybe it won’t be for you, but maybe you’ll like it. I, for one, will support you, encourage you, cheer for you, and will NEVER judge you, because that is what this community of people has taught me, and that’s what they have done for me.

And for all the skeptics out there, all the people who think I’m goofy for trying it… Too bad, because I’m proud of what I have accomplished so far, and I can’t wait to see what I’m gonna do next week, next month, next year.

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One Response to “Just Try It”

  1. Grenade launcher #1 February 23, 2013 at 19:16 #

    I’m so inspired, when I figure out what to write a blog about, will you write it for me?

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