Sunday, April 6, 2008

Ego Mosquito

The teeny tiny mosquito. Barely a gram in weight, but what a menace!

I cannot think off hand of anyone beginning a functional fitness program that has not been bitten by the Ego Mosquito. The Ego Mosquito transmits a humbling virus into its victim... virtually bringing it to its knees.

Subscribers of traditional weightlifting and cardiovascular programs slowly (and usually reluctantly) wade into the waters of functional fitness. They proudly cling to a false belief of being a human fitness specimen: benchpressing more than thier bodyweight, ability to run ten miles, spending 90 minutes per workout in the gym, knowing over a dozen tricept exercises. These specimens have been doing their ritualistic exercises for years. And don't see signs of stopping. That is until being slowly preached to by a militant functionalist.

The functionalist is likely a converted traditionalist him/herself. Somewhere along the way, the need for performance and variety morphed him/her into a who prepares for reality, for combat, for career demands, for athletics, for life. And the sales pitch sounds pretty convincing.

So the traditionalist buys into the formula. It makes sense, right? I need something different. And how hard can it be? I workout 5 days a week for 2 hours per session. I'm queen of the eliptical. I'm king of the curls. The transition begins. The first workout is generally something that includes pullups, or air squats, or kettlebells, or deadlifts, or some sick variety of them all. And inevitably, the traditionalist sucks. Or fails. Or barfs. (Oh, I love when they barf!!) And somewhere between the heavy breaths and the humbling epiphany is the bite...from the Ego Mosquito.

The bite is quick and painless, but the virus is lasting. How can I be so out of shape? So winded? So in need of rest? So wiped out? Didn't those hour-long sessions on the stationary bike prepare me? What about all those preacher curls and lat pull-downs? The only cure for the virus is a functional fitness program. But in the meantime, you'll suck for a while. And that's OK. We all sucked. Some of us still suck...just not as much as before! We're getting better, and stronger, and faster.

I bring up the tale of the Ego Mosquito because he bit another one of my friends this week. I think the quote was something like, "Holy crap those air squats damn near killed me." It's only funny because it resembles something we all said or thought when we received our bites from the Ego Mosquito on our Day One. For our friend this week: the bite is humbling. It knocks you down a few pegs. Stick it out. I promise it'll make you stronger, faster, and better than ever before! And before you know it, it'll be your turn to watch one of your friends get his or her bite. (and maybe they'll barf too.)

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