Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Functionalist (revisited)

In some previous posts, I defined what it means to be a functionalist...

FUNCTIONALIST: One who prepares for a life strewn with physical tasks, efforts, and obstacles (both planned and unexpected), by learning, mimicking, and perfecting those body functions and abilities necessary for survival, completion, efficiency, and victory.

The functionalist is competitive by nature...whether in a contest against another human, disaster, circumstance, or self.  The functionalist sees life from a cause-and-effect perspective...if I prepare, I will win.  The functionalist is a stakeholder in his/her future.  Having a broad skill set maximizes the chances of success. 

Imagine the blending of a: 
  • sprinter 
  • gymnast 
  • Strongman 
This "jack-of-all-trades" mentality is in direct contrast with that of being a skilled master in one or two aspects. In the sporting arena, being a specialist is critical for winning.  A competitive marathoner has little incentive for maintaining upper body strength.  Likewise, a basketball player does not need swim training. But in real life, humans need competence across a wide spectrum of physical fitness. According to the CrossFit Journal's "What is Fitness" article: There are ten recognized general physical skills. They are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. I encourage you to read the selected CFJ articles listed in the right column of this blog. Start with What is Fitness. I do NOT agree with everything the CF community preaches, but the articles I linked to are worthwhile for anyone considering or participating in functional exercise.

Maintaining abilities within each of the ten listed physical skills has bettered my life. I challenge you to find your weaknesses. Then find a fitness program that helps you become a jack-of-all, and strive to be a master-of-many.

No comments: