Friday, May 22, 2009

"Life May Make You an Athlete"

Fitness and martial arts trainer George Demetriou is a great friend.  He runs a functional fitness gym called Spartan Performance -CrossFit Suffolk out on Long Island, NY. As a testament to the effectiveness of his program, this year he has five (yes FIVE) athletes participating in the CrossFit Games' Northeast region qualifiers. Read George's take on the necessity of being an athlete.

Life has a way of "turning" you into an "athlete."  You may not want it or be prepared for it, but life does not care.

When explaining that the CrossFit methodology aims to improve athletic performance as opposed to merely making one look good , the response is sometimes, "Oh, I'm not an athlete."

This response leads to one of my favorite diatribes.

"How do you know you're not an athlete?" I ask.

"I don't play a sport," is the typical response.

Then the interrogation begins:

  • What if you have to run for your life?
  • What if you have to fight for your life?
  • What if you have to rescue someone else?
  • What if you have to carry someone down stairs or drag them from a burning car?
  • What if you have to pull someone from a pool, a lake or the ocean?
  • What if your car and cell phone break down miles from anyone or anything?
  • What if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

In the above situations "life" will have suddenly given you three options: 

  • 1. Do nothing and hope for the best, 
  • 2. try something that you're not physically, mentally or emotionally prepared for, and 
  • 3. be an athlete/warrior and take effective action.
The typical level of "fitness" found in "regular" gyms will not facilitate survival or victory.  The workouts must be intense, constantly varied and made up of functional movements.

"Life" does not care if you had the training or the time to practice.  Life does not care about what's fair or unfair.  Life does not care for excuses.

Life may throw something at you that you haven't planned for.  You may not have all the answers.  You certainly cannot control all factors.  Actually we can't control many factors at all.  The one thing we ALWAYS have control over is our level of physical preparedness, our fitness, the ability to be functional for any contingency.

Don't wait until you're "elected" to be an athlete to start training like one.  Now is the time.

George is spot-on with his remarks. So...are you ready to become an athlete?

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