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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Competitive Spirit Within

I decided to zig instead of zag today,  and instead of talking nutrition I want to talk about the importance of the competitive spirit that lies within ALL of our souls.  For those of you who really don't know me, I've been crossfitting for 3 years now and CF has completely changed my life.  Through crossfit I learned a lot about eating healthy, so I began eating the paleo diet since and I've never felt, looked, or performed better in physical fitness.  It safe to say that I am 100% healthier and stronger now at age 38 than when I was playing Division 1 soccer at Boston College at age 18.  NO DOUBT!  Nothing like sharing a quick bio of yourself on a social network, but hey, it's 2012 and I'm going to give you guys a quick pic of Christian Rodriguez prior to crossfit and paleo.

Rewind to September 1991 when Pearl Jam, G-N-R, and Metallica were rocking arenas all over the world!  I was a skinny (135 lbs) soccer player with a killer mullet.  I had played soccer since age 5 and I considered myself to be a really good player until I got to BC.   The talent at BC was pretty insane and I quickly realized I wasn't as good as I thought, but the desire to improve was in me because I LOVED the sport, so I worked at it as hard as I could.  Another fact about me, is that I didn't do so well at high school, so getting into BC was truly a gift from GOD.  To say that I struggled is an understatement!  The first day at school was like me jumping into the Bearing Sea in February with a weighted vest.  I decided to stop playing the one thing I loved in life at the time, so I could hopefully graduate from one of the best Colleges in the country.  After freshman year I had an amazing 1.67 GPA, but I graduated three years later with a 3.2 GPA.  So, what the H double hockey sticks does this have to do with the competitive sprit within?  Bare with me, I'm getting there.  So, from 1992 to 2009 (17 years!) I didn't have any competitive drive in me....NADA!  Yeah, I went onto grad school, got a "real" job, then moved to Miami where I became a police officer for 2 1/2 years, got married and had a beautiful son, well, I didn't have him, she did.  Yeah, I had goals and I accomplished them and I'm proud of that, but I never had that COMPETITIVE drive in me.

Forward to January 2009 - a friend/co-worker of mine introduced me to crossfit.   I did it for a couple of weeks and fell in love with it.  I had never loved and hated something so much as I did with the crossfit wods (workout of the day).  It was so much fun to see with what movements and wods you excelled at and also the ones you didn't.  Since I started 3 years ago I think it's safe to say that I usually score pretty well.  Not great like firebreathers Dave Hammell, Ben Bergeron, Billy Nelson, Derek Mohamad, MDV, James Hobart, Heather Bergeron, Mel Ockerbery, and Scotty "Ralph" Lacerra, but more or less within the top 50% of CFNE members.  Yesterday was the wod that put me at the very bottom of the scores!

Yesterday's wod:  Michael consisted of 3 rounds: 800 meter run, 50 back extensions, 50 abmat sit ups.  I've only heard of some scores from CFNE members, and I think the average was in the early to mid 20 mins and some in the mid teens.  It took me 33:07 to complete that wod.  Yup, 33:07.  That is not a typo. When I told fellow crossfitter friends my score, they were like, "get the F out of here"!  But it's the truth and one of the beautiful things about crossfit, is that you may not be great at everything, but you won't suck at everything either!  I clearly suck at running and back extensions, but just because I suck at it doesn't mean I'm gonna skip the wod or quit.  To the contrary!  I could have easily quit or scaled it down without anyone noticing because I wod alone.  So what kept me going?  Wouldn't it have been easier to quit or scale down.  For sure it would have been easier, but is that what we want to do?  Don't we teach our children NOT to take the easy way out?  Don't we teach our children that the reward of fighting through something until it's completed is priceless?  My competitive spirit within me kept pushing me until I completed that wod no matter how long it took me.  When I finished I felt such joy that I felt the need to tell everyone about my experience.  It felt just as good as any PR or when I've had one of the top scores of the day.

Prior to crossfit I worked out at globo gyms just like most of the you guys and I always found an excuse either not to go, to leave early, or to change my workout because someone else was using that particular machine.  I NEVER had a competitive spirit at the globo gyms.  NEVER.  Today, I'm just like all of you guys.  We wake up, go to work, do whatever we need to do to care for our kids or ourselves, and then get ready to do it all again the next day.  Same underwear different stain.  But for me and other crossfitters, we get an hour each day to be a competitor.  For that hour you're a gladiator, a ninja, a superhero or whateva!  You're competing against YOU and that competitive fire within your soul rejuvenates you more than you ever thought it could.  At the end of the wod you're wasted.  You're like a fish out of water desperately waiting to breathe and being able to focus.  You're absolutely spent, yet you've never felt BETTER!  Part of that "great" feeling is not only the output of energy you just gave, but the satisfaction of giving it 100% and igniting that competitive spirit you've kept locked up inside yourself.  Some of you may be thinking to yourselves, I've never had a competitive fiber in my body.  But you do!  You just haven't exposed it yet.  Please don't think that crossfitter looks like the characters in the movie 300 or are all x-college athletes, because that is not true!  Crossfitters come from ALL walks of life.  Some are x-college athletes, some are already in good or great shape, and many are just walking into a box (term for gym) for the first time in over 15 years.  Crossfit is NOT a one size fits all program.  It's for EVERYONE!

Ignite that competitive spirit that is desperately wanting to come out in you!  The competitive spirit will not only make you feel better physically, but mentally and spiritually as well.

Get to a crossfit box near you today!!

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