It’s a pretty bold statement to say that Crossfit just might save your life but lets think about that for a minute shall we. At 40 it’s most likely fair to say that you’re somewhere near the half-way point of your life. Yup… time to get real here folks, give or take 10 years a side at 40 you’re probably half way done. Now this isn’t meant to scare you but it’s most likely the reality.
My question to you…do you want the next 40 to be like the first 40?
“It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action”. — Honore de Balzac
Crossfit is not the only solution, but in my mind, it just might save your life in these three but oh so important areas. Longevity has been tied to many things but diet, exercise and community are all traits that have been shown to contribute to living long and happy lives.
1.) Diet. We all know of or at least have heard of some sort of diet being praised within the Crossfit boxosphere. It never ceases to amaze me the complexity of this quest for the perfect diet. If you’re over 40 and you haven’t yet learned how to eat for your body well you damn well better figure this out because time is not on your side.
I’ve for the most part, recorded or tracked every bit of food I have eaten over the last four years. I’ve done this not because I have OCD but as part of my The 365 Effect program. I’ve also done this because I want to be better. In order to be better, I need to put in the fuel that makes me perform. Not just fuel to perform in my fitness but fuel to perform in my life.
I know what makes me go hard, I know what gives me a boost and I know what will make me wish that a truck hit me, rather than the gastronomical mess that my gut feels moments after I eat a “Hot Fudge Brownie Hagen Daz Surprize”.
2.) Exercise. Most people have exercised on one level or another for a good part of their lives. The over-40 experience of exercise however can take on a whole new meaning because life has already happened to us.
We have miles under our bones. We’ve raised children. We’ve experienced loss. We’ve been injured. In short, we have experience. The challenge for most of us over 40 though is to use this experience wisely. In general, we can’t play games the same way that the young kids play; Understanding this is wisdom, fighting it is old age.
Exercise at 40 opens up a whole new world to experience. I made it a goal in 2009 to be in the best shape of my life when I turned 40 that year.
It was an epic journey. I was 9 months into my Crossfit experience and I crushed it.
I was more prepared, stronger and my mobility was better at 40 than I was at 25. Let me say this again — I was better at 40 than I was at 25.
As a lifelong athlete I was pretty impressed, something had changed. I now knew the basics of preparing myself for the next 40 years. I wanted to Be Strong To Be Useful. That was it.
I realized that I never wanted a situation to dictate what I was able to do. I always wanted to be the master of my own fate.
3.) Community. I find the role of community very interesting in relation to longevity. The research shows that people who form and belong to supportive communities that interact on a regular basis live longer. It’s really astounding when you see the numbers. One of the things that I appreciate most about Crossfit is the community.
In my first year of Crossfit and shortly after I took my level 1 training I went on a road trip driving from Victoria BC Canada all the way down to San Diego to visit my buddy Mark Divine at SealFit in Encinitas, California.
I tried to hit as many different boxes as I could while on the drive. I was overwhelmed at the response I received Bellevue, Medford, Sacremento, Santa Cruz (Danielle was AWESOME), San Fransisco (who knew working outside next to a trailer could be so rewarding), Los Angeles and finally with Mark in North County San Diego.
The boxes were all different and the workouts varied but one thing was the same — the people. The community of Crossfit was the same in every single box. Yes, there were subtle differences in the intensity, size and flavor of the boxes but the people were my people. They were my tribe. They supported me and helped to make me better and my goal was to help them in return. They believed in a simple truism: Value and be valued.
Diet, Exercise and Community — it’s that simple.
If you want to live longer, better and to your full potential you must have components of each of those embedded into your daily actions.
The growing community and methodology practiced at most Crossfit boxes lives and breathes all three. This unique DNA will help you to be better and to live longer.
Once you’ve hit 40, if you’re not paying attention to this you will soon drop below the point of neutrality. Once you drop past it you will forever be fighting to get back to even. Don’t let yourself drop below…. fight for it every step of the way because Crossfit might just save your life.
“He is the best man who, when making his plans, fears and reflects on everything that can happen to him, but in the moment of action is bold.” — Herodotus
As always, I welcome any comments and thoughts and if you have a tip, share it. Help make others better too.
Photo: Helmsp / flickr