If you have been following the blog, you realized “Hey, Dr. B is a week late!” or “Why did he leave me hanging last week?” (Or maybe you didn’t notice…)
And if you are just tuning in, here is a quick recap: 4 weeks ago, I established the FitDocLifestyle Blog. The intent of this blog is to share my exploits in health and wellness as a Chiropractor, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, and (newly appointed) Arbonne Independent Consultant (more on that in a little while…)
In my last entry I gave you all a primer on my practice’s 3 Pillars of Health: Chiropractic, Fitness, & Nutrition. Today I’m writing about Fitness, and specifically my experience in participating in The CrossFit Games’ Worldwide Open for 2017. Head on over to The CrossFit Games for more info. The CrossFit Open is Stage 1 of a worldwide competition seeking out the Fittest on Earth, men and women, across multiple age groups from teenagers to age 60+ competitors. Those who perform the best in their respective age groups move on to Regionals or Online Qualifiers to find the cream of the crop in terms of physical fitness. The top athletes move on to The CrossFit Games, a week long series of fitness tests to crown the Fittest on Earth. It is essentially The Olympics, but instead of individual sports or activities, they are combined. It really is quite impressive. ESPN broadcasts the events if you have cable, and limited viewing and highlights are available online at the site I linked to.
My competitive fitness journey in The CrossFit Games starts and ends in the Open. For 5 weeks, I competed against men across the globe between the ages of 18 and 34. Each week, we were given a special workout we would have to complete under the supervision of a certified Judge at a CrossFit Affiliate (mine is KV CrossFit, check them out!). After surviving the workout, our scores would be registered, submitted, and validated online and then I was ranked on a worldwide leaderboard. Do you want to know where this FitDoc ranked? Let’s start with my personal favorite ranking – Fittest Doctors in Maine:
I placed 2nd (of 4 registered doctors in the Open, but still…)
Now we’ll expand to Fittest in Maine:
I placed 165th out of 353 in the 18-34 age division. Just above the middle of the pack. Not too shabby. (at the time of this writing, score validations for some athletes were still pending, so it could change a little bit.)
Let’s further expand to the Northeast Region:
5858th out of 15,525 aged 18-34. Again, not too shabby!
And now, we’ll expand to my ranking Worldwide:
78,738th out of 201,948. So you might say I am among the top 1/3 of the Fittest People on Earth. Pretty neat!
Fittest on Earth? How? Well, CrossFit has done an excellent job combining fitness programming, research, and data to truly define what Fitness is: work capacity across broad time, modal and age domains. Work capacity is one’s physical ability measured by force times distance over time. Essentially that means how much can you move over a specified distance over time. Let’s say you stood up from a seated position, (If you are sitting right now, stand up and move a little! Too much sitting is bad for you!) you moved your body weight from a fixed point (the chair) to standing. That’s work capacity. Add some dumbbells or barbells to increase it. Jog instead of walk, run instead of jog, again to increase it. Increase the weight of the barbell or dumbbell. Increase the number of sets and repetitions you do. Run faster, farther. All of those things increase your work capacity. This is why CrossFit works!
In 2 years of consistent training using CrossFit’s methodologies like that defined above, I’ve been the leanest, fastest, strongest, and fittest version of myself – more than I ever was as a teenager or 20 something. It’s so exciting to me that I actually look forward to the aging process because I intend to remain strong across those broad time, modal, and age domains. And I’ll be able to objectively measure it thanks to CrossFit.
So, back to the Open. The workouts are just a bit more challenging than the usual workouts I do on a daily basis. By just a bit more, sometimes I might mean A LOT more. Going to the Games website you can see what those workouts (named 17.1 through 17.5 denoting the year and week of the workout) looked like if you are interested. In most occasions I was a ball of sweat on the floor of the gym at the end of each one. And yet in some instances I felt compelled to do a second attempt to improve my score (which I did, in case you were wondering…).
Bigger than all of that though is the community and camaraderie that CrossFit and The Open creates. I could connect with friends across the country and in Canada and compare our results as well as take comfort knowing we weren’t suffering alone. And in the gym, on a weekly basis, the excitement and energy was through the roof. Having your friends and family watch and even participate along side you or cheering you on is truly an awesome feeling, regardless of how competitive or not you are. Being surrounded by such a wide range of people, all united by the goal of living a healthy and fit lifestyle, is community in the purest sense. Drop by a local affiliate and you’ll immediately see and feel it. Coaches who respect every individual. Members (I call everyone athlete personally) who are stepping outside their own comfort zones daily and encouraging fellow members when they may stumble or falter. Community. Friendship. Camaraderie. Those concepts are in full force in CrossFit gyms across the globe. Once you see and feel it, you’ll be hooked.
So there you have it. That sums up CrossFit, my personal experience with it along with the 2017 CrossFit Open. What’s next? Another broad reaching competition of course. This time, it’s The Festivus Games. “Feats of Strength for the Rest of Us” is the tag line for this event, and it’s designed for the average Joe or Jill to get their feet wet in competition. CrossFit Undaunted will be hosting and yours truly will be giving it his best shot in the Intermediate skill division. I’ll let you know how it all goes down in a future blog post!
Next week (I promise to try really hard to be on time!) I’ll expand on what Nutrition means to me, along with the services and products we offer in our office to help people achieve their goals – weight loss, decreased pharmaceutical dependency, avoid surgery, just to name a few – and how some of those things may even be of value to YOU, where ever you are!
That’s all for now!