Making Exercise a Sport
Physical activity and exercise are interchangeable phrases, but sport is defined as: an individual or group competitive activity involving physical exertion or skill, governed by rules, and sometimes engaged in professionally (often used in the plural). Physical activity is the goal for health and well-being but motivation can often be a challenge so why not look to sport for the inherent motivation it provides?
Being a part of a team, the motivation that comes from trying to make yourself better, the satisfaction derived from supporting others to do the same . . .these are all benefits traditionally been reserved to organized sport but thanks to Crossfit, every and any individual who wants to stay or get in shape has access to them. Participating in Crossfit is different from going to the gym to get a workout, it is the feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself. The workout of the day is not just about how well you do, it’s about supporting or inspiring those around you, it’s about pushing yourself to try your hardest and do your best. Like taking up any new sport, it can feel awkward at first leading to uncertainty, but then you chat with a more seasoned Crossfitter and learn that they too were once like you.
Greg Glassman, founder of Crossfit, describes it like this: In implementation, CrossFit is, quite simply, a sport—the “sport of fitness.” We’ve learned that harnessing the natural camaraderie, competition, and fun of sport or game yields an intensity that cannot be matched by other means. Using whiteboards as scoreboards, keeping accurate scores and records, running a clock, and precisely defining the rules and standards for performance, we not only motivate unprecedented output but derive both relative and absolute metrics at every workout; this data has important value well beyond motivation.
The Crossfit principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement and mastery of skills. It’s about practicing skills so you can be better than you were the day before. Like any team sport, tt’s not just about how well you do, it’s about supporting your teammates and being part of their success. The thing most people seek from team participation, aside from the sport itself, is the camaraderie and community among teammates . . . if this is something you are seeking, and looking to try a new ‘sport’, why not drop in to a crossfit class and give the sport of fitness a try?