Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hey Mike, I Read About Crossfit!

This post should likely have been a comment reply in my post on "Fitness Resolutions," but I thought it was interesting enough to get its own spot. I'll bet that over half of "my" readers already know Mike Polutta. If you don't, he's a good friend, and my all-time favorite worship leader. He's also about 5-6 years older than me and in GREAT shape. When we do the theme of "Judges" for PBC next year, he's my pick to play Samson in the skits. As an aside, Mike had a huge "widowmaker" heart attack a while back (for absolutely NO reason medical science could figure out). He had it while in the middle of a run. Had he not been in the amazing shape he's in, he probably would have just croaked. Instead, my buddy walked back the rest of his route, showered, called his wife, and only then (at her urging) called 911. So the dude is, well, a DUDE.

Every time lately I have bemoaned the shape I'm getting into (or out of, as the case may be), Mike has told me that I need to join him as a devotee of a workout plan called "Crossfit." He even sent me this PDF file with lots of cool stuff about the program in it. It's really fascinating, and some of you may like to read it, too (hence the link). BUT... I'm not really interested.

Here's why--like the old break-up line goes, "it's not you, it's me." Even though I may buy into some, even most, of the premises of the program, I just don't care that much about developing all those multiple standards of fitness. I run. I run because I LIKE to run, and because I really enjoy my coaching gig, which the running dovetails nicely with. I don't "work out." There was a time several years ago when I got serious for a while about lifting weights and getting big and strong. I got strong, but it simply wasn't in my make-up to get big. I may be willing to do half an hour of upper-body work a couple of times a week for the sake of general fitness, but it's a chore, a necessary evil that I'll do to accomplish my only two REAL fitness goals: (1) run at a level that doesn't embarass me; (2) not get fat. It used to be that I could do both of those on almost no effort, and now they both require more than they used to (which bums me out a bit). But Crossfit seems like more work than I'd enjoy doing.

This is the second time in the last month that a good friend has approached me about something like this because of my interest in fitness and athletics. Another friend is a serious proponent of Shaklee vitamins and nutritional supplements. He has used them for years, and was a sub-elite runner in his 30s and a national champion water-skier in his 40s and 50s. He credits at least part of that success to his nutrition regimen, and he shared it with me. My feeling was very similar to the Crossfit stuff... I agree that there's something there, and if I were more serious (maybe if I were 10-20 years younger and still racing a lot), I might be more interested. But instead of committing to a full supplementation plan, I just started taking a generic multivitamin and drinking more water.

In both cases, I'm a little embarassed. Both of these guys only shared their programs with me because they thought (at least at some level), "Larry's the type of athlete who would dig this." I hate to admit that I'm really not. But I still love to hear about the stuff, and to have it in my "bag of tricks" to mention to the "real" athletes I work with.

Footnote: It's only been 5 days and I'm already back down to 141 lbs. It's not like I can go back to sitting on my butt and pigging out after 3 more pounds, but it's nice to know that a week or two's indiscretions can still be remedied with a week or two of solid discipline.


MichaelPolutta said...

Hey - fair enough. I'm satisfied that you make an informed decision about such things.

Just remember - I think CrossFit type fitness would make a lot of your track team better. Especially non-distance runners. Maybe if you incorporated some of the CrossFit stuff into your track team regimen... for you AND your students...

Lauren-Michaele said...

Larry, I think you're AWESOME!!!!

Pete said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pete said...

On the Samson note:
I'd have to say I disagree with you on the Mike as Samson thing... Don't get me wrong... he's a HAUS! But that's the very reason I don't think he's a fit for the Samson Gig...

Think about it this way... Samson got the hottest chick in the country to go out with him. And her only reason to go out with him was to learn the source of his strength! No one asks Arnold Schwarzenegger what makes him so strong! Everyone knows. It's no mystery!

Rather, I would vote for someone who doesn't look that strong. Thus, you could SERIOUSLY ask him: "Samson, what is the source of your strength?" And you could show that it was only when the spirit of the Lord came upon him that he was strong.

Remember, it kinda fits the whole "but G_d has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and G_d has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong," 1 Cor 1: 27