Thursday, May 20, 2010

Take care of yourself!

We are crossfitters: we push our bodies to the limit day in and day out. We move through full range of motion, lift heavy weights, push, pull, run and row. We are the fittest people we know. But are we doing enough?

I don't think so.

It doesn't matter if you're in it to lose a few pounds, get back in shape, reach your full athletic potential or train for the International CrossFit Games: the fact is that many of us (myself included) do not do enough to care for our bodies and recover from brutal workouts. Our warmups are short, our cooldowns are hurried (if they happen at all) and we do not do enough outside of the gym to maintain healthy muscles, tendons and joints.

What I am describing is a vision of myself over the past year. I consider myself to be an advanced crossfitter (mainly because of natural ability and future potential) but not yet "elite". Elite crossfitters (in my opinion) are those at the games. Period.

So I ask myself: How do they get there?

People do not arrive in California at the CrossFit Games by accident. They do not all of a sudden decide to go and compete. Nor do they rely on their athletic ability and raw strength to get them there. They train. They train hard. They train their weaknesses as much as their strengths. They eat and supplement for optimal performance and optimal health. They warm up, cool down, train and recover with intention. They utilize trigger point and massage therapy. They often visit doctors and professional therapists to address their physical ailments (Airrosti, Dr. Richard Miller, our very own Julia Magness ;-).

Last June, I injured my low back while attempting a max-effort deadlift. Before that day I was in the habit of practicing yoga 3-4 times a week, and my flexibility was the best it has ever been. Since that time, I have neglected full warmups and cooldowns and not trigger-pointed consistently. Still, I push my body in every workout with the intention of becoming elite.

10 days ago, I tweaked my low back again (again doing deadlifts, although with a very manageable weight...). This incident has made me realize that I am not doing enough. My flexibility is not what it should be, considering the ways I want my body to move, and I find it hard to recover from even one hard WOD.

We are all crossfitters, and we all need to take our training to the NEXT LEVEL. Is your nutrition dialed in? Do you drink enough water? Do you practice yoga? Do you trigger point?

If the answer to any of the above was "no" -- it's time to make the change. Dial in your diet, drink more water, roll out everyday, and join a yoga class (Black Swan Yoga downtown is donation-based, and there is complimentary yoga every Saturday morning at lululemon athletica, 6th & Lamar at 9:00am).

Do this and watch your performance soar -- your body will thank you ;-)

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