TJ's Gym Weekly News 08/08/2019
Message from TJ
Greg Glassman began writing the CrossFit Journal back in 2002. The article I gravitated to the most was the "Foundations" article.
CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program. We have designed our program to elicit as broad an adaptat...
I describe the first 20 entries of the CrossFit Journal as the first time some connected science with fitness. Before the CF Journal, the fitness industry was mostly just marketing--people trying to sell stuff, whether it was equipment, supplements, or clothing.
What I was drawn to most about Glassman's article was the breakdown of the "modalities." I use these as a primer for new people during my intro. You want to be fit? Cool. Be moderately good at the following list:
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy.
As Glassman wrote: "The CrossFit Program was developed to enhance an individual’s competency at all physical tasks." Not just a couple of them.
The interesting part of the story was that Glassman said that he stole the modality list from the brochure for Dynamax Medicine Balls. Jim Cawley, creator of Dynamax, made the claim that this was the best list to describe overall fitness and that his products could help with the development of an athlete's complete competency in these ten areas.
Upon buying his first medicine ball and reading the enclosed brochure, Glassman agreed with the list and made it one of the "Foundations" for developing an athlete. Glassman gave Cawley full credit.
This is where the story goes from interesting (hopefully), to weird. In my early excitement about being CrossFitt-to-the-core, I wanted to get rid of my duct-taped basketball filled with sand and get a legit Dynamax medicine ball. Now this was back in 2006. Websites were limited, and you usually ended up having to call to order most things at the time. I searched the CrossFit message board for a phone number and found a thread that basically said "be prepared when you call Dynamax."
This seemed strange, but I persevered.
I called the number and was greeted by a man with a southern accent. I told him that I would like to please order one of his finest 20-pound medicine balls.
There was a pause, and the man cleared his throat and said "Son, tell me the truth, is this for CrossFit?"
I told him it was, and that's when I got both barrels. The man on the other end of the line told me that he was the owner, Jim Cawley. He then rattled off a string of profanities mixed with the words CrossFit, blasphemy, dangerous, and something about chimpanzees.
When he calmed down, he explained that Dynamax med balls were supposed to be used for explosive strength development and that 6-12-pound balls were all anyone needed to become fit and #$#% CrossFitters have ruined that by only ordering the 14 and 20-pound balls.
"Well, why do you make the 14 and 20-pound balls, then?" I asked.
"Not for CrossFit!" Cawley yelled.
An awkward silence followed, and he finally agreed to sell me one (not two!) 20-pound ball and that if I wanted anything heavier than a 20-pounder, I needed to go somewhere else.
I gave him my credit card number, and he took it and told me to be careful. End of the story: I got my ball, which I still have to this day.
A year or so later, Rogue Fitness became a thing, and the Dynamax med balls were one of the first products they sold.
15,000 CrossFit affiliates around the world with millions of CrossFitters using medicine balls. Most of them are Dynamax.
I wonder what Jim Cawley thinks about CrossFit now?
Here are my own ten modalities for being successful at changing your life:
1. Have a well-defined Coach, Goal, and Plan.
2. Patience. Have a year mindset. If it happens sooner, great, but the year mindset will take off the short-term pressure.
3. Acceptance. Move past the ebbs and flows of emotions around your goals. Acceptance is a smooth lake, even in stormy weather.
4. Education. Don't rely on buying into one perspective. Learn for yourself what exactly you are doing and why.
5. Self Advocacy. If you don't stand up for yourself, nobody will.
6. Clarity. Be able to defend your decisions when they are challenged, especially by yourself.
7. Luck. Luck here is defined as the intersection of hard work and opportunity. Be prepared for it, and pounce when it presents itself.
8. Consistency. What I've been writing about for the last six months.
9. Gamble. Bet on yourself. Your losses will educate you better than anything else.
10. Bump it up. If you decide to not drink for five days, do six. If you decide on five unbroken pull-ups, make it six.
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