Side Effects of Crossfit

Though I think we all settle into our routines of life, work, and fitness, every now and then I am surprised by just how much my life has changed for the better with a regular habit of Crossfit. You’ve heard me talk in the past about how I’ve never really been an athlete, but something that goes along with that is how little I really participated in certain aspects of my childhood.

My father has always enjoyed the out of doors. He’s a fisherman. A hunter who hunts with both rifle and bow. An athlete who played basketball and softball actively for years and years. He even discovered bicycling and participated in the Ride the Rockies races several times.

20160607_125541He tried passing a lot of that on to me but it didn’t stick.

Though I like fishing, I am not likely to do anything in inclement weather or go out of my way to get to the perfect spot. And I haven’t pursued fishing actively since I was a kid and we went out on trips regularly to some of the local reservoirs with a boat or drove to this lake or that lake for a few hours here or there.

Though I can shoot a gun, I didn’t do that for the first time until I was in my 20s and have only done it a few times since. It’s fun, but I never saw myself getting any enjoyment from tracking and killing an animal doing its best to survive in the world. I do have respect for hunters who do it respectfully and use as much of the animal as possible. But the idea of hunting for sport… let’s not get me started.

And the biking and athletics… We’ve already talked about that a few times. I’m not a natural athlete. I fought childhood asthma. I fight allergies regularly. And though Crossfit is helping develop my strength, endurance, and a little bit of dexterity – I don’t see myself rushing out to play any sports any time soon.

20160607_100231I know, I know… I’m taking a long time to get to what I mentioned early on and in the subject of this post… unexpected benefits of Crossfit.

Under everything my Dad taught me (and still does about enjoying life), I think an appreciation of nature and the want or even need to experience it has been an underlying factor in all of it. He appreciates the natural world and that has always been apparent.

This week I got to to on a couple of hikes with my family in beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado. It sits about 9600 feet above sea level. And though I’ve been enjoying coming up to eat, drink, and even do some snowmobiling or dog sledding every now and then, I’ve not been one to “go hiking.” It didn’t appeal. Gasping for breath and physical activity wasn’t one of those things I sought out actively.

Yesterday I went for a short hike with my wife. We were probably above 10,000 feet for nearly an hour. I didn’t ever really get out of breath. I didn’t fall and hurt myself. It was fun. We might have gone a couple of miles total, but it wasn’t too far.

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Today I went with my wife and daughters and we did a 5.5 mile hike (about 2.75 miles one direction and then turning around and coming back). Though I did get a little sweaty and my knees eventually gave me a little grief, we had a great time. Up and down, across streams of snow run-off, over boulders, through small sections of snow, over logs… And not a single breathing issue anywhere.

And I probably could have gone further. I’m glad I didn’t because I was getting hungry! But I can truthfully say I don’t remember ever going on a 5 mile hike, let alone enjoying it.

It means a lot that I was able to feel a bit more connected to my father and his legacy while also sharing that activity with my kids. I hope they enjoyed it. I know I did.

It wouldn’t have happened without waking up in 2012 to the fact that I found my way to Crossfit. Crazy how that decision has helped me in so many other parts of my life. 🙂

I’d say it’s a nice side effect, would’t you?

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