Imagine if Jonny “Bones” Jones, the champion MMA fighter, mocked Floyd Mayweather as being a wuss because his sport didn’t include takedowns, elbows, and kicks! Ridiculous, right? You certainly wouldn’t question the manliness of either of these champions, would you?
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of name calling taking place between CrossFitters and other members of the fitness community that has a similar ring to it. I just finished reading an article suggesting, essentially, that bodybuilders didn’t like CrossFit because they just couldn’t handle the pain and couldn’t endure a CrossFit workout. Whoa!
When Arnold Schwarzenegger, as a young boy, saw a picture in a magazine of Reg Park, a famous bodybuilder at the time, he decided exactly what he was going to do with his life–become the most muscular man in the world. The rest, as they say, is history. I am thoroughly convinced that if CrossFit had existed in those days and Arnold decided to be the best CrossFitter in the world, it would have happened that way. I’m guessing that Arnold would pass the wuss test by anyone’s standards. Either way, what it takes to be the best is the same no matter what the endeavor.
What reason is there to think that your pursuit of excellence in your sport is superior to the man who derives his passion from a different pursuit?
I’ve been interested in all aspects of fitness since I was a boy. Every weekend I would watch Wide World of Sports and marvel at the skills of the competitors – – from gymnastics to bowling. There is plenty of room for all who participate in fitness to coexist with respect. Being the best at each sport requires the same admirable ingredients: hard work and relentless determination. The winning attitude shines wherever it is found–especially in my fellow Seniors at the gym, or studying Tai Chi, or practicing Yoga– competing against the ravaging effects of aging just to maintain a lifestyle. There’s some serious courage to be found there, my friend.
I completely set aside weight training for three years when I decided to study Shotokan. The workouts were intense and demanding, as were the training hours I spent in the gym. Two very different workouts and two very different worlds–weightlifting and martial arts–both requiring practice and determination, and both deserving of respect.
Appreciate the differences found in the incredibly diverse world of fitness; it’s befitting of champions to do so. In the old days we called it sportsmanship.
We, as a fitness community, could use some of it right now.
Train Hard and Respect Our Differences,
The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.