“Self-improvement is masturbation.” If you’re not familiar with the quote, it comes from Fight Club – my favourite movie of all time. When Tyler Durden passed his legendary judgment on the model on the Gucci poster it summed up everything I felt about health and fitness. A generation of misfits and outcasts saw the value in self-destruction: Brad Pitt’s abs and guilt-free moering.
Fast-forward 14 years and Project Mayhem is still alive, but owned by The Man (well actually The Man’s favourite son Rich Froning), and a Fight Gone Bad leaves you lying in a puddle of sweat and your face still intact, but R1 000 poorer every month. I’m a CrossFit convert to the core and prescribe it for anyone who can afford it, but I’m not oblivious to the marketing. I’m a walking testament to the effectiveness of the programme and owe much of my new lifestyle to the great job coach Garth High and his team do at CrossFit DurBell (the Lord’s work, I promise), but I’m also the first to admit that it isn’t for everyone.
Here’s the truth: If you want to get fit or lose weight, or get a six-pack, just do SOMETHING. Anything will do as long as you commit to it to the point that it becomes part of your identity. I’ve identified as a runner for the past 4 years, and now I’m a runner and a crossfitter. If I don’t get to at least two CrossFit sessions in a week, or get to run at least 20km, I get the moer in with myself and everyone around me.
If you want to run, go run. Start right now if you can. The same thing with biking or swimming or just exercising. You can buy all the Men’s Healths you want, but it comes down to your commitment.
It’s going to get kak before it gets better, and then it will still get kak. Learn to love the kak times more than the easy times. I’ve been doing CrossFit for 11 months and when I did Barbara (20 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, 50 squats x5 for time, 3min rest between rounds) this week, it was the first time I had to take off my shirt. It was also the closest I’ve come to giving up, but I didn’t.
As long as you’re moving and sweating and having fun, you’ll achieve your goals. Sometimes the fun comes after the work, though.
But please don’t be stupid about it. Listen to your body. When I was eating paleo, I got really ill. Like physically ill. A day after I reintroduced carbs, I got better and the weight kept falling off. Sometimes something isn’t for you and you need to accept it. Maybe you have a rare knee-cap disorder and running isn’t the best thing for you. Whatever it is, as long as it’s a valid reason, accept it and move on to something else.
Also, don’t invest too much too soon. Get an entry-level pair of running shoes to start out. Give it six months. If you’re still committed and motivated after six month of anything, then you’ll probably do it for life. Now start upgrading your kit as you can afford. You’ll get the same benefit and have the same amount of fun as someone who bought all the associated apparel and is rolling on the latest kit. Remember, all you’re paying for is branding. And if you bought once, they’ll expect you to buy again.
Apologies for the preachy blog, but it’s my last one as an MH staffer and you chose to read it.
If you want to keep in touch, follow me on twitter . Keep it simple and hit it hard. Peace.