When I watch these videos I have one overwhelming reaction: these girls are lucky. Yes, I am inspired, but I am also happy that they have the opportunity to work out a gym like this and learn how to train at such a young age.
When I was that age, I had the desire to train in this manner, but not the opportunity. PE class was a joke, we either played volleyball or pickup basketball every day. No pushups, no situps – heck, I don’t even remember running laps. I ran track, which I loved but I truly sucked at. The only thing I won in three years was the Hardest Worker award. Other than cross country or basketball, that was my only option to participate in sports when I was growing up.
There was no internet, so I wanted to train hard, but I had no knowledge whatsoever on how to do it. When I went to college I took a strength and conditioning class, which was also a joke. I learned nothing, rode the stationary bike 20 minutes a couple of times a week and got an A. The assistant football coach taught the class, so everyone got an A. A couple of my professors were runners, so I became briefly infatuated with that. Again, I had the desire, but no knowledge and within a year I had blown my knees out.
My other PE requirement in college was filled by taking a tennis class. Again, I sucked badly, but boy did I love it. I remember towards the end of the semester we played a round robin tournament in class where each person played one game against another. There was a hot shot guy in the class that was pretty good, and he strutted around like his shit didn’t stink. I was so bad that I actually beat him. I was throwing junk, as they say in baseball. Slices, drop shots, shanks, bloops, lobs, frame shots. You name it, I did it. The hilarious thing was, I was really trying to hit the ball like a normal human being. I was so bad I couldn’t do it. He didn’t know what to do with me and I have very vivid memories of him staring in frustration at the spots where my spitballs were landing. I will never, ever forget the look on his face when I won the game. The best moment of my whole college experience, right there.
After college I got really fat and lazy. I played league tennis for a while, but that fizzled out after a few years. But I still had this deep desire to TRAIN. I wanted to work hard but I didn’t know what to do. Then I found Body For Life through a family member. I dropped 70 pounds and felt awesome. I hated the fitness plan, however. I didn’t understand something as simple as linear progressions and I got bored and frustrated with my lack of progress.
Next I found martial arts. There was nothing I loved more than the good hour long ass-kicking I got in class. Finally, some work I could dig my teeth into. The harder the class, the more I loved it.
Then, finally, I found CrossFit. I know there are lots of CrossFit haters out there and I tend to agree with a lot of what they say. Some of the programming the main site puts out is just shocking, but as Zach Even-Esh says, a CrossFitter will die for you. They will WORK. Through CrossFit I found the barbell. I found Mark Rippetoe, Joe DeFranco, Dave Tate, Jim Wendler, Mike Burgener, and Zach Even-Esh.
I didn’t know it, but I found what I was looking for all those years ago in high school. If someone had taught me deadlifting, squatting, pressing, tire flipping, sled dragging, pull-ups, lunges, farmers carries and rope climbs back then I would have been a completely different person. I would have been happier than a fox in a hen house.
I know, I’m fortunate that I have no physical disabilities and I have been able to do anything in life I wanted. But in my opinion, ability without focus is useless.
So to the girls in the videos above, I say “you don’t know how lucky you are.” You don’t know how lucky you are to be able to do those things, how lucky you are that girls deadlifting or tire flipping is not seen as odd. You don’t know how lucky you are that the people around you care more about how strong you are than how popular you are.
So please, don’t waste it.