Monday, July 14, 2008


Really, that's what it's all about. Whether you know it or not, that is why you keep coming back and busting your ass. There has to be an element of enjoyment.

This doesn't necessarily mean it's all rainbows and daisies while you're grunting and wishing for swift relief from your physical duties, but somewhere along the line something about what we do makes you happy. What is that thing for you? Is it finishing ahead of your un-official nemesis? Gaining a skill you previously thought impossible? Giving the 'crazy-horse-eye' to your coach in the middle of some heinous task?

Post happiness to comments.



Person said...

Good post, and one bound to get a flurry of comments, as it should.

I'll take two things here. First, the people. I imagine most folks are with me on that. I love coming to class and seeing people. I like hanging out. It’s fun. It’s satisfying. And it’s simple: you gather with people you know and like, or are willing to know and willing to like, and you shoot the shit in between bursts of physical activity. It’s called goofing off, and has been a steady and steadily under-appreciated human need for millennia. This is more-or-less what people do in bars, bowling alleys, and other social spaces—and it’s why Kelly was really on to something when he spoke of SFCF’s ambition to serve as a “Third Place.” It is. When I leave after class, I always feel like I really interacted with some people. Precious feelings, especially for those living urban lives (weird, alienating, etc.).

Second, the peace of mind that comes of extreme exertion. This has surprised me. Like most people, I’ve had my battles with my mind. Sometimes it just doesn’t go where I want it to, or turn off when I want it to. I like the idea of zen, but, as prescribed, it’s never clicked. Xfit is my zen substitute—a kind of coerced zen. I’ve found that, as much as I’d love to dwell on looming, anxiety-provoking obligation X, I just can’t for those minutes during which I’m only hoping to keep count and keep going. A few minutes’ respite from whatever’s on my mind is, more often than not, astoundingly refreshing. When I come back to X, I can’t see the big deal. It's simply not there. This is what Bodhi, in the subtle art-house film “Point Break,” referred to as “the gift of blankness.” Hard to get, but there to be taken. Bitchin!

beccarussell said...

While I often hate the actual workout while doing it (esp. if burpies are involved), I love the way I feel after (except for when burpies are involved). Knowing that by 7 a.m. I have already had my ass kicked by Boz for the day is a great feeling.

But I am with Ross on this one. It is really the people that make this place different and special. And no question this starts with the coaches. From the first day I showed up for a 6 a.m. class, scared, cold and tired, I was instantly greeted by Adrian, Kat, Juliet and Hells and knew this place was going to be all right. And once I realized that the morning women weren't all part of Bernard’s harem, I felt even better.

I think having been away for 3.5 months I realize even more how important the family atmosphere of Crossfit is (and Kelly is definitely the big brother who picks on me relentlessly, but would kick anyone else’s ass who messed with me). While I am not ready to give up paradise, I think the thing I look most forward to about being back in SF in another month and a half is having my amazing 6 a.m. peeps to get ass kicked with every morning again. Though judging from the photos on the blog, I won't know half of them when I return… but promise I will introduce myself right away, as 50 burpies on my first morning back would be too much to take!!!

Nick said...

Happiness is getting to spend time with your friends doing something you at once love, and at the same time hate.

Honestly the bonds that you make participating in rigorous physical activity are truly like nothing else. I also love the fact that this kind of 'work' gets you out of your comfort zone of people you meet. I feel like there are people here that I never would have met otherwise and I am so happy for that.

Anonymous said...

Happiness is a place where everyone suffers together, and feels the pain of the man/ woman next to him or her. The comradery, and wlecome atmosphere at SFCF definitely shatter the elitist stigma some associate with crossfit. Hapiness is knowing we have the best group of trainers crossfit has to offer under one tent. I emailed this quote to gravelle but felt it appropriate to share because it is what I beleive is the appeal to us all in crossfit, and in turn the reason we keep coming back to be punished which makes us all very sick, sick people. "Yet even in the midst of the tremendous punishment being dealt to my body, I absolutely thrive on the raw intensity of the moment. Beneath the feeling of hopelessness and despair, never have I felt so alive, despite- or perhaps because of--the pain."
See everyone tonigth for some pain, and happiness.


Anonymous said...

First, I have to agree with the sentiments expressed above. Very well written posts.

So on a somewhat unrelated note (but somehow I'm linking this with Boz's Crazy-horse-eye comment), I was at the Mandalay Bay a couple weeks ago hanging out at one of the center bars. And who rolls up next to me but none other than the dude who played Crazy Eyed Killer on that Curb Your Enthusiasm Episode. You may also know him as the concerned father of a teenage driver on recent Allstate commercials.

true story. don't be jealous.

(Its a stretch, i know, but i've never been able to get any real milage from that sighting, and i figured it was getting stale.)

Unknown said...

I think we can all admit that we had no idea what we were getting into the first day we came to SFCF. I’m still quite new but on my first day, I felt like I was the new girl in school packing my Rainbow Bright lunch pale when everyone else had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Thank goodness for me SFCF quickly Rambo’d Rainbow Bright out! SFCF has an amazing group of athletes that are always there to cheer you on and pick you up. We are all here for strength and endurance training, but in the end we have all found something more. I think it is quite the honor and the privilege to be amongst such fabulous people. No matter your size or your abilities…we are all one at SFCF! See you tonight!

Unknown said...


Having my trainer yell at me across the room and having all the other people ask me later why he yells at me so much. Because I'm EFFING special, that's why!!!

Hearing him say, "YOU SUCK!" across the gym, knowing he means the exact opposite. And having him tell me "Good Job" really quietly knowing he means he's proud of me.

Having CrossFit dudes say "HOLY CRAP!" when they watch me lift.

OK, I'm an attention whore.

meg said...

would it be too cheeseball to have people cut and paste some of these into yelp? as the resident database enterer...i'm currently obsessed with getting 1,000 sf crossfitters into the database...we're at something like 919.
- mk

meg said...

god, now i feel guilty - all numbers, no substance. but really, i'm obsessed with sf crossfit and the people and my new muscley arms. :)

i heart crossfit.