It is an interesting question, isn’t it? What does it mean, exactly, to be fit? I’d be willing to bet that not only can you not give me a clear definition off the top of your head, that you’d be hard pressed to find one if you were given the time and desire to. You would think, though, that as a $16 Billion per year industry, with all the marketing, the supplements, the magazines, the entire sections of book stores, the websites and the infomercials that somewhere in all that paper there was a working definition of what fitness is.
We at CrossFit have 4 different definitions of what fitness is, but the most applicable to the most people is their ability in each of these 10 catagories:
1. Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance: The ability of the body systems to gather, process and deliver oxygen.
2. Stamina: The ability of the body systems to process, deliver, store and utilize energy.
3. Strength: The ability of a muscular unit, or a combination of muscular units, to apply force.
4. Flexibility: The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
5. Power: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
6. Speed: The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
7. Coordination: The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
8. Agility: The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
9. Balance: The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.
10. Accuracy: The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
Every one of the ten skills on this list touch upon all the skills and abilities that a professional athlete, a grandmother, a father,a shift worker or a weekend warrior needs if they are going to thrive in the world. The needs of an athlete are not differnt in kind to the needs of a grandmother. They only differ in degree. Throughout the course of the day/week/life each of us will touch upon these. How many times during the day do you need to carry something relatively heavy, or pick something up off the floor, or put something in a cabinet above your head? We’re not talking about stuff you do in the gym, we’re talking about the things you do with the rest of your time, the every day things that everyone does. If you can’t do these things, you are not really living your life, you’re just letting things happen around you.
This level of fitness is what CrossFit Lancaster strives to give our members. Not just the ability to do the mundane everyday tasks without injury, but to excede the mundane and to live their lives.
To be fit is to be more fully what you are. To be able to do more of what you have the potential to do, and the more fit you are the more full your life is.