Regularly Learn and Play New Sports

In Greg Glassman’s infamous “World Class Fitness in 100 Words”, written back in 2001 or so, there are little nuggets of wisdom littered throughout:

Hints of events in the annual CrossFit Games.

A blueprint for how to eat.

Even how to create your own routine – no coach needed!

But a line that used to catch a lot people of guard, particularly Games athletes, was the very last one:

“Regularly learn and play new sports.”

If you were to go back and look at all the non-traditional Games events (softball throw, triathlon at Camp Pendleton, sandbag move) and then watch the accompanying interviews of athletes who suffered dearly, you’d hear them acknowledge that they simply didn’t spend enough time doing “non-gym” things. They ignored that final line.

I think many of us can relate to that as well, myself included.

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely LOVE to train. I love all the workouts, the infinite combinations, all the movements…evening running.

I even love the suffering. I love learning what my body’s limits are in the gym and then pushing past them over time.

But often I find myself stuck in a rut. I’ve created all this fitness for myself but rarely get to put it to any use. Yes, I’m competitive within the confines of CrossFit.

What about outside? I don’t play any traditional organized sports any more…haven’t for many years. And I’d bet most of you can say the same thing. As we get older…I mean wiser…most of us simply don’t play sports any more.

Well I say shame on us.

It is when we step out of the confines of the gym that we can truly appreciate what we’ve spent so much time and effort building.

Curious as to how your fitness is progressing? Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator. Run around a ball field with your kids. Chase your dogs.

Better yet, go for a hike or hop into a pickup basketball game.

These are not just ways to have fun, but they’re a way to find out what more you can work on.

When your legs get tired and your lungs burn too much, you’ll probably appreciate all the squatting and running a bit more. Otherwise the pain would be even worse. You might even look forward to progressing in that.

Block someones shot in basketball and you won’t ever miss a box jump day again.


Saturday morning, Mandy and I woke up and went out paddle boarding. It was an absolute blast. I’m grateful that I do CrossFit because I know that it made it much easier for me than some other folks we saw out there! But I also known when I wake up tomorrow that I’ll probably be sore in places I haven’t experienced in a long time.

And I will welcome that soreness because its just shown me that I’ve neglected some part of my fitness in my training.

And I’ll be anxious to get back to the gym and then go back out to retest it later.

So, what about you?

How are you using all that fitness you’ve been working on? Tell us in the comments below!

people working out in a group fitness class


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