Why do we train?


Why do we train?


Sometimes we may all need a reminder as to why we do what we do—specifically, why we train every day at CFD.  While we train for the sake of General Physical Preparedness (GPP), we sometimes find ourselves asking how it applies, or even if it DOES apply to our daily routines.  Let’s say nothing in your life demands that you lift more than an easily manageable weight, or ever NEED to get out of breath to get something done.  Then why train the way we train at CFD?

I’m about to get a little personal here, but I think it’s an appropriate time to speak of it;  I had recently met with the head pulmonologist at the Iowa City VA because of some ongoing respiratory issues I have been having.  Long story short, it seems very likely that I have a service-related condition known as constrictive bronchiolitis.

Why am I announcing this to the world via blog?  Well, because I think it directly pertains to the topic at hand, and because I’ve always been one to be very transparent about my business, my training, and myself.

Regarding the subject of the blog (finding purpose in WHY we train), the way I see it, there are two alternative realities that could have happened in my life post-military:


1.  I could have followed the path that I chose which led me here—among other things, I discovered CrossFit, trained as an athlete, and improved my level of fitness across broad time and modal domains. 




2.  I could have neglected my health and fitness post-military and let my body go to hell.  While there is no way of knowing, I strongly suspect that, had I not trained my body appropriately and reached a relatively high level of fitness, this developed condition would be more likely to affect my day-to-day activities.  However, because my lungs were trained well and conditioned, operating at a sub-maximal capacity does NOT, in any way, affect normal, day-to-day activities.  It really only affects me when the throttle gets wound up; it essentially dashed any hopes I would have at being a GREAT athlete, even though I would still argue that I am currently a GOOD athlete even with my ‘excuse.’


I don’t regret my decision. I thoroughly value being strong and capable of performing almost any task–far more than the average person–without being hindered by my fitness.


Back to the topic of the blog, I would argue that for those of you who are NOT required to be active whatsoever in your profession, it is even MORE important for you to be active recreationally, since you are generally NOT getting the amount of movement the human body needs and craves in order to be healthy.



So, why do we train?  Ask yourself a few questions…


In the long run, is it worth training your mind and your body for the unknown and the unknowable? 

Is it worth creating a ‘buffer’ between your current state (being ‘able’) and that of not being well or healthy (or being ‘DIS-abled’)?

Is it worth spending just a few hours a week in order to maximize your genetic potential of health and work capacity?

Is it worth being adequately healthy and strong so that, in the face of illness or injury, you’ll recover that much faster?

Is it worth being above average for the more-than-reasonable time commitment of 3-5 hours per week (that’s 2-3% of your LIFE)?

I think there are plenty of reasons to value our training, whether your goals are to be competitive in a sport or simply to be healthy and functional in life.  I already know my answers to these questions…do you have yours?


RLTW <1>

–Coach Phil