I found CF as a 280lb alcoholic, deadbeat dad, with no vehicle, two failed marriages, a home in foreclosure, 3DUI’s, a herniated disc, and on the verge of liver failure.
Damn, it sounds bad when I say it like that.
I got this way from trying to make life work. Trying to make sense of all the bullshit. Not from running the rat race, but from trying to want to run the rat race. I tried to want to go to college. I tried to want to make it up the corporate ladder, I tried to want to have nice cars and a position in society, and 2.5 kids. But I didn’t.
Rats run the rat race because they want the cheese. What happens to the rat that doesn’t give a shit about cheese?
Please note that I use “cheese” as metaphorical for all the things society tells us we should strive for.
So, in keeping with the metaphor, I was a fat ass dying rat, with no appetite for cheese. The traditional motivators had no bearing on my actions.
This can be a lonely place. Most of society’s structure is built around cheese acquisition. Most of our gatherings are to celebrate the attainment of cheese, mourn the loss of cheese, enjoy the cheese together.
Social media – look how much cheese I have!
Commercials – this product will get you the cheese!
Service – we will help you find the cheese!
Entertainment – here is what having the cheese is like!
Because I didn’t care about those things, I had to find something different. Something meaningful. Something that wasn’t valuable because it promised cheese but was valuable in and of itself.
When I first began my recovery from alcoholism, I can remember asking if life would be better if I got sober. The answer was no one knows, but it will definitely be different. Thank God they didn’t say yes because the first time I felt like it wasn’t i would have quit.
I approached CrossFit with the same mentality. I was just looking for different. And I found it.
I feel like in the early days, people did CrossFit because it was CrossFit. It appealed to us intellectually, emotionally. It made sense. It was right. It was how we “ought” to do it. It produced a human being who was capable of facing life’s demands, a better human.
It wasn’t to “rip and shred” or “get massive” or “have 6 pack abs” or get ready for your wedding. Although all that stuff happened routinely. Those things are cheese. We did it because it was right. I did it because it made me more independent.
In the same way I didn’t get sober to “start a business” or “get married” or “get a car.” But those things happened.
Since I started CrossFit in 2011, regionals in 2013, L3 in 2015, I have watched the landscape change. I don’t think I even need to describe it. And I honestly pass no judgement on it. I can’t say if it’s better, only different.
When something is successful, and effective, and true, it gets attention. Attention leads to popularity. Popularity leads to change. Amidst this sea of change, I yearned for a place that still had the feel of those early days. A group of partially sick minded people that seemed to enjoy the discomfort of self torture as some kind of intrinsically valuable endeavor.
It is out of this yearning that SobrietyWoD was born. The goal of SobrietyWoD is not popularity but usefulness. I would even argue that those two qualities might be opposite ends of a continuum for reasons too many to discuss here.
Yes it links the principles of recovery and fitness, but only insofar as these principles are fundamental truths. If we back up a step we realize that they are one in the same.
I’m done chasing cheese. Give me something real.
I am looking for like-minded people to do this with. People who feel the same. People who see the value of fitness in recovery and vice versa. People who understand that fitness includes the whole person, and that recovery does too.
If you have some recovery experience, or have people in your box that do who know the power of fitness in their recovery, this is a no brainer.
Click Here to hear the podcast with Chris Cooper.
Click here to set up a call to discuss bringing SobrietyWoD to your community.