On those tests you take to get into college (the ACT, the SAT, the 90A, the Y4O) there used to be a section of analogy questions. They went something like:
: Poverty is to money, as hunger is to food.
: John Stamos is to Full House as Ross is to Friends.
The other day new one popped into my head.
: Eating vegetables is to children as doing Crossfit is to adults.
I realize it’s beyond strange for analogy questions to randomly jump to the forefront of one’s cortex, but I’m an odd manatee-sized man. However, hang with me and I’ll explain why this makes complete sense.
I. The ‘eat your vegetables, they’re good for you’ mantra
Basically every parent ever has told their child to eat that stalk of celery not because it tastes good, but because it’s good for your bones. Or, something. We all know that celery essentially tastes like a veiny, stringy stick of nothing. Unless it has peanut butter and raisins smeared on it, then it’s transformed into a delicious animal/vegetable hybrid.
The whole mantra is the same at Crossfit. Here, do these 87 burpee pull-ups for time. I promise, they’re good for you. Lies! At no point does it feel good. In fact, a pull-up for me is essentially a double dare with the forces of gravity.
Also, your trainers fill in nicely for Mom and Dad in this scenario. Think back to the last work out. There were probably many pleas of : ‘Come on, one more.’ Or, ‘Get another round.’ Like your parental units with the celery stick, they’re encouraging you to suffer more. I understand teenage angst so much better now. Cue, Nirvana.
II. Prep time
Getting vegetables ready to cook is a time consuming feat consisting of a blur of sharp knives, cutting boards, and sauté pans. Plus, if you’ve ever tried to peel an artichoke you’ve likely discovered that those little green jerks have thorns and those bad boys do an excellent job of skewering fingers. Once you remove the leathery outside, there’s a strange fur in the middle that you have to dig out and eventually you’re left with like a quarter of what you started with. On a scale of frustrating vegetables, at the top of the food chain is the artichoke laughing manically at us peasants below.
Now, if you’re anything like me, prior to class you spend a chunk of time stretching out. I’m about as flexible as a coffee table, so I use those ‘roller things’ (I was told that’s the technical term for them) to limber up. They’re made of foam and look like something I might snuggle with on a rainy afternoon. Wrong. This is not the lovey dovey memory foam you see on commercials. This is the I hate your stupid face foam that shows up on the Maury Povich Show throwing chairs. Let’s hear it for voluntary torture devices!
III. I don’t like you and you don’t like me
By itself, there is nothing to like about a head of cauliflower. It resembles a tumor and without cooking it, the thing tastes like a rhino’s foot. Sure, you can puree it, add a bunch of spices, and then pretend it’s mashed potatoes. But, we all know it’s not smashed taters like Grandma makes. It’s cauliflower and it wants to eat your soul.
The same thing can be said for most every exercise at Crossfit. Who has ever got up in the morning and said to themselves:
“You know what I want to do today…I want to take this barbell loaded with 95 pounds, I’m going to clean it to my chin, then I think I’ll squat with it, after that because that’s not enough I’m going to stand up and throw the bar over my head. I think I’ll repeat this 73 times.”
You know who probably said that to themselves – Darth Vader. Well, in his hey day he probably said that. Probably not when he was a weird blubbering ball of a wrinkled white guy.
IV. Vegetables fool you
Sure cabbage looks harmless, but if you’ve ever cooked it you know that unlike most vegetables it somehow multiplies during the process. You begin with 2 pounds of Cabbage only to end up with 34 pounds. For the next six weeks you’re left eating cabbage soup, cabbage sandwiches, cabbage pizza, cabbage rollups, cabbage ice cream, cabbage slaw. While I love a good plate of warm cabbage it can wreak havoc on my insides and leave me with breath that would make a brontosaurus proud.
Ironically, this is just like the Daily WOD.
You check the board when you arrive and the first thought is ‘Eh. This won’t be so bad.’ Then, 30 seconds into the workout you’re asking for your binkie and having someone draw you a warm bath. Three minutes in you’re limbs have stopped functioning normally and you’re considering ordering a shake weight. Seven minutes in you’ve given up on the possibility of finding the meaning of life. Ten minutes in you’re neurons have revolted causing you to miss a box jump and leaving your shin looking like a the surface of Mars. The WOD ends and you finally know what it feels like when the Wicked Witch was screaming ‘I’m melting! I’m melting!’ as a puddle of sweat pools around your limp body.
Fat Guy In A Little Coat