Kyle B. using his fitness and representing Invictus at the Alpha Warrior Challenge
Kyle B. using his fitness and representing Invictus at the Alpha Warrior Challenge

Regaining Perspective
Written by Nick Hawkes

When I first started “crossfitting” back in 2006, the main purpose was to get fit so that I could be better at my job and life, which at the time was an air-crewman/rescue swimmer in the United States Navy. The time dedicated in the gym certainly helped me obtain that goal, along with improving just about every other aspect of my physicality and mental fortitude. I found that even though I did not swim or run a ton, my times in both got faster, and the random day to day tasks that life throws at you became easier to handle. Basically, I became fit and healthy, which was the goal…right?

Somewhere along the way I lost that perspective. Instead of going to the beach or playing a pick-up game of basketball, I would be in the box training. No longer was my main concern to be just good at life, I wanted to be the best at things inside the box. I wanted a bigger squat and a faster “Fran.” Things changed so that my life revolved around training, which was backwards from the original goal.

Since 2006, CrossFit has evolved into the “sport of fitness,” which is awesome for those who choose CrossFit to be their sport. It gives purpose to their training and the time they spend fine tuning skills to compete in their sport of choice. We have amazing representatives of these people and we, as coaches, work extremely hard to help these athletes become the best they can be. But the sport of CrossFit is not for everyone. CrossFit’s main purpose upon creation was to help make you better at whatever life throws at you, and some need this gentle reminder at times so as not to lose perspective.

I love CrossFit as a sport and am guaranteed to lose my voice, and possibly throw a shoulder out of socket from fist pumping and cheering the Invictus and honorary Invictus teams and individuals who qualified to compete in the CrossFit Games come late July. And although these people are amazing, they do not necessarily define or represent what CrossFit is about for the majority of us.

CrossFit is for the normal person, the Maurines, Merrittes, Lauras and Bobs. The Kicos, Larrys, AJs and Alisons, the Blooms, Bridgets and Bryans . . . the person who has health and fitness goals and has come to Invictus to achieve those goals. They can be any goals, weight loss, sport performance, strength, or just to look and feel comfortable in your own skin. No matter what your goal is, Invictus can help you achieve it. You don’t have to aim to be the next CrossFit Games champion to enjoy the full benefits of improved health and fitness; I hope we all can keep that perspective.

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Jennifer Dickson
Jennifer Dickson
June 30, 2013 12:21 pm

Very good write-up Nick! Great and true words. I love the honesty, that will resonate with people and hopefully help them bring it all back into perspective. Life is about more than our workouts. Hope you continue to have fun! Thanks!

Jim Lanier
Jim Lanier
June 29, 2013 10:15 am

Great words Nick. It’s about balance. Sometimes we need a reminder. Thanks Bro.!

Daniel Ware
Daniel Ware
June 29, 2013 9:41 am

Inspiring. Your a badass SNAX
Thanks again for turning me onto this blog.

joe c.
joe c.
June 28, 2013 6:30 pm

Nick i did my first crossfit workout with you in 2006. My how the mindset has changed. Not bad not good just different. An old friend Susan Robinson once said to me”don’t take it so seriously it’s only a workout program” Those words really resonated with me, I am only doing this for me. As a side note I have heard some people say the fitness program isn’t hard enough. All I say to them is put some weight on the bar and try it.

Kyle Blackman
Kyle Blackman
June 28, 2013 2:31 pm

Awesome post Nick! Up until a fwe months ago I had a slightly different mentality. I would go in with the goal of beating everyone around me. And when I didn’t, I beat myself up over it. Thats no way to train. I want to walk out of Invictus feeling like i shed a mental and physical load off my body and have a smile stretched across my face. Lately, I’ve been competing against me. “Oh the WOD calls for 10 push press RX @ 135? Hmm, I know thats alot of weight for me at those reps, I could… Read more »

George
George
June 28, 2013 1:21 pm

Did you mean “Maurines” or “Marines”?

Good write up buddy.

Maurine T
Maurine T
June 28, 2013 5:31 pm
Reply to  George

Nick obviously meant “Maurines.” It’s reassuring to see my normalcy acknowledged by others. Thanks Nick!

Ali Jones
Ali Jones
June 28, 2013 12:50 pm

Yes!!!!! Could not have said it better myself. I have definitely struggled with this in the past and been self destructive as a result. Its never a bad thing to go back and remind yourself of your priorities in life and your purpose in doing crossfit. Friendships and being able to keep up with my kids on a daily basis are at the top of my list! Thank you Nick!

Mary DeHart
Mary DeHart
June 28, 2013 12:39 pm

Thanks for the perspective. It’s so funny because a member and myself were just talking about this very thing yesterday. I am certainly not elite, but I am dedicated to my health and well being. Oh, and I do enjoy watching and cheering for the elite.

Amy T.
Amy T.
June 28, 2013 12:02 pm

Thank you for writing this, Nick! Really beautifully written, love it!!!!!!

Roz
Roz
June 28, 2013 11:04 am

High 5, Nick!

heidi
heidi
June 28, 2013 9:41 am

WELL SAID!!! CHEERS!

Sharon
Sharon
June 28, 2013 9:06 am

My husband asked me what is so great about Invictus; what makes it so special? I have never walked in the door of Invictus, but I benefit from what you do there by following your blog (I do the “fitness” WODs mostly). I have been CrossFitting since October 2009. I am 61 years old. I love what I have learned through CrossFit about living a healthy daily life. I have learned how to prepare myself and take care of myself. What is so great about Invictus? You nailed it here, Nick. Hoping to get to visit Invictus someday! Sharon in… Read more »

Ben Sullins
Ben Sullins
June 28, 2013 8:52 am

I wish every crossfitter had this same perspective Nick. I see it all the time how crossfit, the fitness program, gets a bad rap because of how obsessed people get with crossfit, the sport.

I’ve been at Invictus almost since it started and I was definitely one of those people who took it wayyyy to seriously before. In the past year I have really tried to take what I have gained from crossfit and apply it to the rest of my life and I have to report I am much happier as a result.

great article sir…

Cynthia
Cynthia
June 28, 2013 8:30 am

Nicely done, Nicky!

It’s entertaining as hell to watch the elite athletes and teams perform at competitions, but I really love seeing my 6 a.m. family every day staying happy and healthy.

That goes for my 7 a.m. family, too! I consider you family since I’m always in the way mobilizing and stretching during your class 🙂

Nichole
Nichole
June 28, 2013 7:44 am

Such a great article with timely reminders! Thank you Nick!

Chris Freischlag
Chris Freischlag
June 28, 2013 6:50 am

Boom! Very well written bother. I wholeheartedly agree with you Nick. I can’t remember what my first “Fran” time was, but I’ll never forget playing dodgeball for a warm up while you walked around smiling. It was an honor and really fun the year we all were judges in Aromas, but what I remember the most is the laughs, good people and atmosphere. CJ is so gifted and it seems like he has managed to keep that “grassroots” spirit and feel of CrossFit at Invictus (the obstacle course he made us traverse when he got his first load of toys!… Read more »