Ive written in the past about my feelings about CrossFit and its purpose as a means to an end, nothing more. Life exists without CrossFit, and Murphys is proof of that. The CrossFit community exists outside CrossFit too. in many different names and forms. I think I finally understand what drove me so crazy about those that run the farm. They lay claim to so many parts of life that existed long before CrossFit. Long before power-lifting, long before weightlifting, and long before burpees, solid friendships and honest relationships were around.
Many of the elite run to their barbell to solve lifes problems, when in fact you should be running elsewhere. Dont get me wrong, the gym is a great place to manage stress, hone your focus, and strengthen your weaknesses. Youll be a better person for it. However, the barbell is not God. You cant lay your lifes troubles down to the barbell and pray for intervention, wisdom or guidance. The barbell is only a barbell. Yeah, its there day in and day outand you can keep running to it over and over. It solves nothing. It proves nothing. Its a tool. You are the solution.
The barbell cannot give you the human relationships you so desperately need. Your family and friends do that. Its great when that happens IN the gym. but its not because of the gym. The gym is a building. The barbell is a tool. Everything else is you, and your ability to recognize whats going on around you. If you run to the gym when your marriage is having problems, dont be surprised when it continues to fall apart and suddenly you find more reasons to be at the gym. Is that the answer? NO! Turning to God and family and away from selfish desires is the answer. Most likely, that will not be in the gym.
If youre a crappy parent and cant communicate with your children, the time you sacrifice in the gym for that PR is time ill-spent. I am lucky to have all of my family with me in the gym, and lucky that my gym happens to be in my garage. But Id close the door and sell all the equipment if it thought I was separating myself from my family.
We can easily be drawn into thinking all good comes from the gym because usually ONLY good comes from the gym. Thats a skewed view, and has the cart before the horse.
Dont let your gym, or your program, be your family or your God. Its a tool. The PEOPLE are friends and family regardless. Remember that.
Many of you know I embrace the neo-Paleolithic (neo-Paleo*) way of eating. Meat and fish, eggs, lots of veggies, some fruit and plenty of healthy fats like coconut and olive oil. Im 90%+ adherent with occasional alcohol intake on the weekends and some form of paleo cheat now and again.
Many of you may not know that I suffer from Gastro-esophigal Reflux Disease (GERD) or persistent heartburn. Youve seen commercials for Prilosec and Nexium on TV no doubt. Ive been on some form of acid reducer for 20 years. When we switched to completely neo-Paleo over the last 2 years, it never even dawned on me that GERD could be treated with a Paleo diet. I read plenty of articles that mentioned it as a possible benefit, but it flew completely under my radar. Ive been popping a pill daily for 20 years, the thought to stop never occurred to me.
While reading a blog post on Marks Daily Apple (www.marksdailyapple.com), the subject peaked my interest again. This time, I was bouncing around the internet looking for reasons why, for the second time in 3 years, I had developed a heart arrhythmia called a premature contraction (PMC). The first time this occurred, I got pretty worried and went to the doc here at work. Nothing gets nurses and docs worked up like complaining of heart problems and shortness of breath. I was whisked to the back room and hooked up to the EKG quickly. They couldnt capture what I was describing. Although when lying down (as I told them) it seemed to go away. I followed up with my doc, and was told my magnesium was low most likely from over-training, dehydration, yadda yadda. I blamed my ego and started paying attention to my recovery. The symptoms went away.
Fast forward to Feb-March of this year and it starts again. I knew what it was, and knew it wasnt life-threatening so I started studying more on my own. I quickly came across evidence that Prilosec can cause poor magnesium absorption. More searching and I found a book (Heartburn Cured by Norm Robillard). The premise of the book is heartburn relief through lo-carb dieting. Paleo IS lo-carb by definition, by the way. I read it very quickly and suddenly it all made sense. Read some more, and the lightbulbs started going off . it became apparent that Prilosec needed to go.
On March 20th I stopped taking it. Its been a bit over 3 weeks and I cant say I havent had heartburn. I can say that Im learning very quickly how much fruit I can eat, what artificial foods bother me, and how easy it is to be symptom free. When Im eating meat, fat and veggies (Paleo) and limit my fruit Im good to go. As Robb Wolf would say, easy day.
*Neo-Paleo is used to shut up the folks that say Im not really Paleo because Im not digging for bugs and hunting my food. Shut up and go count your blocks.