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Drinking the Kool Aid

April 25, 2011

CrossFit terminology, workout names and slang; to the uninitiated it can seem like a WHOLE ‘nother language.

Some of the first I quickly became familiar with:
WOD: Workout of the Day
AMRAP: As many rounds/reps as possible
DNF/DNS: Did not finish/did not start…and one I just learned the other day DFL “dead f*cking last”. HA!
RX’d: Means you performed the workout AS PRESCRIBED
SDHP: Sumo deadlift high pull
GHD: NOT a hair straightener. It’s a Glute Ham Developer and looks like THIS

And one that I heard in my first week that confused the HECK out of me was being asked if I was “Drinking the Kool Aid”
In my head I’m thinking “Kool Aid is loaded with sugar, now, I know sugar is bad, soooo the answer must be NO, right? Is this a trick question? We don’t even have Kool Aid here in NZ, do we? Arrrrgh!”
So I answered “No way! Water for me” and scurried off home to trusty old Google and find out just what the hell that guy meant!

According to Wikipedia “the phrase suggests that one has mindlessly adopted the dogma of a group or leader without fully understanding the ramifications or implications: at Jonestown, Jim Jones’s followers followed him to the end:all the Peoples Temple members drank from a metal vat containing a mixture of “Kool Aid”, Cyanide, and prescription drugs ValiumPhenergan, and chloral hydrate

So being asked if I was “drinking the kool aid” was a bit of an in joke, asking me if I was a true believer, you know?
Here’s where I’m heading with this.

I’m gonna make a bit of a sweeping generalization here, but in my experience so far there tend to be 4 kinds of CrossFitters.
1. Those who come along to WODs 3 x per week, don’t eat according to any Zone/Paleo/Primal principles, know their training works for them, but don’t want to change their lifestyle for the sake of better abs or a heavier back squat (these people are a minority)
2. Those who stick to a CrossFit prescribed work/rest schedule, tend to be at least 80/20 onto some form of Paleo/Primal eating, they hang out at the box on their rest days or after workouts and roll out, post their workouts on Facebook and Beyond the Whiteboard, and hang out together on weekends.
3. Dedicated CrossFit Athletes. Often the Coaches at your box, and the few looking for a spot on the podium at the Games. This is a full time job for them.
4. Those who are drinking the Kool Aid. These are more often than not relative ‘newbies’ to CrossFit who are feeling the powers of change, and geeking out on the lifestyle. They have read every book, blog post, Journal article, know every Hero WOD, they often work out 2 times a day.

There’s even a funny Facebook page called You know you’re addicted to CrossFit when…
NOW I was a Number 4 for a while, about a year into CrossFitting, when I first noticed how awesome this all really was. You may know one of these gals or guys. Heck, you may even be one. And that’s all good, BUT you don’t want to start to become the weird LARPing guy at the party who no-one wants to sit next to, do you?
Here’s how to know if you’re leaning towards the extremes:
1. You can’t have a normal conversation with ANYBODY without it being about CrossFit
2. You make “3-2-1-GO!” jokes about EVERYTHING.
3. Your post on Facebook several times a day about your latest Paleo discovery, or how many workouts you’ve done in one day.
4. Nothing neolithic EVER passes your lips, and if it does, you beat yourself up BIG TIME. You also lecture people around you incessantly on how the food they are eating is poison, and Paleo/Primal/Zone is the ONLY way to go.
5. Anyone who DOESN’T live the way you do needs to be converted. NOW!

What I learned over a little while is that instead of converting more people to an AMAZING way of living, I ended up sounding a little like one of those cult followers. And freaking people out a bit.
Or worse still, boring the sh*t out of them.

So I pumped the brakes a little. I’m still all about ‘flying my freak flag’, but a little less about jamming said flag down peoples throats!
I agree less and less with the jokes made about CrossFit being a cult. I’m seeing the negative connotations of saying that I live ‘like a caveman’. And I’m learning that it’s not going to kill me to have one of my mother-in-laws cookies every once in a while. It’d be rude to say no!

I’ve found that my results speak for themselves, and most people, when they notice that I eat a little differently from them, or LOOK a little different, will ask why.
And I give them the elevator pitch. And leave them to their hamburgers in peace.
Funnily enough, more and more of my friends and family EVERY DAY are coming around to the primal way of living, and I didn’t need to beat them over the head with a club, or put them on an intravenous mix of magical coconut oil and fish oil to do it.

When your buddies start noticing that you have abs of steel, a butt that can crack walnuts, and watch you leap tall buildings in a single bound, they’re gonna come around eventually 😉

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