We frequently refer to CrossFit as, "The Sport of FItness." The discipline requires to to think and behave like an athlete; to plan your day and your eating according to the events planned for that day. Like no other fitness model, it requires you to do things on purpose.
This is a major lifestyle change for most people. Most people, for example, don't eat strategically to improve performance. Most people have no reason NOT to eat Shreddies for breakfast and say, "good enough!" Most people have no reason NOT to listen to Dr. Phil, or not to believe the Part-Of-This-Balanced-Breakfast! lie that allows us to fool ourselves to death.
Jeremy Paquin is not most people. Jeremy's an athlete.
Ask him to name his sport, and he'll hesitate. He's an adventure racer, yes; he's also a hockey player, cyclist, endurance runner….. and CrossFitter. I asked Jeremy for his impressions of CrossFit the sport:
1. Most people here know you; can you quickly outline your competitive background?I
played hockey competitively until age 16, went away to play junior only
to return home a month later to focus on my grades. In my early 20's I
began to spend more and more time in the mountains and woods, which
then evolved into a healthy addiction to running and adventure racing.
2. Are you doing mostly CrossFit now, or are you supplementing with other stuff?
I am trying to balance CrossFit with running and mountain biking in the summer months, and skiing and hockey in the winter.
3. Competitive events planned for 2009/2010:I
enjoyed the four major 2009 events that I competed in so much that I
may repeat the same: Run the Great Lakes; Frontier Adventure Challenge;
8 Hours Superior Singletrack; and the CrossFit Games.
4. At CrossFit events, do you feel greater pressure to perform, given your athletic background?
I find the competitive spirit to CrossFit is greatly internalized. I am
competing against myself, the clock, and perhaps with age itself.
5. Do you find that you have to change technique on exercises (ie pullups) to do better at CrossFit?
am constantly thinking about efficiency of movement, whether I am
carrying a sandbag, scrambling to the top of a muddy trail, or throwing
weight around. The thought of "technique" often preoccupies my mind
during the most grueling or mundane activities.
6. What's your opinion on CrossFit as a sport on its own?
I bumped into a childhood friend of mine. I hadn't seen him for perhaps
more than a decade. However, we are friends on facebook so he had
viewed images of my latest endeavours (including the large collection
of Crossfit Games photos). Within minutes of striking up a
conversation, he asks: "So what is this voodoo you've been doing?" I
chuckled, somewhat uncomfortably, to the thought of a long lost
childhood friend viewing me as some kind of witch doctor. Crossfit has
such a broad range of varied exercises and elements, that the average
person does find it foreign. But like all new sports, they initially
appear extreme, foreign, or "voodoo", much like long distance running
in the 70's, triathlon in the 80's, adventure racing and mountain
biking in the 90's, or even mixed martial arts in recent years. In
time, CrossFit will be viewed as a sport on its own.
Jeremy was third overall at Catalyst Games 2009. He was second as Rx'd at FranFest. He's a climber; his running background makes him an early favourite for Murph 2009. Will he be there? Will he finally take home the title? Only one way to find out.