China, at some point in the next century, give or take a decade will clearly, by most political scientists’, economists’, and historians’ estimates, overtake the United States as this planet’s dominant global power. That might not necessarily be a bad thing, but I cannot help but feel a twinge of preemptive guilt at the fact that in all likelihood it will my generation of Americans who will eventually bare witness to the fall of Pax Americana. It was (will be) a nice run.

Now, while this shift in superpowers may be inevitable, it need not be disastrous. The British Empire for example has done a bang up job of stepping away with a large amount of grace. However the Brits have something that we in this country have seem to have lost: a stiff upper lip.

The Greatest Generation of my grandparents or great grandparents has produced subsequently more sheltered and therefore less, for lack of a better term, tough offspring. Fewer and fewer kids grow up playing tag or fort in the woods but instead substitute PlayStation or the Sims in the basement. Gone are the days of lawless and chaotic dodge-ball replaced by regimented, year-round, highly supervised “youth sports” which prize plastic trophies far above actual athleticism. I fear that my generation is growing increasingly sedentary and self-absorbed. And there are some striking results of this shift. The number of reported food allergies amongst children under 18 has increased 18% from 1997 to 2007 according to one Center for Disease Control study. In the world of youth sports as well there have been a dramatic rise in the number of young athletes with significant knee injuries in part due to a lack of early age lateral movement, the type of movement you might get say jumping from rock to rock in a creek or playing a game of freeze tag, two activities maligned by many of todays safety obsessed parents.

So what do we do with this new crop of coddled children, how do we stave off the curse of inactivity in the name of safety? One answer which, I admit have a rather strong bias towards, is Crossfit. Speaking as a male who not that long ago was in the maelstrom of high school, little does more to improve self confidence and mental outlook than tossing around a little weight. Fitness offers unique opportunity to both focus teenage energy (and angst), instill a priceless work ethic, and sense of self. My father always said that shoveling snow was not only to clear the sidewalk but also “to build character”.  Working out does the same thing. Crossfit in particular is adept as honing character through the constant dyadic relationship between competition against those around you and competition against yourself. The latter of these I feel is an indispensable skill as kids get older and grow into adulthood. Crossfit, through calloused hands, sore legs, and uncomfortable movements forces kids to confront and then eviscerate their limits. This is a powerfull lesson to learn and one that they can take kids a lot further in life than the lesson that dirt is bad and pain is worse.

Give a kid a trophy, and they’ll enjoy it for a day, teach a kid how to earn a trophy and they’ll be earning them for life.

 

China, at some point in the next century, give or take a decade will clearly, by most political scientists’, economists’, and historians’ estimates, overtake the United States as this planet’s dominant global power. That might not necessarily be a bad thing, but I cannot help but feel a twinge of preemptive guilt at the fact that in all likelihood it will my generation of Americans who will eventually bare witness to the fall of Pax Americana. It was (will be) a nice run.

Now, while this shift in superpowers may be inevitable, it need not be disastrous. The British Empire for example has done a bang up job of stepping away with a large amount of grace. However the Brits have something that we in this country have seem to have lost: a stiff upper lip.

The Greatest Generation of my grandparents or great grandparents has produced subsequently more sheltered and therefore less, for lack of a better term, tough offspring. Fewer and fewer kids grow up playing tag or fort in the woods but instead substitute PlayStation or the Sims in the basement. Gone are the days of lawless and chaotic dodge-ball replaced by regimented, year-round, highly supervised “youth sports” which prize plastic trophies far above actual athleticism. I fear that my generation is growing increasingly sedentary and self-absorbed. And there are some striking results of this shift. The number of reported food allergies amongst children under 18 has increased 18% from 1997 to 2007 according to one Center for Disease Control study. In the world of youth sports as well there have been a dramatic rise in the number of young athletes with significant knee injuries in part due to a lack of early age lateral movement, the type of movement you might get say jumping from rock to rock in a creek or playing a game of freeze tag, two activities maligned by many of todays safety obsessed parents.

So what do we do with this new crop of coddled children, how do we stave off the curse of inactivity in the name of safety? One answer which, I admit have a rather strong bias towards, is Crossfit. Speaking as a male who not that long ago was in the maelstrom of high school, little does more to improve self confidence and mental outlook than tossing around a little weight. Fitness offers unique opportunity to both focus teenage energy (and angst), instill a priceless work ethic, and sense of self. My father always said that shoveling snow was not only to clear the sidewalk but also “to build character”.  Working out does the same thing. Crossfit in particular is adept as honing character through the constant dyadic relationship between competition against those around you and competition against yourself. The latter of these I feel is an indispensable skill as kids get older and grow into adulthood. Crossfit, through calloused hands, sore legs, and uncomfortable movements forces kids to confront and then eviscerate their limits. This is a powerfull lesson to learn and one that they can take kids a lot further in life than the lesson that dirt is bad and pain is worse.

Give a kid a trophy, and they’ll enjoy it for a day, teach a kid how to earn a trophy and they’ll be earning them for life.

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There’s no denying our CrossFit Kids and High School Athletes are tough!

Workout of the Day
Bench Press
Find your 3 rep max.
3-3-3-3-3
then
Complete 5 rounds of:
Max Rep Handstand Push-ups
Rest 2 minutes between rounds.

Post your scores to the Whiteboard.