Blog 15/50. The Sick-Well-Fit Continuum.

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Hello again everyone! Here we are with another NUCLEAR ASSUALT OF KNOWLEDGE. Today’s topic has been in the CrossFit literature from the very beginning. In the article “What is Fitness?”, Greg Glassman (way back in 2002!) lays out how nobody else has defined fitness and how CrossFit is changing all of that. It’s a great read ( especially considering how long ago it was written.

More relevant for today, it says that if you can measure anything related to health, it can go on a continuum. It’s impossible to say exactly what numbers put an individual on a given segment, but from a conceptual standpoint it is spot on. Your blood pressure, bone density, muscle mass, fat mass, blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, and much more can all be measured. The sum of those measures is what places you but they are not what MOVES you around. This is why your solution to being far down the continuum can’t be medication. Measure vs Target anyone?

This continuum is always relevant because it illustrates how when we make healthy choices, we hedge our bets against something happening that we can’t see coming. Sound like anything going on right now? When we choose to train hard, eat well, sleep well, and cultivate our relationships, we create a more robust and resilient individual. Resilient to what? That’s the thing. You can’t possibly know what is coming. You can’t plan for a virus to sweep across the world, you can’t plan for a car wreck, you can’t plan for a fall on the ice or trip on the crack in the sidewalk. Except that you can! You don’t have to know exactly what is going to happen or when it will happen, but you CAN plan on something happening.

CrossFit has said from day 1 that we train for the unknown and the unknowable. If you are lucky, you won’t even notice that your fitness saved you. If you’ve developed enough leg strength to be tripped by the sidewalk, catch yourself like it’s no big deal, and keep right on walking without a care in the world, awesome! Let’s even take it a step further and say you DON’T catch yourself. You trip hard and tumble all the way to the ground. Or you fall down some stairs! Or wreck your bike. Or slip getting out of the shower. You don’t have to be elderly for these things to happen. They happen all the time. Imagine the people in your life that you know have slid way down that continuum. Imagine how devastating one of these events would be to their quality of life. How amazing is it that training and eating well gives us the luxury of withstanding an event that would potentially hospitalize someone else?

If you have been following any news whatsoever then you’ve probably seen that being in poor health has made people much more vulnerable to this virus. Obesity, diabetes, heart conditions, respiratory conditions, etc. have made its effects much worse. But that shouldn’t be a surprise. The effect of EVERYTHING is much worse when you are already sick. It is my belief that that the vast majority of people, especially Americans, look at health in a binary way. They are either sick or they’re fine. *cue Sarah Goff saying “it’s fine”* So many people out there that we all know and care about think that as long as they’re not going to do the doctor for something it’s all good. I would bet people even think that they’re fine despite taking medications for any number of things! The absence of an illness is clearly not fit or even well.

Please share this with your friends and family! If they are anything like some people I know, they might need to see it. Let them know that just because they’re “not sick” doesn’t mean they are well. The only way towards well and hopefully fit that actually lasts is consistently eating unprocessed, unsweetened whole foods and doing something physically hard and varied regularly. If you or anybody you know has questions about this, hit me up!

author: Jacob Watts


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