0 to 90: Why Does The Dark Knight Have a Creaking Hip?

0 to 90 chronicles the CrossFit adventures of a know-nothing noob. For more 0 to 90 posts, click here.

Assumption #2: I don’t need CrossFit. 

It’s Day 9, my first workout with everyone else. So far I’ve had four sessions of training, which were, as it turns out, pretty fun. But I’ve been learning something: my self-perception of my body is, well, a bit flawed. Allow me to explain.

What I think I'm doing.

What I think I'm doing.

I’m a pastor of a small, Protestant church. This means I spend most of my time preparing sermons and classes, studying, meeting with people, and (sometimes) answering email. 

Now, in my head, what I do seems like save-the-world, fighting-crime, cry-battle-loose-the-dogs-of-war kind of stuff.

In reality, I sit. A lot.

In reality, my average day is: Type. Type. Type. Coffee. Type. Coffee. Lunch. Type. Talk. Type. Pick the kids up from school. Some variations.  Sometimes I fly (sit) somewhere to help someone figure out something (sitting). Many nights include meetings (sittings). You get the picture.

This can all be very confusing when it comes to assessing my actual health. 

What I'm actually doing.

What I'm actually doing.

For instance, when I walk two miles, and my hip starts to grind, that’s confusing. What the heck, hip? I think. Why are you acting like I’m 63, and not 36? How could you do this? Do you not know I fight crime for a living? Did I not go to the gym two months ago? What reason could you possibly have for this behavior? 

Or when I wake up with a spine that someone drove rusty nails into during the night, and the only thing I can think that I did the day before to cause it was that I got a box down from the top shelf in the closet. What gives, spine? How can I push back the evil hordes in this condition? Why have you betrayed me? Have I not trained this body for war every day these past 15 years?

"Hey. Buddy. Can you reach that batarang down there for me? I kinda screwed up my neck trying to get off the couch last night."

"Hey. Buddy. Can you reach that batarang down there for me? I kinda screwed up my neck trying to get off the couch last night."

No. Not actually. I’ve trained my body to sit these past 15 years. The fact that I enjoy meaningful work, the fact that most days are exciting, the fact that I’m blessed to feel useful for at least half of my work-week — these facts have absolutely no bearing on the related fact that I sit, often hunched over, often without moving, for the majority of the hours in my day.

So this means a few things for me, as I learn the (not-so-metaphorical) ropes at CrossFit.

1. Frequent Reality Checks. My head tells me: Of course you can hang from that bar for a long time. Swing back and forth? No problem. Don’t you know your 9-5 is swinging from skyscrapers chasing baddies? In reality, I’m losing my grip after about 10 seconds. And most workouts, everyone else gets to the finish line first.

2. Everything Else Is Going To Get Better. Feet with no arch, a spine made of barbed wire, knees that complain after a light jog, these are not adept sidekicks in the war on terror. So we’re working on kicking them to the curb. Remember, CrossFit is aimed natural movements. Meaning, let's not feel 63 at 36.

3. My Goals Are Actually Cool. At Hell-Pay Fitless, my goals were: see if you can do 12 reps. If so, add weight and do 8 reps instead. Oh look, you did more than last time. Huzzah. My goal now? To let my body catch up with the rest of my sword-wielding, D-Day landing, Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeedooooooom! shouting self. 

Well, at least for one hour in the day.