0 to 90: Human vs. Inhuman

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

Assumption #4: When it comes to fitness, I should go it alone. 

So a number of years ago, a guy named Gary Vaynerchuck put forward an interesting idea that goes like this: 

1. We humans are saturated in interactions that pretend to be human but aren’t (spam, commercials, ads), so

2. We’re all getting pretty sick of of the daily barrage of this inhuman demand for our attention, so

3. Marketing as we know it is becoming less and less effective, so

4. Real, human-to-human interaction will be the only thing connects in the future.

In other words, Gary says, we’re going back to small-town rules, where people actually did stuff together. When someone walked into Bob’s Supply Shop, Bob said hi, Bob was nice, Bob would probably give you a few nails for free if you needed them. This was being a good neighbor, and it was a good business. Fascinating stuff. You can watch one of his talks here (buyer beware: Gary drops about as many f-bombs in this corporate talk than Quentin Tarantino on a bad day).

I’ve been thinking about the whole inhuman vs. human thing as it relates to fitness and Crossfit. One of the assumptions I’ve always had with regards to my fitness “regimen” was that it would work better if it was just me. I wasn’t into team sports as a kid. Heck, I didn’t like team projects in school. 

What it comes down to is that I don’t want to have other people interfering with, commenting on, holding back, or in any way affecting what I do.

"Of course I love the cold, silent, reality of being alone. Who wouldn't?"

"Of course I love the cold, silent, reality of being alone. Who wouldn't?"

Now, as I’ve said before, I’m a pastor. Parchments detailing the stupidity of the above line of thinking, brother, I’ve got ‘em by the yard. But I’ll spare you the sermon and give you the headline: the go-it-alone approach is dumb. Not what we were made for. Inhuman.

At my cubicle gym, I’m anonymous. The most human interaction I get in a workout is when I scan my card thingummy at the counter, and sometimes — sometimes — the attendant behind the counter looks up. That’s it. That’s all I get. For a long time, I’ve thought of this as a good thing. No one there telling me I’m doing it right or wrong. No one giving a thumbs up, or frown. No restrictions on what kind of workout I can or can’t do. I can just do what I feel like.

As it turns out, that approach is just plain dumb.

As it turns out, high-fives after a long push are highly motivating. As it turns out, working out with people that have all kinds of different strengths and areas of growth is actually enjoyable. "I killed the squat today, but you destroyed the bear crawl yesterday." That’s just fun. As it turns out, doing something I don’t really feel like doing is a lot easier when other people are there doing it with me. 

As it turns out, I’m pretty sick of inhuman.

As it turns out, human is really the way to go.

I have more to say on this. I want to talk about the value of having a human coach. But this post is too long already so —

Cheers. Here’s to being human.