0 to 90: Last Samurai vs. Seven Samurai

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

Assumption #5: Only injured people and boxers need a trainer. 

Let’s talk about the human vs. inhuman thing again. Like I said last week, I’ve operated under the assumption that personal fitness should be, well, personal. As in, private. Alone. Nunya. Me-myself-and-ice-cream.

What I’m learning is: that’s dumb.

The powers of my mind, and my mind alone, are capable of understanding how awesome I truly am. 

The powers of my mind, and my mind alone, are capable of understanding how awesome I truly am. 

I mean, more power to ya if that’s all you are able to do, but if you have the opportunity, why not get other people involved? Why be The Last Samurai when Seven Samurai are so much cooler (and are far less likely to lose their sanity on national television)?

I’m finding this to be especially true when it comes to instruction.

Here are some facts. I’ll even go out on a ledge and say that among my circles, they’re well known:

1. I am not a fitness expert. Shocking, no? Those of you who know me in the meat-verse are probably blown halfway to the moon by that revelation (more likely you’re like my friend Lynn, who laughed for a full minute when I told her I was starting CrossFit. You? You’re starting CrossFit? My ego is still recovering).

2. I do not want to become a fitness expert. I do enjoy reading (sitting) and I am intellectually curious. But I don’t have plans to fill the old noodle with details on this particular subject.  

When 36 years old you reach, look as good, you will not.

When 36 years old you reach, look as good, you will not.

3. I will die early without some form of regular fitness. Some of you have shiny-straight-teeth-and-I-don’t-even-brush, live-to-be-147-smoking-two-cartons-a-day DNA. Bully for you. I have you’ll-be-lucky-to-get-out-of-this-thing-without-multiple-back-and-heart-surgeries DNA. I used to think I didn’t need fitness. Then I turned 35. Oh. 

4. Many people who try hard at exercise alone hurt themselves. Again, not all of you. But I have. Many times. And that’s just depressing. Here I get all set up to rock a daily jumprope, or decline/incline power push-ups, or (what in my mind is) a rocking strength build at Hell-Pay Fitless, then, wonk. Something breaks. Something tweaks. Something hurts, bad. And I’m out for three months.

For these reasons, a live, human, non-app, non-You-Tube, in-the-flesh coach is a godsend. Mine is, I’m convinced, a genius.

1. A good coach will tell you to keep going. I don’t do that very well. I make excuses for stopping early (I was going to do 10 minutes on the elliptical, but, erm, I think the walk home should be enough). My coach has the uncanny ability to materialize at the exact moment these thoughts are going through my head and say, “Don’t stop, keep going, one more round.” As a result I’m actually making progress, which never really happened before.

Coach AKA Sensei AKA Beasty Von Beastmaster. Seen here with Coachette at a Lululemon demo. 

Coach AKA Sensei AKA Beasty Von Beastmaster. Seen here with Coachette at a Lululemon demo. 

2. A good coach will tell you to stop. Another thing I don’t do very well. I tend to do fitness like a insecure twelve year-old. If there’s something that’s not going well for me, I’ll try to be over the top in another area. Injury comes from ego, and hence, the three months of me flat on my back. My coach tells me to stop all the time. Sometimes it stings a bit. But I need it.

3. An amazing coach will be able to help you overcome obstacles. Now, this is where I’m a bit spoiled. My body is 36-going-on-90, and tends to go a bit janky after a workout. My coach routinely proscribes super-effective treatment for those things, and is constantly checking up on progress during the workout. Sometimes those treatments are painful, but, having someone there telling you to push through is beyond helpful.

Add all that up and what you get is vastly superior, vastly more effective fitness. Not crazy. Not risky. Not stop-start-stop-start-hospital-stop-start-once-more. Just a long, steady climb with friends, and a trustworthy guide. 

Human.