What is fitness, and why should I be using that damn foam roll.


noun fit·ness \ˈfit-nəs\

  1. the quality or state of being fit
  2. the capacity of an organism to survive and transmit its genotype to reproductive offspring as compared to competing organisms

Is that vague enough for you? Disregarding definition number 2, which brings you in the beautiful realm of biology, fitness is the quality or state of being fit. So what does being fit mean? Well there’s the thing. The Merriam-Webster dictionary has about 10 different definitions. two of them match what we’re looking for :

  1. physically healthy and strong
  2. suitable for a specified purpose

So, basically, being fit is being healthy and strong in order to be suitable for a specified purpose. And for 99% of the population, the purpose is living a healthy life for as long as possible. “But I play hockey twice a week and I want to get better!” Good! That’s a great objective! But thats 4 hours tops over a full week of 168 hours. That leaves you with 164 hours of living time with no hockey game per week. “But I want to beat this person on my next wod!” It’s good to have some competitive nature in you. It’ll serve you well. But overall, unless you’re a sponsored/professional athlete, you should be working as hard as possible in being healthy and strong for the purpose of staying healthy and strong for as long as possible. And that includes fixing the knicks and kinks in your body. Got a shoulder that pinches when you go overhead? Your low back is painful when you do lots of squats? You find the jump rope deadly on your ankles? FIX IT. Or at least take the necessary steps to fix it. Ask questions to your coach/trainer. Go see a sports therapist. But regardless of what they do/say, it will not get better by itself if it’s anything serious. Do the exercises/stretching/mobilisations you are given. Do them like it’s your job.

Now that doesn’t mean to stop everything you’re doing to go see someone about your problem. Most articular/soft tissue problem will only get worse with long term rest. And so will your mental state. Remember that fitness needs to be fun, or else you won’t continue, and you will have to say bye to your objective. Keep moving, scale your workouts accordingly, or ask your coach/trainer for substitutions if need be. It’s their job. If they don’t want to/know how, there’s a big problem.

Prevention is key. An easy way to avoid unnecessary injuries/issues would be to foam roll/stretch every area of your body over the course of the week. It takes 5 minutes a day. 5 MINUTES! But over a week, you’ll spend almost half an hour maintaining your joints and soft tissue, and will feel much better over time. And you never know, maybe your performance will be increased over time as well!

Nothing stays the same. It will either get better or worse. And if you’re not doing anything to fix it, take a guess as to which direction it will go?

Stay healthy and strong, friends!