Sunday, 26 June 2016

There is no I in team

Yesterday morning I went to my Crossfit gym for the first time in about a week. I have been having problems with my calf muscle so I decided to take it easy for a week or so, so that I could get my calf healed and it seems to have done the trick. There is a lot to be said about rest.

Yesterday we did what is called a team chipper. A chipper in Crossfit is when you perform a few movements but at a high volume. You wouldn't go at high pace because you would run out of petrol very early but you literally 'chip' away at the workout and it would take about 20 minutes or so. Yesterday we did the workout in a team of three. We had to do 100 hang cleans, 100 shoulder to overhead and a 2000 metre row. (Hang cleans and shoulder to overhead is basically the clean and jerk deconstructed.)

 We could break up the reps in any way we liked. I find these team workouts actually quite enjoyable because I like the strategy involved because even though you are literally doing a workout, Crossfit is a sport and you are competing against other athletes. In the end we beat the other men's team by 2 seconds which was awesome especially when I was last on the rower. Obviously you don't go yahooing about beating the other team but I must admit I was satisfied about our team's performance.

It's interesting that I chose team sports to play growing up. When I think about it that was the influence of my family and especially my father. If I had really played a sport that was congruent with my personality I would have played tennis or golf or some kind of individual sport.

It's interesting when I think about the sports I played as a child and a young adult, I didn't really have anything in common with the people in my teams. The only thing was the sport we played. Tonight I'm meeting a guy that I used to play cricket with high school. He comes to Tokyo every year and we catch up. It's interesting that a few years ago he said that we didn't really have anything in common at school and that is 100% true. We didn't. It seemed though that most of the other guys seemed to get on well and had things in common. That was confusing to me at the time but it has become clearer over the last few years.

I think when you choose a sport you need to take your personality into account. Are you going to fit comfortably into a team? Would you prefer to do some kind of individual sport? Do you want a combination of both? (I must admit that in Crossfit I enjoy the team elements to it but I also equally enjoy the individual workouts where you are just competing against yourself. Very ambiverty, right?)

At the end of the day, we do sports for enjoyment and if you don't enjoy what you are doing, what is the point of doing it? If you don't get on well with your team mates but you enjoy the sport you might have to change teams. If you feel uncomfortable in the team environment then you might need to find an individual sport. If you need that social stimulation and you are in an individual sport then you might need to play a team sports. That's a call that you decide at the time.

Postscript: Just in case you don't know what a clean and jerk is in weightlifting, have a look at the video below from the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games. This is the super heavyweight gold medalist in weightlifting. The second lift is an iconic moment in New Zealand sporting history. It's moments like these .....

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