By Sean Wells
For those of you who know the movie Top Gun, you will remember this:
The scene where Maverick(Tom Cruise) sings to a woman in a bar(turns out it is his future advisor in the movie) but Maverick sings a song “You’ve lost that loving feeling”. The song’s title is more important for the context of this blog than the words or how it played out in the movie, but if you want to see the clip go here: (skip to 2:41).
The song in this context and specifically the title refers to something that I see happen to people that have been training for awhile – but usually those who are training CrossFit. These people get addicted to the feeling.
When I say “feeling” I am referring to how they “feel” after a particularly hard training workout. The “feeling” that happens when they are laying on the ground after this hard workout and they are in a puddle of sweat. The “feeling” is probably best described as a sense of accomplishment, success, maybe a “feeling” of superiority over those who couldn’t have done a workout as hard as this. This “feeling” produces the chemical Dopamine – same as a runner gets after completing a run “Runner’s High”.
Dopamine and Serotonin are the trophies we get when do the right things.
Triggering these chemicals is the brain’s ultimate goal. Our bodies follow our brains around, we are constantly led toward the pursuit of happiness by our brains desire to get these chemicals. When we are knocking out these “hard” workouts and laying on the ground we are triggering these responses.
Just like anything else in life –
Everything needs to be done in moderation and the above mentioned “hard” workouts that leave you laying in a puddle of sweat at the end of the workout might not be the best for you, day in and day out. But being human and having a brain that realizes what makes us happy(different than other mammals), our brain is telling us to chase this “feeling” and people doing CrossFit know what brings it on; the difficult, longer duration, sweaty workouts. So we chase this “Loving feeling”.
What does this mean for our long term success?
Quite simply it is not ideal to just chase the “feeling”. Similarly, a runner can’t only run. They need to strength train. Work on running technique, maybe do some dynamic stretching, get a massage once in awhile, see a chiropractor, etc, etc. Strength and conditioning athletes, CrossFitters, we need days that we aren’t left lying on the ground. Why? Who says we can’t do this every day? First every strength and conditioning coach(you want sources hit me up I will send you books to read) in the world that is understands physical training, every runner who has only run and any CrossFitter that didn’t have a plan with their training.
What we do here at Oregon CrossFit is balance what you want with what you need.
And we had better measure it! Set goals and then logically look at how we are going to chase those goals. Looking at 10+ years of being open and having very few injuries. Having significant success in helping others be healthier, feel better, look better, perform better(1,000’s of people now). If in those 10+ years we didn’t continue to implement what works better. We wouldn’t be doing our job. Our job is to help you reach your goals. Do not just chase the “Loving Feeling”. Figure out what you want – logically, set up a plan of action to go get it and implement said plan.
“Chasing a feeling always leaves you behind”. That quote has stuck with me because it is in essence what you don’t want to be doing. You want to know where you are going and implement a plan to get there.
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