I mean, c’mon! What’s not to like about a workplace fitness challenge? Am I some kind of a “find fault in and/or ridicule each and every proposal for self-improvement championed by the enthusiastic (albeit, naive)”, cynical curmudgeon bastard? Well, not exactly. Though I’ll readily admit to being a cynical, curmudgeon bastard for reasons other than this. Especially during the political season — but I digress. In any event, though, I do both appreciate and applaud the effort by the well-intentioned soul responsible for this particular challenge. Any step, in my opinion — even a faulty step such as this — if it can entice someone to get up and after it — well, all I have to say is, bravissimo! Once we get ’em in the ball park, we can teach ’em the required technique; that’s my attitude.
So why the cynical sneer over such a rich and beautiful thing? And why did I have to be — shall we say, “ever so gently coaxed” — into participating? Well, the thing is this: the “challenge” revolves around a celebration of who can accumulate the most time spent working out over a given period (which, in this case, I believe, is 6 weeks). OK, very well, all fine and admirable. Except that I vehemently disagree with the implied premise that the “time” variable (read, biased toward an accumulation of the “slow and steady”) is (1) any indication of true fitness, and therefore (2) a goal worthy of pursuit by one seeking a higher level of fitness. Well, “what is?”, you might ask. And to that I would answer, “well, what about a measure of one’s peak power production increase as measured over the same time period?” or how about “a time betterment for a given sprint distance? An increase in one’s verticle or standing long jump, maybe?” I would even go so far as to advocate choosing something along the lines of a Crossfit workout at random, then having a two-pronged challenge — (1) the best time, straight-up and (2) the best time improvement over a given period.
I know, I know, it’s my nature to deconstruct. Everything I do, say, or advocate has to come wrapped in nuance and topped with a pretty little bow of disclaimer. Just shut the hell up, you say. Support the co-workers who’ve been so nice and supportive to you, and keep those gosh-damn lunatic-fringe thoughts to yourself and your stupid little blog that no one reads. Which, ultimately, is what I’ve done. I’m full-in, diligently keeping track of my hour here, half-hour there and throwing my support to anyone who’ll have it. Of course, I got ulterior reasons. My hope is that, as the challenge progresses, people will come to realize how little time I actually do spend working out. My hope is that I’ll be given the opportunity to evangelize the Evolutionary Fitness lifestyle without coming across as “preachy” or ‘dogmatic”. It can be a fine, fine, and often-times ill-defined, line.