My problem back then was my short attention span, which saw my fitness quest became akin to a puppy chasing every stick in the park. I pursued strength training but couldn’t resist the allure of a three-day adventure race in the wild. I craved hypertrophy, but equally, couldn’t allow myself to lose hard-won cardio capacity. I was simply too excitable, too varied in my workouts to achieve excellence in any one discipline. I became the dreaded Jack of all trades, master of none.
And then I set foot in a CrossFit box.
Straight away, my ‘weakness’ – unexceptional levels of aptitude across most fitness domains and a willingness to explore them all – was now a gift, an ability to transition across disciplines and balance strength, endurance and skill. CrossFit is known as the ‘sport of fitness’, where hybrid athletes like five-time champion Mat Fraser (p62), could reach new levels of human conditioning thanks to a physical preparedness for, well, anything.
A similar craving for knowledge and understanding has helped forge a pathway to success in the health and wellness sphere for Aussie supermodels Jordan and Zac Stenmark (p16).
Working together on this issue we formed an immediate bond over scientific papers reporting the latest in health and fitness breakthroughs. Much like Fraser, they’ve managed to harness years of training and practical research, in their case founding a series of successful health businesses, with more planned for the future.
With the benefits of being open-minded and curious so obvious, you have to wonder why we ‘box’ ourselves in when it comes to our health and fitness? When we see the way world-beaters like Fraser have been able to draw on diverse sources of knowledge and expertise to reach unparalleled heights, surely our own goals shouldn’t be limited by the constraints of our current beliefs and understanding.
We’ve been conditioned to accept that our goals need to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely – a catchy acronym that, judging by my ability to recall it, clearly left a mark. And while it’s been sage advice for many a goal-seeker, I personally have always struggled with the “attainable” element.
Did Fraser accept such a limitation when he set out on his CrossFit journey? Would he ever set a goal he knew he could achieve? I doubt it. His success, I believe, lies in striving for that which seems beyond reach.
As we head into our June issue, and Brain Awareness Month, we’ve taken the opportunity to encourage the unthinkable by expanding your mind.
Off the back of our ‘Mind-Blowing Ideas’ feature (p70), we encourage you to question your reality, push the boundaries of your beliefs and, hopefully, unlock what you’re truly capable of.
The June 2021 issue goes on sale Thursday May 6th.