Yes, you can lambaste me for drinking the Crossfit Kool-Aid. But, first, let me preface this by saying I'm not a part of that fitness cult just because of its physical benefits, but rather the benefits it's had on me as an entrepreneur and on my business.
Here are some ways I've found Crossfit has helped me with more than just my back squat:
1. There's no planning involved.
As entrepreneurs, we constantly make decisions and plan our next move. But, at Crossfit, all I have to do is show up and that's the extent of my brain usage. The workout of the day (or "WOD" as they call it) is posted on the board. Every detail is planned out for you, down to the exact weight you should use for the WOD, based on your own personal physical ability, not some weight selected for the class.
For me, not having to plan my workout is one less thing I have to think about. Plus, when you're doing the workout, it's typically so intense that you can't possibily think about anything else but what's in front of you, which gives your brain a break from work.
2. It's quick.
"Ain't nobody got time for that," says the entrepreneur. With so much on your plate running a business, your time is always limited. There's always something else you could be doing. With Crossfit, the classes are based on high-intensity training for short periods.
Instead of doing moderate activity for a long amount of time to see results, you can crunch-in an intense sweat session and save a lot of time.
3. You'll make non-business friends.
Think about all of the new friends you've made in the past year. My guess is that most of them are connections made through business. As a business owner, it's hard to meet people unrelated to that consuming passion. I'm not saying that being friends with other entrepreneurs or business connections is bad, but it's important and refreshing to have friends totally non-related to your company.
I'm not saying these friends have to be in your bridal party, either -- just people you can talk "non-business" talk with.
4. It's okay if you fail.
As kids, we used to try the monkey bars without fears or doubts that we'd make it across. As adults, we approach things differently. We typically only want to try things we're pretty confident that we can do. At Crossfit, you're encouraged to do things that scare you: rope climbs, handstands, box jumps, etc. The workouts force you to be playful again but also to test yourself and witness your growth.
5. You can measure your 'ROI.'
As a business owner, you'll always ask yourself if you're getting a return on your investment, whether that ROI is related to your company or not. But Crossfit is about getting measurable results. I'm not referring to the scale, but rather your physical ability. Maybe today you finished a WOD in 4:30, but then three months later you'll do that same WOD and finish in 4:15.
Or, you can squat 150 pounds today, but a few months down the road, you'll notice that you can squat 160 pounds. You look for tangible growth in your business; so, why not find that same growth in your physical abilities?
Although Crossfit has been a great source of growth for me and my business, I'm aware that this particular workout isn't the only channel to follow. What I am saying, though, is that you should find a hobby or activity where you test yourself outside of your business.
Make it an arena where you can play, interact, grow and, yes, mess up. As life's responsibilities grow heavier, it's important to find outlets that we can stay loose in and see that inevitable growth.