Intensity in Action

By Master Sgt. Eric N. Johnson

In The CrossFit Life

November 01, 2012

PDF Article

Master Sgt. Eric Johnson believes true intensity and focus can make the difference between good and great.

At the age of 41, I have spent 22 years as a United States Marine, and I’ve been an avid weightlifter, American Mountain Guides Association rock-climbing instructor, ski instructor and martial-arts instructor. I’ve always thought of myself as being in pretty good shape. I can run three miles in under 21 minutes and do 20 strict pull-ups no problem, and I don’t even break a sweat doing crunches.

But it wasn’t until this last summer, while serving my third tour in Afghanistan, that I began to catch a glimpse of what “in shape” really means.

And thanks to CrossFit and few good friends, I also learned a great deal about intensity.



9 Comments on “Intensity in Action”


wrote …

Great article "Top"! I'm a Marine from 1976 and one thing I learned in Boot is that you can only push yourself to about 3/4 of your potential. It takes someone or something to squeeze out that last 1/4. For me it was my DI back Boot Camp and my Crossfit buddies today. I have found the path to total exhaustion and satisfaction at my "Box". I have introduced 3 of my 4 Sons to Crossfit as well. 2 are now Marines and one is an up and coming Cross Country athlete. Your article hits home well for me.

Thanks and Semper Fi!


wrote …



wrote …

Great article. It is the essence of why I love crossfit.


wrote …

Rock on CrossFit Leatherneck!


wrote …

Awesome article. Your intensity came through in your words like a freight train. Well done.


wrote …

Nothing like a 0369 Master Sergeant to motivate you.

For more about MSgt Johnson (note how he references Crossfit at the end),


wrote …

You read my mind. Complacency will kill you in the long run if it is not recognized and dealt with. My first few weeks crossfit ting took me back to the struggles of 1st phase at MCRD San Diego. I knew immediately that intensity, strength (mental & physical) and accountability were just a few major factors of this lifestyle before I even started to immerse myself with its knowledge. I think that the next question is how to convey these emotions, struggles and accomplishments to others. I can talk of crossfit until I'm blue in the face, but at what point do they get it or just tune you out? Of course there are 'The Games', clothing lines and bravado, but that is all superficial to the true feelings and accomplishments that crossfit offers every day and years down the line. All in all I really enjoyed your article as it spoke to me like somebody I knew. I assume retirement from the Corps is just around the corner and congrats for putting in the time. I know that it is never an easy road. With that said, Semper Fi and Fideli Certa Merces!


wrote …

Thank you for putting this out there. This is the truth we sometimes dont want to hear but need too. Keep it up! Thanks for the push!


wrote …

Great read and perfect timing for me

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