March 04, 2013
Dr. Jane Drexler asks who we are between the first rep and the last.
“He is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock.” —Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
If you want to wax philosophical about CrossFit, few better moments will capture your attention than the Dog Sled event of the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games.
Picture the now-iconic image of Chris Spealler, and you see an unforgettable moment: all eyes were on a man whose whole being was focused on the herculean effort of pushing a way-too-heavy-but-somehow-not dog sled across an arena floor.
The dog sled was part of the second half of a multiple-round workout that included three rounds of overhead squats and double-unders, and then three rounds of handstand push-ups and a 385-lb. dog-sled push from one end of the arena to the other, 40 feet at a time. After each 40-foot push, we watched Spealler and every other athlete stand back up, turn around, and walk back to the beginning in order to earn—through HSPUs—the right to push the sled again.
We don’t usually pay much attention to the time in between rounds, when not a whole lot is going on. What’s to look at? It’s people walking, resting or catching their breath. We don’t usually see that as worthy of sustained attention.
But I want to linger on that moment.