“What Have You Got Against Christmas Cards?”

Posted by Brian PCF
Aug 15 2010

We want to be in a situation under maximum pressure, maximum intensity, and maximum danger. When it’s shared with others, it provides a bond which is stronger than any tie that can exist.

Chances are, you and I have suffered together. Most days that I can get away from the business of business, I do the WODs with a class at PCF. I do this mainly because it’s in the best interest of my fitness. Aaron Moburg-Jones does PCF’s programming, and the guy is a programming genius. If he writes it, I’m going to do it because it’ll make me fitter.

Also, I like training with people that leave it all on the training floor. No cherry picking WODs, no “1..2..21..Time” miscounters, nobody that gets an ouchie and calls it a day.

By the way, I also want to beat you. I want to lift more, I want to go faster. I know this isn’t going to happen most days. But some days I get to beat you and that’s fun.

I’m in the unique position to really enjoy getting beat by you as well. Especially the folks that I introduced to Crossfit and train regularly. It’s a great feeling to see somebody come in that can’t do a pullup beat you in Fran one year later.

Which leads me to Christmas Cards.

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion. -Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

There is something about that shared turmoil, that shared stress that brings people together. At a Crossfit Affiliate, it’s almost more pronounced than in a combat unit because here, you can just stop showing up. There’s no deploying to Iraq for three months and then going “Nah, I’m not going to come back in and I’ll just email billing to let them know.”

So self-selection is in some ways an even more interesting phenomenon than the All-Volunteer Force.

So what happens is a group of people come together, voluntarily. They commit to a certain ideal. They suffer together.

What happens next? They probably get a little trashed together, sometimes quite frequently.

Why is this? In the interest of trying to keep this post like a seminar vice a lecture, I’ll ask:

Is there any other place in modern day life that brings about the same level of stress as the Workout of the Day? And is that level of stress enough to get a look at a person’s real character?

If it is enough, then maybe you just got in one twenty minute AMRAP what it takes most people four or five years to figure out: that the guy/gal next to you is worth sharing a drink with or that they are a douchebag.

For me it’s pretty easy to see that when I’m coaching or when I’m training alongside of an athlete.

And that’s the a priori cause of drinking and carousing. It’s the training first. It’s the suffering. Everything else springs from this.

And you can’t create it, it has to be organic. No dinners, drinks, Facebook sharing, etc, causes exquisitely painful and worthwhile training. It’s got to be the training first. Always. No exceptions.

And even though I love these Christmas Cards, you’re still not getting one.

The wonderful love of a beautiful maid,
The love of a staunch true man,
The love of a baby, unafraid,
Have existed since time began.

But the greatest of loves, The quintessence of loves.
even greater than that of a mother,
Is the tender, passionate, infinite love,
of one drunken Marine for another.

“Semper Fidelis”

General Louis H. Wilson
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Toast given at 203rd Marine Corps Birthday Ball
Camp Lejueune, N.C. 1978

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