About 2 years ago I stumbled upon Crossfit, related to a search for the "300" workout. While I didn't start actually training in any serious way until about 6 months ago, I was quickly hooked, and it wasn't the endorphins.
I am an engineer by training, of the mechanical type, and I am the stereotypical skeptic. What I saw in Glassman's early writings with regard to scientific method and thoughtful and open approach to the improvement of human performance really stuck with me.
So after much hand wringing (about 18 months worth) I decided to shell out the huge expense of a membership to my local affiliate. My second workout sent me to the hospital with a mild case of Rhabdo (a lot of jumping pull-ups). Two weeks later I was back at it and after 4 months of regular training I was in better shape than I'd been in years. My Fran may be 20:48, but I can kick out 10 kipping pullups in a row and a 44" box jump. That my fitness has improved of course is little surprise. Go from doing very little to quite a bit and you'll get something out of it.
As I perused the crossfit journal and the ever expanding body of knowledge that had coalesced out of the crossfit community some things occurred to me. First was that I really love the burgeoning community and philosophy that is crystallizing in front of us. Second I am of the opinion that the intellectual, scientific, and social philosophy that is coming out of these efforts is akin to a second age of enlightenment. I hope to write more about this in the near future, but I really believe that the skepticism that brought turn from authoritarian rule in the 17th and 18th century will once again put the quest for knowledge and guidance in the hands of the individual.
Lifting a heavy weight (a metaphor for accomplishing a difficult thing) will do more to lift the veil of ignorance and instill confidence and self-determination than all the government programs you can come up with.
With a growing rift between the establishment of CFHQ and their philosophical base, I see this movement spreading and evolving ever more rapidly. It is in this environment I know I want to find myself and become a contributing member of it. I want to advance human performance as Glassman put it. To me however this is more than just foot-lbs, it's expansion of human capacity in matters of knowledge, confidence, self-determination, strength, speed and all the other dynamax parameters.
As I push myself towards phase two of my life I hope I can turn my love to teach into an effect means of coaching. I hope I can find in this little sliver of the community an open ears and a thoughtful minds.