Stuff Sober People Like: CrossFit and Other Dumb Exercises
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Stuff Sober People Like: CrossFit and Other Dumb Exercises


When people have just entered recovery, many embrace fitness like they’re preparing to be the next trainer with a reality show. Yep, running on the treadmill while watching Sex and the City reruns on E! and running at a 5.2 rate and a 1.0 incline next to the guy who reads magazines while running isn’t enough for newly sober warriors.

Newcomer sober energy is energy like no other. It needs a focus and an outlet and that outlet needs to be different, as different from being glued to a couch snorting cocaine (see also: pounding wine, shooting up, ingesting bong hits) as possible. In a sense, the tragedy that befalls them is inevitable.

Yes, I’m talking about those thrilled-to-be-sober folks who become Cross-Fit-ers. If you don’t know any personally, trust me that they are amongst us. They may not always be dressed for their next punishment-disguised-as exercise but rest assured they are thinking about it.

Like all cultures in life, there are fads. There are alternatives to the norm. CrossFit is no different. It’s a strength and conditioning program that focuses on cardio endurance and stamina while mixing aerobics, gymnastics and Olympic weight lifting. Basically it’s the hardest physical activity you can imagine short of what you’d need to do if you were a professional athlete. This of course makes it ideal for sober folks who like to commit to nearly impossible, often painful things.

If it wasn’t enough for sober people to become certified yoga instructors and train for 10K.s. Oh no. Yogilates had to become a thing. I’m talking about one of those weird, unnecessary hybrids (see also YAS—that’s yoga and spinning—and any number of other off-shoots). This one is, yes, exercise that combines yoga with Pilates, something this chain-smoking dude thought was only for pregnant women in their last trimester. But I’ve learned, despite not wanting to, all about this work out tailor made for the most high-end Lulu Lemon-wearing Range Rover-driving gals.

Still, it’s not just for the women in yoga that your sponsor has instructed you not to even attempt to hit on. It’s a 75-minute mix of the two international phenomenons that ends in meditation all set to pre-9/11 electronica.

What’s harder than a marathon, you ask? One in the mud. What’s harder than that? Running a mud triathlon. It wouldn’t be a sober person’s extra circular activity if it didn’t go totally off the deep end into borderline suicidal or impossible and that’s where we land with mud marathons—obstacle courses that consist of wet dirt, tires to jump through, ropes to climb and people to annoy afterwards with Instagram and Twitter pics.

Don’t believe me? I swear this is a real phenomenon. I’ve heard mud marathon announcements at the end of meetings. I know people who couldn’t keep their meeting commitments because they had to get to their mud marathons. I’ve actually been asked if I want to join a group that was training for a mud marathon.

Now I’m all for getting healthy. But can you chill out a little for this guy and his brethren who smoke cigarettes outside the gym, until recently thought cleanses were heavy-duty closet cleaning rituals and wouldn’t be caught dead in biking shorts? We’re all egomaniacs with inferiority complexes. You need to make us feel worse?

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About Author

Carlos Herrera is a comedian, photographer and writer whose work can also be found on The Fix . He has been featured in LA Weekly and has performed at The Hollywood Improv among other places.