Talk To The Hand (Tue 5/4/10)

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There are two types of CrossFitters in the world. Those who have torn a callus and those who WILL tear a callus. I myself have torn plenty of times and spent the 2 or 3 days following the pullup-laden workout handling everything like it might bite me, and what’s more I’m perfectly aware that it’ll happen again. That’s just the way it goes. I’m even proud of my tears – they’re kind of the CrossFit “Red Badge Of Courage” – and I slyly find ways to show them off to anyone who might find them even remotely impressive. To CrossFitters, a torn callus is a thing of beauty that signifies strength, bravery, and the resolve to finish your pullups no matter what (especially if there was blood involved). To everyone else though, they’re clearly the result of something bad (your obsession with CrossFit) gone horribly worse, and you should be more careful to avoid that and other life-changing tragedies in the future. And then they ask the question.

“Why don’t you wear gloves?”

It’s a simple question, and makes perfect sense to the lay person. After all, wearing leather gloves would cover your hands and therefore protect them from blisters, callus tears, falling meteorites, the Draft, parking tickets, and all manner of other potential hazards, right? It’s actually a valid question, even if it does demonstrate how “out of the loop” that person is with regard to CrossFit, so I offer this explanation for why I don’t wear gloves for you to give to the next person (or the last 12 people) who asks.

I choose not to wear gloves because I want my hands to become stronger. And if I wore gloves, they wouldn’t. Ever see someone who wears shoes and socks ALL the time try to walk barefoot across the parking lot on a hot summer day? Or better yet, gravel? You’d think they were dipping their feet in lava, and for as much pain as they’re in they might as well be. When your skin is soft and supple and “smoove” it is also easy to tear and cut and penetrate, it’s more sensitive to heat and cold and in general, pain. Guys with strong hands can withstand that stuff because, for the most part, they don’t feel it. Put padded gloves on before you do anything remotely strenuous, and you’ll end up with hands that are thinner than that poor bastard’s burning feet.

So I’ll deal with the occasional callus tear to avoid having tissue-paper hands, I’ll show off my CrossFit marks proudly and I’ll have stronger hands because of it. And I’ll still roll my eyes a little (to myself) when someone asks me why I don’t wear gloves.


Oly Lift Practice: Hang Power Snatch


21-15-9 reps for time:

Kettlebell Swings (53/35)
Box Jumps (24″ box)


1 minute L-Sit hold