I regularly speak with athletes in my CrossFit class about the joy of being Generally Physically Prepared (GPP). It is one of the many reasons I love the constantly varied nature of the CrossFit strength and conditioning program we have at Unit 2. I strongly believe that in order to maximize my enjoyment of my short stay on this blue rock we call Earth I must be physically able to do anything I want to do.
This past weekend I was asked to go spelunking (caving). I have done rock climbing and rappelling many times and don’t have any phobias that I am aware of so I enthusiastically agreed to go. All caves are broken up into 5 levels depending on difficultly. The highest level most guides will take non-professional cavers on is a level 3. Needless to say we signed up for level 3 despite none of us having spelunked before.
We crawled through the 18″ tall entrance to the cave at about 10am. Our guide asked us if we wanted to do the hard way or the easy way. We did the hard way. After proving our “sportiness” our guide took us to parts of the cave that he had never taken customers before. In fact we ended up exploring parts of the cave that even the guide had never been.
Our guide was so impressed by our ability to navigate the cave he started asking us about what we did to be so fit. He told us that parts of the cave we were able to navigate through in under 5 minutes have taken some groups as long as an hour to pass. We were told that on typical days the group is too tired to continue by noon. We were in the cave until 3pm. The guide said we did more than 2 miles of caving while we were under ground.
Once we were topside again we asked our guide about level 4 and 5 caves. He said that he had never taken non-professionals to those but he would gladly take us.
If weren’t for our high level of fitness we would not have been able to have such a great day. Most Americans are not even fit enough to enter a level 3 cave. I am excited about doing a level 4 in the not so distant future!