Introducing ‘Sisu’ – In Case You Don’t Know It

As CrossFit gets bigger, so many aspects of it improve: the community, the quality of movement, the level of competition etc. I started CrossFit in 2010. Back then, everybody knew who Mikko Salo was, and everybody knew what ‘sisu’ meant. But as time goes on, I fear Salo may become a distant memory and so too, the meaning of sisu.

So first a little bit about Salo, in case you don’t know the legend. He is the aesthetically pleasing, Finnish winner of the 2009 CrossFit Games. He came out of nowhere and delighted everyone with his athletic prowess. To those that knew of him, he remains a legend, perhaps over and above today’s athletes.

In Finland the term sisu means perseverance in the face of adversity (there is no direct translation, perhaps Jam-dawg, another great Finn can translate). However, Salo made it his own when he was asked why he didn’t lie down after a tough workout, “I once read an article about it: when animals surrender they go lying on their back. From then on I decided I would never go lying on my back. It’s a sign of weakness and surrendering. I’m never lying on my back.” Which brings me to the point of this article.

It might be the feature of many a CrossFit box, but at Thames CrossFit, we DON’T lie down after a workout. If you have been in a class of mine and collapsed onto the floor you will have been swiftly pulled back up by me, telling you, “we don’t lie down here.” You may not remember Mikko, but his spirit is very present in our gym.

So here’s what I would like you to do. Any time you see a member of our gym lying down after a workout, give them your hand and pull them back up off the floor, tell them that we don’t lie down here, or even better, sisu!

Workout of the Day:

Every Minute On the Minute, for 6mins:
5 Deficit Push-ups
5 Strict Chin-ups

Rest 3mins

Every Minute On the Minute, for 6mins
3/3 Pistols (can add load)
5 Ring rows (weighted)

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