An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is a philosophical masterpiece that lays the groundwork for empiricism. Hume believes that we acquire knowledge based on our senses and experiences, rather than through reasoning alone. This means that most of our knowledge comes through senses such as sight, touch, and smell, which is especially true in the CrossFit world. We must feel our body challenge itself to build strength, stamina, and endurance. Hume is not only outlining how we come to know what we understand, but also how we should not take our beliefs for granted. We must question them over and over again through direct experience.

For CrossFit enthusiasts, Hume’s words are a reminder of the power of physical experiences versus just relying on the theories that float around on social media. We all know about the “mental game” in CrossFit, and how important it is to continually push our bodies to new limits. Hume’s ideas also reinforce how we must constantly test our limitations in the box. We might think that we can’t do another rep, but with every push, we learn how much more our body can handle.

In the CrossFit community, the phrase “Keep pushing, don’t give up” can become cliché, but it’s a reminder of the mental strength that is needed to keep growing. To achieve our fitness goals, we must constantly test ourselves and try out different things. This is where Hume comes in; we must stick with his idea of constantly testing and questioning our limits. Hume shows us that success is possible when we keep pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone in the gym.

So, I encourage you to pick up a copy of An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, for a mental exercise that can apply to your exercises in the box. On your next training session, challenge yourself to do something you’ve never tried before, whether it’s adding on more weight to your squat or trying a new skill. Let’s apply David Hume’s philosophy to our daily lives and experience our limits in ways that we never thought was possible.

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on how a classic book about philosophy can be relevant to the world of CrossFit. Now it’s your turn, did you try something new in the gym today? What did you think about my unusual application of Hume’s philosophy? I would love to hear your thoughts about how we can apply these ideas to every part of our lives. Leave a comment and let’s have a healthy discussion about how we can continue to push ourselves to our limits in CrossFit.

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