March 12, 2019
A couple weeks ago I had an interview at a law firm for a legal aid position. Upon entering the lobby of the firm, I greeted the front desk secretary with my warmest and most confident smile. My dress shirt was sharply creased and starched - as were my dress slacks. My tie’s four-in-hand knot was immaculate, but only for as long as I made no sharp or sudden moves. I showed up at this law firm prepared to impress - my highest expectation being I receive a very entry level position, where I would do all of the grunt work for one of the firms attorney’s. It dawned on me: How often have I approached my health and fitness in this same manner?
I have been the person that believed I could rise to the top ranks of athletics by simply starting my training a few months before competition, and then going back to a sedentary lifestyle immediately after. I came into CrossFit expecting to compete against the best within my first year. This type of thinking has set me up for failure on several occasions. Time and again I remained consistent in training until I saw the first significant results, only to then set aside my discipline for satisfaction in superficial achievements. Would it have been reasonable for me to expect the law firm to hire me as a senior partner at that interview? Well then why do we have these outrageous expectations of our fitness journeys?
When I consider the amount of time I have been training and competing, I am still in the process of earning the equivalent of my bachelor’s degree in CrossFit. Just as freshmen in college believe they know the meaning of life after their first semester of one hundred level philosophy courses, I too had a distorted view of my capabilities in the sport. This is a normal part of growing. What makes the difference is how I handle the disappointments that come with honest self-assessment. Do I allow my ego to drive me from a sport that exists solely for the betterment of human experience, or do I embrace humility? I choose the latter.
Show up as your best self, knowing you are at the beginning of your journey. Accept that there are others who have been on this path before you, and there will be those who will start after you. Have pride in the process - your fitness and wellness journey is one of the most important endeavors you will ever navigate. And lastly, have fun. The reward of CrossFit is not monetary - we are not expecting to become rich off the sport - the pay off is much more valuable than money. What you will gain through this journey is a life lived to its fullest potential.
- Coach David Carlson