With another Regionals done and dusted, and me pondering my goals for this next year, I was thinking back about my very first CrossFit sessions and competitions years back. I realised that one reason why I am so thankful I found CrossFit is because it has made me a better person in other areas of my life.
Let me explain. Even though I am still not the most mentally tough person I know, I have come a long way from when I first started and I can push harder now. I can keep going. I can finish a hard workout without quitting, even if I am gasping for air.
Why do I think people should push themselves a bit in training every now and then (even if you don’t have competitive goals and aren’t an “athlete”), why do I think it’s good to do the sucky conditioning sessions, the ones when they are gasping for breath and struggling to keep going? (Well apart from a bit of cardio being good for our hearts and our health :D) I think a tough training session can teach you a lot about life. Training sessions are like a blueprint for how to get the absolute best out of yourself and your life. Training has made me tougher and more successful & resilient in other areas of my life. It has made me a fighter, taught me to push hard for what I want out of life, & even if that is the only thing I ever get out of training and competing in CrossFit, then that is totally worth it.
During the really hard sessions, training forces you to wrestle with some raw and honest questions. Why do I keep doing this to myself? Why am I trying so hard? What's the point? What if I never improve? What will other people think if I don’t “smash it” or if I fail the lift? How can I be present in this session and not worry about what other people are doing? How can I continue to love the process instead of obsessing over the end result?
Aren’t those very similar questions that we struggle with in everything in our day to day life? In our work, in our relationships, in our businesses, in our personal growth ? We’re constantly struggling with doing the hard thing, taking the higher road; struggling with what it means to try over and over again and keep failing. What it means to be human, to be vulnerable, to be ourselves, to have both weaknesses and strengths. And at the heart of it, that’s why I keep training & doing those hard sessions. Because it lets me explore what it feels like to be alive.
Training and competing gives you an opportunity to to test yourself, to push, to try. To get behind that start line, shaking with nerves, like we did over 9 events last weekend, after a year that was filled with both disappointments & successes, hard training days & easier days, days when you ask yourself why the f*&k you are putting yourself through it & days when you feel like you are killing it. After all those emotions and all that hard work for this one weekend, to just take a deep breath before each event and go for it with everything you have got, just give it your best shot, no matter what the outcome is. Those are life lessons on resiliance that will stay with you forever, & that’s why I train & why I compete.
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