It will never cease to amaze me.
The most important lessons I learn day in and day out when I walk into the gym have nothing to do with getting stronger or faster. They have everything to do with being the best person I can be in all areas of my life.
Here are 9 things I’m learning from CrossFit (that I’m working on applying across the rest of my life):
1) There are lessons to be learned everyday. – They’re not always obvious. Sometimes you have to look really hard for them. Sometimes they may as well smack you in the face.
2) Leave no regret. Leave no doubt. – What if’s? Coulda? Shoulda? Oh those are the worst. What would happen if you never allowed that feeling to creep up? What if you never held back from pushing that much harder, or putting yourself out there when you might get hurt?
3) Be grateful. You get to do this. – This. Is. Everything. It’s easy to be grateful when things are going your way. But when it gets hard, that’s the test. I get to do this workout and I get to be sore tomorrow because I’m healthy enough to do it! I get to finish this work assignment because I have a job. I get to do laundry and make dinner because I have a roof over my head and can afford to buy groceries. You never know what’s going to happen. But you get to do this right now! Not to be morbid, but life’s too short not to look around and just think ‘damn I’m lucky’ because there is always so much to be thankful for.
4) Set goals. Make a plan. Stick to it. – 200 Clean & Jerk. Make Regionals. Make Games. Get promoted at work. Lose 15lbs. Set it. What are you doing to get there? Hold yourself accountable. How bad do you want it?
5) Surround yourself with the best. – Athletes, yes. People, abso-freakin-lutely.
6) Trust and enjoy the process – There will be ebbs and flows. It’s part of it.
7) Be coachable – Goodness there is so much to learn. Be open to the lessons others have to teach you. Coaches, teammates, coworkers, bosses, random people you meet. You never know what will be the gem that clicks, that makes the difference, that opens yours eyes.
8) Be a good teammate. Be a good person. – It’s not just about you. It never will be. Whether it’s an actual defined team, or being a part of a training group that supports each other’s goals. Or perhaps it’s in an office environment, or as a leader of a company. What we each contributes matters. Trust in and respect for those on your team is essential. Do the work and be the quality of person that others want on the team.
9) Shit happens. Learn. Give thanks. Send love. Let it go. – Of course it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. There are bad workouts, bad days. Shit happens. Stuff that’s not fair. You get lied to, hurt, cheated. But if you gave it your all, you should have no regrets (refer to #2). Dwelling helps no one, and only impedes growth. There is a lesson to learn (refer to #1). Figure it out. Give thanks for the lesson (refer to #3). If it’s a person, send some love their way. Then let it go.
I (obviously) love CrossFit. And it was right around this time last year, midway through the Open, that I started thinking that this could really be something special for me. Not just a workout, a way to lose weight or even a positive community to be a part of. But I haven’t been able to identify it. It was never just one thing, but so many things. It wasn’t something tangible or something that could ever be taken away.
I believe in my heart of hearts that all things happen for a reason. They happen when they are supposed to, and we meet people exactly when we should.
Of course my list here can be learned/practiced/realized in all sorts of ways. But we all learn in different ways, and perhaps at this time in my life, this is the means that was meant to be.
I’ll continue to be amazed.