As much as I love how measurable CrossFit is, I think there's more to it than "increasing work capacity across broad time, and modal domains."
There will come a time when we hit our last PR, when we realize that the top of the white board isn't attainable for us anymore, and a time when we just try to hold on to our slowly decreasing level of fitness.
When that happens, will we still CrossFit?
I think we will. And I think I discovered part of the reason why.
I think we CrossFit because it tells a story.
I was listening to a teaching by a brilliant writer named Donald Miller today, and he was talking about what it takes to tell a great story.
Donald explains that to have a great story, you need a lead character (you). You need an ambition (a PR, to "RX," a goal, a plan). You need conflict (pain, fatigue, doubt, fear, discouragement), and you need a resolution (a completed AMRAP, a weight lifted...etc.)
I have a habit of viewing life through the lens of CrossFit, and so I naturally applied his template for a "great story" to the things we experience at the box every day.
We walk in...see the whiteboard, and begin to develop a set of goals. Our mind goes to work deciding which weights to use, how fast we can do the WOD, and what our strategy will be.
At the call of 3,2,1, GO!...conflict sets in. Your body, and your mind are telling you to stop....to slow down...that you can't do this...that you can't finish...that it's too hard....too heavy...too painful...
You keep going...You urge yourself along...Supporting characters encourage you to stay strong...to believe in yourself...to work hard.
...and then it happens... against all odds...against the lies your brain told you...in spite of the pain, fatigue, and misery you felt in your muscles and lungs...you finish.
You've done what felt impossible. You've risen above the challenge set before you, and you've told a great story.
What a beautiful thing to experience on a daily basis. It's such a privilege to engage in a story that teaches us that we can overcome adversity, that hard work pays off, that fear and doubt are liars, and that your endurance will lead to triumph.
I think it's great to chase PRs, and engage in friendly competition. I think it's absolutely wonderful to be spurred on by other athletes, and if possible...to WIN! Just don't forget the un-measurable benefit of telling a triumphant story about yourself every day.
You are someone who isn't afraid of hard things. You stick with it when things get difficult. You endure even when it feels impossible. You're patient. You do things right. You are honest. You work hard until you produce the desired result. You're faithful. You do your best. You encourage others. You're helpful. You strive with every fiber of your being to succeed in the task at hand...
This is the story CrossFit tells, and I hope you'll let it shape the rest of your life as well.
I hope you'll go after your goals. I hope you'll hang in there when things get tough in business, marriage, and friendship. I hope you'll make every effort to raise wonderful children, to lead by example, and make the right decisions even when it's hard.
I hope you'll tell a great story with your life, and I hope CrossFit reminds you of the person you're capable of being.
Have a WONDERFUL day!
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