Why Hard Is Good...

May 09, 2017



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I've been doing some genealogical research lately.

If you've ever considered delving into your unknown family history, I'll warn you that it's a mixed bag.

For every successful business man, or brave Revolutionary War soldier, you'll find an alcoholic, womanizing, absentee father, or a suicidal patriarch who hung himself after years of discouraging circumstances.

Most of all, my research has reminded me of this one truth: Life is hard.

We live in a broken world. We're surrounded on all sides by adversity. There are battles to be fought, but so many times we've got our eyes out for easy street. We seek comfort over conflict. We seek luxury over hardship. We look for the path of least resistance over the journey fraught with pain and suffering.

Which makes sense, right? Why would we willingly subject ourselves to hard situations?

Well, I believe we'll have trouble in this life whether we try to avoid it, or not. If that's the case, we might as well make a stand and fight a battle that is worth fighting, right?

Have you ever watched a movie? Yes? Of course you have. What makes a good movie? You guessed it. Adversity.

We don't sit and watch 2 hour movies about people who were born into loving families, attended the best schools, and became more and more successful until one day they rode off into the sunset with huge bags of money, the admiration of the world, and a perfect marriage to another incredibly attractive human.

No.

We watch stories about people who overcome obstacles. We want to see a poor, hard working local boxer "go the distance" with Apollo Creed by running stairs, punching a beef carcass, and chasing chickens (Rocky). We want to see an emaciated Tom Hanks stranded on an island, talking to a volleyball, and risking everything to make it back to civilization (Castaway). We want to see someone get framed, and sent to prison. We want to watch him suffer unbelievably hard conditions and mistreatment before finally devising an escape plan, and climbing through a sewer line to freedom (Shawshank Redemption).

We want to watch stories about people who have fought the good fight, and won.

In fact, the saying "fought the good fight" comes from someone who was no stranger to hard circumstances...

2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

The writer of this Bible verse (Apostle Paul) had been blinded, shipwrecked, bitten by a snake, imprisoned, beaten, whipped, stoned, left for dead, and likely beheaded at the end of his life.  Through it all, he held on to his faith, and continued his purpose. Thousands of years later, we're still talking about it.

We're no different than the Apostle Paul. Something in us craves a good fight.

I think that's one of the reasons we voluntarily endure extremely hard workouts.

We feel the adversity out there, and the WOD is some sort of metaphor for the battle we want to fight against the enemy who is prowling around us like a lion.

We know it's good to do battle. Why else would we walk through the door knowing the misery we're about to face?

Unfortunately, sometimes our desire to do battle can end when we walk out the door. While we seek war at the gym, we look for a hammock on the beach with the rest of our life.

Wouldn't it be better to find a fight worth fighting, and lean into it with the same raw energy we tap into during an AMRAP?

Adversity will eventually find us in our hammocks, just as it will find us on the front lines. However, we don't write stories about people who lay on the beach all day.

We write stories about people who face conflict, suffer greatly, and accomplish amazing things.

Let's live lives that are worth writing stories about, shall we?

Have a wonderfully hard day :)


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Ian Sturgeon
Ian Sturgeon

Author