This past February marks my 5th consecutive year of participation in CrossFit and I can definitively say it has played a substantial role in shaping the person that I am today. To gain full scope of how big of an impact CrossFit has had on my life, we need to take the story back a few years.
Athletics have been a part of my life since I could remember. Moving, learning and competing was ingrained in me as a way of life since I was hitting whiffle balls off a tee in the backyard. For me, sports served a moral compass that I could rely on to bring me back to center anytime I strayed. The number of instances that I had to go to this compass far exceeds the intended word limit of this post, but if you really want to know, I’d love to grab a coffee with you some time to share some stories. I’ve made many mistakes through my high school and college years; however, I was able to course correct thanks to this compass. I held onto meaningful sport as long as my physical abilities would allow. For me this was 5 years of division two college football. I wasn’t talented enough to play at the next level and as that acceptance set in, I felt my compass begin to fade away. Poor health choices begun to not sting as much without the immediate feedback that active participation in sport provides. I had no coach to chew me out for coming into practice smelling like a bar rag from the night before, no teammates with like minded goals to spend my free time with, and no physical demands that were placed on my mind or body to encourage me to make decent decisions in the kitchen.
Despite my lack of direction, time kept doing what time does and continued to move on. Days became weeks, weeks became months, and months turned into years. As the years started to stack up, my body and mind began to soften. This softening process is subtle and so easy. It is the summation of inaction and immediate pleasure. Sugar, alcohol, fast food, the stress of the daily grind and living for the weekend became habit without me even knowing it.
I consider myself extremely blessed and lucky for several different reasons; however, one reason I have given thanks to God for over and over again has been the day where this slide was made blatantly obvious to me. This event occurred during a single interaction that I had with the parent of one of my clients with whom I was providing behavioral therapy for. My wife Hilary was pregnant with Sloane (our first daughter) and we were discussing how her pregnancy was going. She then proceeded to pinch my cheek and say, “I see that you have put on some sympathy weight for wife. How sweet!” Without knowing it she had rekindled that competitive spark that had been dulled by years of complacency, pizza and Miller Lite. The next day I signed up of a YMCA membership, googled CrossFit.com and started performing workouts with an attempt to find my lost compass.
Six years later I am so fortunate to say that I have again found my path. While CrossFit is not a sport for many, it does provide those same benefits of internal and external accountability that a good sports team provides. A great CorssFit box will be led by a compassionate and intelligent Coach who truly cares about you and will work with you towards accountability and consistent growth. This box will also be filled with community members who will serve as your teammate. They will sweat, laugh, cry, and celebrate with you. But most importantly a great CrossFit box will build self-confidence and accountability that will then serve as that compass for the rest of your life.
Let us be your compass.
Love you all,