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It’s your rookie year of being in the NBA, and you have been doing fairly solid in terms of performance up to today. Then suddenly, you hit the proverbial wall. In the NBA they call it ‘the rookie wall’. A time when your performance suddenly suffers, and things like your jump shot seemingly fluid and on point a week prior, is now unable to hit the side of a barn.

All athletes hit this proverbial wall in sometime of their careers, and it doesn’t matter what sport you are in, nor if you are a professional or not. That wall will come for you, as it has me but in terms of crossfit.

The crossfit games open begins tonight, with the announcement of the first workout. I am a bit disappointed that I am not participating this year, however even more disappointed that my workouts have been far and few the last 2 months. A shoulder injury has kept me from doing anything overhead, and we are still waiting to find definitive results to why it doesn’t want to function properly and a plethora of other idiosyncrasies of ailments; all of which I have probably let become too much of an excuse to keep me away from crossfit for too long.

I hit the wall, I will be the first to admit it. I will tell the truth that no one else likes to spit out where there are times you simply do not want to throw another wallball, you don’t want to  swing another kettlebell or fall to the ground in collapse for another burpee. Yes, you should be mentally tough enough to fight through that, however, as life goes, there are plenty of other events that are making things strenuous. This may be an excuse, but it’s also the truth, and crossfit became less of a joy to be at, and more of a dreaded chore that needed to be taken care of for the day. Yes, there will be those that will say: “Well it’s for your health, and well being”, and this is most certainly true. However, you don’t necessarily need crossfit either to live a happy life. Does it make people find purpose and joy, which equates to a happy life? Of course!

It did for me as well.

I have tried to constantly remind myself as to  why I started crossfit, and how social media tends to kill the essence of it. This can be true since many people viewing photos, or videos only tend to see the PR’s and successes of the sport, and very rarely the failures. I think crossfit became crossfit because of the failures that people saw in themselves, and paralleled to what others were experiencing. Yet, out of those failures, joy became evident when someone finally had a successful lift, or get their first muscle up, or merely completing their first crossfit workout. I think this was missing for me. I don’t celebrate a lot of small victories albeit you are encouraged to do so, I think it’s a part of my demeanor, I’ve never necessarily been one to accept compliments well, or even allow myself to think that what I just did is that great even in the context of being ‘Better than Yesterday’. I appreciate the journey and the change you go through however.

The cheering is becoming lessened, and from my perspective, there is still a sense of community in crossfit boxes, but silent competition between athletes is becoming more of a daily routine. I start to see the motivation from others begin to dwindle a bit, not necessarily wanting to see someone else fail, however, too focused on just the personal aspect of crossfit and not the community as a whole. This is simply my personal opinion, however, we can hit the ‘like button’ as many times as we would like, and leave as many positive comments and hashtags as we’d like, however the vibe I am afraid is starting to change.  Crossfit has done wonders for so many in the community and my hope is that it stays true to its core, that the communal aspect will thwart all egos that begin to dwell in the sexiness of the games and personal PRs.

Perhaps it starts with you and I to ensure this great revolution of fitness stays humble.

In January, I had the honor of competing in an in-house competition with my long time friend JC. Albeit, I had only worked out 2 or 3 times leading up to it (shoulder), I felt I owed it to him, and all he had done for me with crossfit to still get out there and lift heavy with him. We did awesome, we didn’t win, but we also didn’t quit. My arm felt like it was falling off, it probably wasn’t a good idea to do things like 155lb thrusters, muscle ups or handstand push-ups with the way it was feeling; but I saw how fatigued JC was trying to carry us a bit more and I had to pick up the bar. This to me is what crossfit is all about. Jumping in that proverbial trench even when you don’t want to pick up the bar, or even can’t and getting the work done. Do we have to push ourselves this hard? Of course not. However, it teaches you something about yourself, and something I wish crossfit would display more of instead of the next up and coming athlete for marketing.

I tend to love reading the stories, or watching the videos of the struggling athlete who is pushing themselves to do things that they never though possible, and end up in tears when they realize that they are capable of so much more. I feel like this is missing from crossfit, at least in my opinion or because of what I am exposed to. I enjoy seeing those stories of someone who came from a dark place of complete depression and health problems to be over joyed to know they are accepted into a family that wants to see them succeed.

IMG_3304I wish crossfit would market those values even more. Sure, everyone gets wrapped up in the
games, and the athletes that are just stellar personas to look up to. However, we are all working toward one goal, and thats to be happy. Fitness brings happiness, and the lessons of community should be lessons taught in all other aspects of education. To improve life beyond fitness. We have a next generation that needs to see the life improvements that crossfit can bring, not only in fitness but in being kind to one another.

This is the initiative that I wish crossfit would take, even more so now that they have an IMG_3306audience foaming at the mouth for the CF Games open to begin. So much opportunity to show people how love of one another in pushing each other during painful moments can become a beacon of how everyone else can model themselves after. Crossfit, or just the idea of crossfit, could actually change the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that “hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”… therefore if crossfit can teach love, through support of others in their darkest and perhaps even most depressive of moments, why couldn’t it change the world?

Then again, maybe I am missing something too. I’ll be back. I’ll find that love again I’m sure that I once had for crossfit.