Shit, I didn’t know I could do that.
That is why you all should be doing the Open this year. It’s the chance to be able to look back on what you just accomplished and utter that phrase above.
Think about the last time you did something and said “wow, I didn’t know I could do that!”. Honestly most of us aren’t even in many situations day to day where we even would say that. Challenging ourselves is difficult, takes guts, takes seizing of an opportunity. The very nature of what would cause a reaction like that means we put ourselves into a situation where we weren’t sure of the outcome. How often do we openly choose to do that?
If you aren’t sure about signing up, or your reason for not doing it is because you don’t like competition, there is your reason to actually do it.
Two memories I define with superlatives occurred mere hours from each other about 7 years ago. It was the 2011 CrossFit Northeast Regionals. It was over. It was amazing.
You all know Stacey as the world’s best coach she is. Most of you know her as the world class athlete she is with an amazing history of competition achievements in CrossFit. What only some of you know, maybe none really do, is she has achieved so much due to a work ethic drilled into her by herself after a number of agonizing defeats she has had along the way.
2010 she was in 1st place going into the final event, basically gift wrapped a place to the 2010 CrossFit Games, only to crushingly miss by 1 spot as she finished in 4th place overall. What happened to her I won’t get into with details, but it’s enough to push anyone to quit with nobody second guessing their reasoning.
Stacey isn’t like, well, anyone. I met her during the training of the 2011 Games Season and honestly I was scared of her in a very real, social awkwardness way.She was fierce, strong, determined, disciplined like nothing I had ever seen. She took the pain of 2010 and channeled it into every missed night out with her friends for 9 months while she didn’t drink or cheat not 1 time. She used it to go into Regionals in 2011 and make it back to the Games, an achievement she earned more than I think anyone has ever earned something before or after. It was amazing to see, even better to share it with her.
See that was the same year I was lucky enough to be on the Fenway team that qualified for the Games as well. The only reason that is important for this part of the story is I was able to be in the celebration with all my friends and Stacey once the dust settled on our achievements. There, out in the field behind Reebok World HQ, 15-20 or so people gathered around making small talk when I noticed a sight I still vividly remember.
Stacey sat in a chair surrounded by all of us but alone in herself, her face emotionless but her eyes pouring tears. These tears were unlike any I had ever seen. They were real, true tears of joy, tears of relief, tears of pain finally gone with the final announcement of her name for the 2nd of 3 qualifying spots for the Games. I remember seeing her sitting there, while also stuffing her face with a cupcake, and I admitted to myself that I would never feel what she was feeling at that moment because I couldn’t work for what she worked for how she worked for it. With the entire season in perspective backwards from that moment, it was truly inspirational beyond any movie or song created from fiction. This was a real life story of tragedy turned triumph, and nothing like it comes on a regular basis.
While the Open isn’t the Games and the rest of us aren’t athletes fighting for our heart and soul that we lost the year before in crushing defeat, it is an opportunity that we otherwise don’t have in our lives and I can promise you that. I don’t think we will have such levels of emotion as my story above but I assure you there will be tears of joy, of sadness, of relief and pain. When the f**k do you have a chance to experience that in your 9-5, wife/husband and 2 shit spewing kids, rat race chasing lives?
I hate when people say things like “life is about taking chances” because what the fu*k do they know about MY life? So I won’t say you should sign up for the Open because life is about putting yourself out there. Life is about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and not only embracing it but harnessing it for your own newfound strength. You can’t change shit if you don’t first know what the shit tastes like.
If anything, maybe it’s just time to get into the shit and let’s rock and roll.