What CrossFit Has Taught Me About Life

All people have weaknesses. Most people are content to hide them or downplay them, focusing the attention instead on their strengths. CrossFit challenges us to identify our weaknesses, and work hard to turn them into strengths. Whatever your “goats” may be, find them, and work on them. Whether it be strength, flexibility, or double-unders, don’t avoid them, don’t ignore them.

The same is true in life. We each have our own struggles. It may be anger. It may be bitterness, or resentment. We may be judgmental, or selfish, or self-righteous. But if we soberly examine ourselves, we can identify these shortcomings and work to address them. And we should.

“CrossFit challenges us to identify our weaknesses, and work hard to turn them into strengths.”

I expect my coaches to care enough about me to point out the chinks in my armor. I expect my friends to care enough to point out the flaws in my character. Not in order to tear me down, but to allow me to grow. And that’s a rare and difficult thing. It takes tact, and empathy, and compassion.

Granted, some people come into the gym so beaten down physically and mentally that they don’t need anyone to tell them how terrible they are. They already know. They need someone to lift them up. Someone to encourage them on their air squat progress and point out how awesome it is that they showed up.

“If we soberly examine ourselves, we can identify these shortcomings and work to address them. And we should.”

And that’s where some people are in life, too. They are so overwhelmed with their shortcomings, they can barely function. They don’t need someone to point out their flaws. They need to be loved. They need to be encouraged. They need to be lifted up.

They need hope.

It’s the responsibility of good coaches, and decent humans, to recognize where someone is, and act accordingly.