To steal a line from an elite CrossFitter named Matt Chan, featured on ESPN2’s coverage of the 2011 CrossFit Games: “I CrossFit because I want to be able to do anything in life without ever saying no. I want to be able to do whatever anybody asks me to do and never have to turn something down because of physical limitations.”
This line really hit me. In a time when it’s become so damn easy to be mediocre, or even just barely average in one particular facet of life, I find myself attracted to the idea of being better than that. I’m not approaching any sort of elite status and I’m not breaking any records anywhere. But each day I’m getting better than before, and I think that’s good.
I’ve had a lot of coaches in my life and the best one I ever had was a guy named Tony Dudik, my high school wrestling coach. I remember when addressing the team he said “Men, each day you get up and look in the mirror and you get a chance to decide whether to try and be better than you are at that moment, or not. I hope you choose to try and be better.” That’s stuck with me since I was 14. If we all got up every day and chose to be better from that moment on, how much better would our lives be?
And better is a relative term; like CrossFit exercises, it’s scalable to anyone. Maybe when I come home from school from practice I decide to give in to my son’s incessant need to run until his legs fall off. And maybe, just maybe, I won’t have to pull up 5-6 minutes in and make an excuse to get back inside and rest. Maybe ‘better’ for someone is just walking up stairs at the office instead of taking the elevator. Maybe ‘better’ is walking to work or riding a bike instead of driving. Maybe ‘better’ is taking my kids for a walk instead of letting them jump around at any of the available establishments that allow me to unleash them on an area while I sit at a table and wait until they’re tired. And if you’re particularly badass, maybe ‘better’ is hitting that 400lb. deadlift or dropping your Fran time to something sub 4 minutes. And I salute you.
But it’s simple. I choose CrossFit not because it’s new or catchy or anything like that. I choose it because it helps me get better at what I need to do. It makes me a better parent and a better husband. And at the end of each day, that’s really all I need to worry about being good at. I’ll keep shooting to get better in more facets of my life, and I think CrossFit will be an integral part of that equation. And each day, I hope to try and get better than the day before. 3-2-1 Go!