The Lovable Losers
The Chicago Cubs have extended their championship drought–104 season have passed since the Cubs won back-to-back World Series wins in 1907 and 1908.
My current streak for not winning the CrossFit Games now stands at 6–merely 98 years behind the Cubs!
If I were a betting man, I would place real money on the Cubs winning a World Series before I win the CrossFit games. Even the newly formed Masters’ division for 40-year-olds won’t lower the bar enough to get my broken body on the podium.
Why I Won’t Win the CrossFit Games
Our motto at CrossFit Mt Olympus is “Know Thyself,” from the Greek phrase γνῶθι σεαυτόν written on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.
CrossFit has forced me to deal with some difficult realities. It pains me to admit it, but I am no longer a competitive athlete. In 2007, the year I found CrossFit, I represented the Utah National Guard on the All-Army Rugby team and Combined Service All-star teams as part of the World Class Athlete program.
Since then I have been diagnosed with diabetes, broken my leg in a motorcycle accident, and had surgery on my hip and ankle. This on top of a previous major head injury, multiple shoulder surgeries and a knee surgery mean I need more recovery time than even an average CrossFit athlete. Sometimes (often) I overdo it and have to take several weeks off training to heal.
Last year I entered the CrossFit Games Open, but couldn’t physically complete the final events. I had to ask myself “why am I doing this?” when one of our coaches pulled me aside and said, “I don’t think you should do this event until your hip heals,” (thanks, Holly!) Wisdom overruled my ego for once.
I will be surprised if I can do everything this year. My repaired shoulder would probably come apart if I did a muscle-up unscaled, just like Sergei Akmudov attempting a 1500 pound deadlift!
Why I Compete Anyway
Despite my limitations, I just paid $20 to register for the 2013 CrossFit Games. I have no chance of winning, but I have a 100% chance of competing.
The competition will push me beyond what I think I can do (7 minutes of burpees with people watching, anyone?)
Coach John Wooden said it best in his book, Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court:
The qualities I observe in successful athletes are common among people who enjoy success in business. Both love the battle, the journey, the challenge. Both of them consider the final outcome a by-product.
Both have what it takes to get there and get fired up when the challenge is formidable. They know it presents the potential for greatness and provides the greatest satisfaction.
For only $20, I get to test myself against five incredibly challenging workouts. I get to COMPETE. I get to feel the momentary feeling of greatness that comes only after doing something hard.
This summer, someone else will stand atop the winners podium; I will walk again into CrossFit Mt Olympus with self-respect after having tested myself alongside others who also dared.
We train for the Unknown and Unknowable. We gain a greater understanding of the unknown and unknowable within us.
At the end of the Open I will know something more about myself.