Many of us started playing sports when we were kids. It was a great way for us to spend time with our friends, learn important disciplines, and stay active. As you grow older these sports become a little more competitive and it requires a little more effort to be successful. As you progress through high school and college, you are playing these sports at your highest level. Some may continue on beyond college but very few can tell that story. A lot of us found CrossFit to fill that competitive void and to continue to work towards different goals. It is what keeps us in the gym, it is what keeps us working hard every day, it is our why.
I am one of these people. I was finishing up my college lacrosse days and needed something to keep me working hard every day. Enter CrossFit. CrossFit from day one has changed me as a person completely. I became more confident in myself and my abilities. It brought me out of my shell and allowed me to truly become the person I am today. Without CrossFit, I probably would have gone down a much different path. So to me, at the time, the most devastating thing that could happen would be having CrossFit taken away. In 2013 this exact situation happened to me.
I was your regular gym member at the time. I was working out 5-6 days per week for at least an hour, but sometimes more. I loved it. Every night I would stay up late to see tomorrow’s WOD and then plan my day accordingly so I made sure I could make it to the gym. I was obsessed. It became who I was. I made a lot of friends and I also lost a lot of friends. Then one day, a normal day, nothing crazy, I suffered an injury. I felt a very awkward pain in my lower back and I was unable to perform regular daily activities. The moment I knew something was seriously wrong was when I woke up one morning to get dressed and I couldn’t stand on one leg to put my pants on. I collapsed in severe pain.
I went to the doctor that day and got an MRI. Went to work and waited for the call. It came around lunch time and at the time was a pretty terrible moment in my life. My doctor called and said I had fractured my L5. Done. Do not do anything for at least 3 months. I thought my days of CrossFit were over.
Fast forward a full 4 months of not doing any physical activities at all and eating a lot of chipotle and I went to go see my doctor. I didn’t have any more pain or discomfort. After another MRI, I was cleared to resume all activities but instructed to obviously ease into it. I was beyond pumped! I checked the WOD immediately and thought let’s dust off the lifters! But something in my head told me otherwise. “Be Patient. Don’t Rush.” It was at this moment I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to help people get as healthy and physically fit as possible. I wanted to make sure that what happened to me didn’t happen to anyone else. I took my L1 and a little less than a year later, I was coaching CrossFit and helping others. It is now coming up on 4 years of living out my dream and I would not change it for the world. My internal motivation to this day and forever will be this injury that I sustained. At the time I thought it was all over, I know now how silly this sounds. I was faced with an obstacle and instead of running clear of it, I took it on. I turned a negative into a positive. I found my passion through adversity. Coaching.
So no matter what your situation is. Bad injury. Surgery. Stressful Job. Break up. Divorce. Anything. You alone have the ability to change the outcome. You can turn your negatives into positives. It all starts with your perception of the situation.
“We forget: In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given.”
― Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph