One of my passions in life is personal growth. I'm pretty much addicted to improving myself. I want to know where I need to adjust and need loving people who will tell me where my blind spots are. Crossfit meets so many of these desires so I just can't help but talk about it all the time.
What Crossfit has taught me:
Patience- It takes time to develop a skill. Strength doesn't happen overnight. It takes showing up consistently to gain ground.
Contentment- I am tempted to compare myself to those that are faster and stronger than me and it usually leaves me feeling discouraged. You have to appreciate where you are and focus on progress. Your victory doesn't lessen my victory.
Discipline- Setting goals can be scary and overwhelming. After all, you might fail. You're probably going to be uncomfortable . You might have to tell yourself "no" to something you want now, in order to get what you want in the future.
Humility- It's intimidating to try a new skill in front of other people. It's even more embarrassing to mess up when you do. It's crucial to learn to laugh at yourself and not take failure too seriously. When you fail at something, it means you tried. The bigger failure would be to not try.
Community-There's a lot to be said for spending time around people that are like-minded. Being around others that are motivated, disciplined, and desire to improve themselves, is contagious.
Commitment-Going to the gym on the days I would rather stay on the couch in my pajamas watching Netflix, are the days that I need to go the most. Motivation is a fleeting thing that never sticks around long, so you have to decide beforehand what you will do.
Camaraderie- As most cross-fitters know, we cheer loudest for the last one left working. It usually means they are trying the hardest. Having someone cheer you on gives you strength to finish strong and not give up. "Your confidence makes me stronger" (Trolls movie).
Self love- When my body does something that I, never in a million years, thought I would be able to do, I am amazed. Your body is a tool. You can feed it love and health or you can feed it loathing and junk. At the end of the day, making yourself a priority enables you to love others better.
Persistence- Skills that I've tried and failed at dozens of times become frenemies. You hate the repeated failure, but it drives you to keep trying and not give up on mastering the skill. I have a lot of frenemies. But less than I used to.
Mental fortitude- So often my mind wants to quit before my body has even started. This is where the real test is. You can push your body, but not until your mind overcomes your thoughts.
Accountability- It's humbling to be corrected on your form or to be encouraged to push a little harder. Those who care most about your success will hold you to a standard. The ones who are teachable benefit from it.
Overthinking is bad- If I think too much about what I'm doing, I almost always miss a step or get out of my rhythm. Overthinking leads to anxiety. Sometimes, you gotta "just do it" and stop thinking.
Resilience- I have literally wiped out during a workout. You have a choice in that moment of pain- both physical and emotional- to quit or to push through the pain and keep going.
Gratitude- I have had seasons in my life when disease made it too difficult to get off the couch, much less make it to the gym. Those dark times make me appreciate the healthy seasons when I can make it to the gym. I am grateful for my body and its ability to heal and do work.
Focus- It's easy to get overwhelmed. Some days you look at a WOD and think there's no way you'll even finish it. The mountain in front of you seems insurmountable. Just taking the next step over and over again, gets you farther than thinking about how hard it looks.
Rest- Rest is sometimes the hardest discipline of them all. A person can't work all the time without serious consequences to their body and relationships. You have to force yourself to rest and recover in order to be able to continue.
I know that Crossfit is not the only place you can build character, but I'm partial to the atmosphere because it has been so life changing for me. Crossfit has refined every area of my life. Bottom line, do something that challenges you on a regular basis and you'll reap benefits that are more than just muscle.