I walked away from the Games with a few takeaways that apply to all of life.
1. Hard work is essential.
The athletes at the Games put in a level of hard work that most of us know nothing about. I'm not sure where it comes from but what make us think we can ever accomplish anything of value without hard work!? No matter if it's fitness or your marriage or your career, hard work is essential.
2. Excellence makes others better.
Just watching the highest level CrossFitters in the world inspired me. I may never make it to the Games, but I still want to pursue excellence in my fitness. Come to think of it, I want excellence in lots of things. I want to give my family excellence, I want to be an excellent writer and communicator. I want my excellence to inspire others to be their best. Watching the final two events of the Games, the "Cinco 1" and "Cinco 2" revealed some areas where i need to improve in my training. I want to get better at pistols, handstand push-up and muscle-ups. Their excellence is making me better! (If you don't know what all those words meant, just go watch the last 2 events of the 2013 CrossFit Games online.)
3. You can handle more than you think.
All weekend I was blown away at the abuse these athletes put themselves through. It kept coming and coming. It showed me that we greatly underestimate what we can handle. We all have a greater capacity for stress and workload than we often think. I see this in my family. When I get home after a long day at work, I'm ready to relax. But wait, I have FIVE kids. They need me not just to be at home, they need me to be engaged. I want to rest, but I can handle wrestling. I can give them baths. I can read stories. I can get them to bed and still give my wife attention. Why? Because I refuse to listen to that voice in my head that says, "I'm too tired." At home, at work or in the gym, I can go, "one more rep."
4. Audacious goals are very good for us.
Why would anyone want to go through so much pain? Great question. Here's why… because they set an audacious goal. I've learned without an audacious goal in you life, you will not put beyond your perceived limits. Contrary to popular belief, doing good is not natural. We have to overcome many obstacles to accomplish anything of value. As a Christian, if I don't have a God-sized vision for my life, why would I pray or read the Bible regularly? Many of us don't sense a need for God because we are taking NO risks. It hurts to pursue audacious goals. I want to write a marriage book that is a NY Times best seller. Sure, I could be modest and say, "I just want to get it written, I don't care what happens with it." But that's a LIE. I want a best seller. I believe I can help tons of couples. I am audacious. Speaking of audacious, I want to compete in the Games. Maybe on a team or maybe as an individual. I know it will hurt to get there, but that's the price of an audacious goal.
I hope this post inspires you to improve in some way and maybe even consider joining the CrossFit community as well.