4 things I learned from the 2013 CrossFit Games

I don't watch sports. I have five kids and it is a serious luxury to sit on the couch and watch a sporting event. I love sports, but I just can't afford to give away the kind of time required to follow a team or a season closely. So, for the most part I'm out of the loop of College Football, NFL, College Basketball, NBA, MLB, NHL, World Cup, PGA or any other sporting series…except for the CrossFit Games. In case you've missed it, CrossFit AKA "the sport of fitness" is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. This past weekend, the annual CrossFit Games were held in Carson, CA. So, because I'm a CrossFitter, I decided to take a rare weekend and watch this incredible 3-day event. 

I have been doing CrossFit for almost four years now at my local affiliate CrossFit Bartlett. I will say after having done a number of workout systems from traditional body building to the latest DVD workout, CrossFit is hands down the most comprehensive and effective total fitness approach on earth. One of the distinguishing factors to the growing fame of CrossFit is the fact that the average man or woman can actually do what the pros do. This is not true of other professional sports. When a CrossFitter watches the CrossFit Games, there is a true sense of understanding what it takes to perform at such a high level. We know the pain they are going through and we marvel at their physical and mental strength. If you are interested you can learn more about the CrossFit Games here:

By the way, as a member of the CrossFit community, huge congrats are due to all the athletes who competed this year. History was made again by Rich Froning winning the competition for the third year in a row and walking away with the title "2013 Fittest Man in the World." Alongside him was the female winner Sam Briggs who is the "2013 Fittest Woman in the World."

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.

Posted by Andy Savage at 9:00 PM
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