There are many CrossFit athletes and celebrities who can accomplish unfathomable feats, who give us a benchmark to chase and a jaw-dropping glimpse of how it’s supposed to be done.Â But anyone who witnessed the competitive spirit inside FirePower during sectional competition WOD #3, amidst the deafening cheers with every single squat clean & jerk, or best-efforts to simply lift the bar off the ground, a life-changing moment was happening in our midst…
To the FirePower Nation,
As a trainer, my job is pretty simple. Impart the knowledge necessary to complete the task, and inspire the individual to do so. But this past week, it was the opposite that happened.
In all of CrossFit the clean is bar-none my favourite movement. My work capacity doesnâ€™t stretch far past five minutes, so this teeter-totter that was 11.3 was really tipping in my favour.
The problem was I couldnâ€™t have cared less. My tires were flat. My A/C wasnâ€™t working, and my muffler was making funny noises. I was burnt. The work-out that shouldâ€™ve been mine was being whisked away at the hands of apathy and exhaustion.
On Wednesday morning, after ass-dialling the ex at 5:45 am, I came in ready to field complaints and concerns about Friday night. Instead what I got were ten or so athletes eager to dial in the cueâ€™s theyâ€™d been punched in the face with since the day they first laid hands on a bar. My spark was lit.
The next day I started to contemplate my own performance. I accepted the fact that this workout would be my first after a week off, and as a result, negated the use any of my normal, tired excuses for putting on a less than stellar performance. Perfect! Just the spot I wanted to be in.
That afternoon I stood in the gym, smiling, as I let four athletes repeatedly hoof my excuses in the cashews. These competitors, three of which were woman, not only opted out of the days WOD, but came in special to work on their cleans. PRâ€™s were hit, eyes were opened, and all of a sudden that spark of mine become an out of control camp-fire that usually results in a life-time ban from the park. The stage was set.
The next night brought a brackish air to our beloved box. From the moment my bag hit the floor, the battle between fear and hope was already waged. The fight had begun and the time wasnâ€™t even on the clock.
Now at this point the coachâ€™s job is to reinforce the basics and avert the athletes mind from distraction. There is only one task therefore that task is the only thing that exists. But five minutes to best yourself by thirty or forty pounds is no easy feat; especially in front of a live audience. But the fact that the collective â€˜weâ€™ was not only willing to try, but determined to succeed was enough. The attitude had shifted and victory was inevitable.
For the next two hours, bars rose. Some to the knee, some to the chest and some to the ceiling. The height was irrelevant. All that mattered was that months and years of â€œI canâ€™tâ€ became â€œI canâ€ in an instant. And for a coach, there is no prouder moment. I now had what I needed to get my own work done.
On Saturday morning as I bounced around the gym, readying for my five minute sprint, instead of reviewing strategy, I closed my eyes and saw the gritted teeth, beads of sweat and fists of glory from the night before. At that point I knew, regardless of my own outcome, I would not stop. I would not give up. And I would lay every excuse to waste in honour of those who went to war the night before.
So hereâ€™s to you, FirePower. For blazing a trail. For flushing life back through tired bones. And for reminding me why it is we do what we do.
Ready for the next three weeks?