Look back just a couple blog posts (about the Frozen Snot race) and you’ll hear me talking about how CrossFit is a great training methodology for any known event, but it is an AWESOME methodology to train for the unknown, and unknowable. Wow, can this coronavirus pandemic be described any better than that? I’ve been working over the past few days to reframe my mindset around this crisis that we are all facing, trying to stay positive and look for opportunities and “silver linings”, and then Denee said as we were eating breakfast, just as casually as can be, “this is what we’ve been training for, isn’t it?” BAM… mic drop
Many of us choose to use CrossFit to build up our fitness level for an upcoming event –maybe even to compete in the sport of CrossFit. Even more of us choose CrossFit as our pathway to body composition changes — weight loss, and then building muscle. Along the way, we learn new skills and get stronger. A huge part of learning skills and getting stronger is failing. Failing over and over again, and repeatedly getting back up and trying again. The physical adaptation to learning new skills and lifting more weight is very well known and easy to understand — you can now physically do what previously you couldn’t! And high-fives come with it, and Instagram congratulates you. But the mental adaptation is profoundly more important to me. The pattern of failing and learning, trying again a different way only to fail and learn a different lesson. This introduces us to adversity, in a way that many others in “this day and age” don’t bother to expose themselves to. We, as CrossFitters, know that adversity is not the end of the road. When we encounter adversity, we know we have to at the very least step our game up and try harder. And if that doesn’t work, we might have to completely reimagine our strategy and then step back into the fray for attempt #2, or #5, or #37. Failure, in the end, is not an option. Failure for us is only a stepping stone towards success.
Now we’re not in the gym. Actually, we can’t be… the government told us so. This is a field exercise in dealing with adversity. And we will not fail.
Our mission now is to be strong and healthy so that we don’t get sick when infected, and…
For some of us this “and” part of the mission is clear. It’s your mission if you’re a police officer or national guardsman to keep people safe and enforce the law during these chaotic times. It’s your mission if you’re a firefighter or an EMT to save people in distress. It’s your mission if you’re a nurse or a doctor to help diagnose and then treat people who are infected. It’s your mission as a scientist to find a way to stamp out this virus and if you’re a politician to listen to the scientists and repeat it in a way that the public will understand and comply with.
If you don’t have a clear public role as part of this crisis, that doesn’t mean you don’t have an opportunity right now to step up. We, as the physically and mentally strong through our training, do have an important mission to hold our local community together. Our family and friends are counting on us to LEAD now. Model the appropriate behavior. Continue your physical and mental training so that you remain ready to LEAD as the situation continues to worsen. Be the one that is reaching out to others to make sure that they are safe and healthy, and when they are not, take action.
All of us who have made ourselves ready by putting ourselves through hard training and making ourselves comfortable with adversity, must now take on our responsibility to serve. Maybe your role is already clear. If it’s not, it will be soon, I am sure of it. I’m proud of the connectedness within our CFKI community throughout the beginning of this crisis. Keep it up, and look for opportunities to step up even further within the broader community. We need you. And we will not fail.