Part 1:Failure is an Option….Just not a Good One
I stared up at the rope, arms swollen, ego busted. It was only 15 feet but might as well be 15 miles. I felt a tap on my back as a crowd had formed in Crossfit fashion to root me on. As I turned, I saw my friend Elijah Muhammad, one of the top Crossfit athletes in the world. He was smiling and asked, “Whatcha doing?” I replied,” Oh nothing, just trying to climb this rope.” He attempted to coach on proper technique for the movement, but I was done. I completed 3 out of 10 climbs. As the clock finished on the time cap, he basically said the same thing happened to him except his “rope’ was strict HSPU and it cost him a trip to the Crossfit games. Elijah came in 4th in the Southeast, missing the games by only 3 points ,needing to finish the strict HSPU workout in 36th place or higher, he came in 39th. He told me he had a huge hole in his own fitness that cost him. That he would be working on his own weakness and by the next time we spoke, “ I better be able to climb a rope.” The event placed me in last place, I had never finished so low in an event before.
I came home to lick my wounds and prepare for my next event, which was in two weeks. I said to my wife,” I hope I never have to do anther rope climb again.” Over the next few days the workouts were released for the competition coming up. OHS, not great by doable, muscle ups, tough but I am improved....double unders, KBS, rope climbs….wait rope climbs! Not just rope climbs, an event solely based on rope climbs. 5 climbs with sprints, I only completed 3 last time, I was doomed. I started to except failure. My mind raced,” There is no 15 foot rope at J19” “ I don’t have the time to learn” “Maybe It won’t hurt my overall standings that bad”. The thought even came to mind not to compete. I was paralyzed by the fear of failure. I decided that these were not valid options and called my friend to tell him I coming to learn to climb. I worked hard over the next two weeks working it into workouts, using the short rope at J19 for footwork and most importantly preparing myself mentally. If Elijah could admit holes in his fitness and address them I can admit and address my own.
The day came for the competition, the rope climbs were the last event. I went through each workout glancing occasionally at the set up for the climbs. It was time, I had done decent on the workouts for this day, made some goals, missed some goals. Success for me was measured by this one event though. 3,2,1….go, I sprinted to the rope, wrapped my leg as I was taught, leaned back and began to climb. One climb down, two climbs down, a third and a fourth I was further than the competition before. I finshed the event in 2:44 seconds not near first but not last either. More importantly, I now can climb a rope, had I quit I would have never received that satisfaction.
A lack of success doesn’t equal failure, it equals an opportunity for change, an opportunity for getting better and breaking outside our comfort zone. It only becomes failure if we quit. A defeated mentality gets us nowhere. I am not the most gifted athlete but often times I am the hardest worker.I haven’t reached every goal I have for this sport but I know I have never succeeded at any goal I have given up on. Just because we “cheat” a meal doesn’t mean our diets blown. Just because we haven’t gotten our first pullup doesn’t mean we never will. I have seen lives changed, confidence built all paved by hard work and effort. We fall sometimes but we get back up or thank God the community is here to pick us up. Henry Ford once said,” “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” Lets be a people who continue to learn, continue to grow and continue to support each other in the process.
Goals for the Week:
Pick a weakness, set a goal. Either write them down in private or on the goal board at J19
Develop a plan to achieve one of your goals. Consult with your coaches on how to form your goal plan. Implement plan into action.