Pay It Forward
A few years ago, back at my old gym, one of my members/friend was on her last round of the WOD.
The WOD was 3 RFT: 30 Box Jumps, 20 SDLHP, and 30 Wall Balls.
Jenny was on her last set of SDLHPs, and everyone else had finished already. As she went over to her medicine ball, everyone crowded around to cheer her on to the finish. After she fought through the first 20 Wall Balls, I grabbed a medicine ball and joined her on the remaining reps.
Cheering and being there for someone when they are fighting for the finish is always nice, but it’s even better when you can fight the good fight WITH them! After all, we are here for SO much more than a bikini-ready body. And, we definitely are not here to try to always beat each other and win everything.
Of course, Jenny was super appreciative of everyone sticking around, as well as for me doing the last 10 reps with her. It’s an awesome feeling to know that you have friends/family at your gym who will struggle and feel pain with you!
I got to have the favor returned to me on a different day.
The WOD was For Time ~ Buy In: 800m Run, then 4 Rounds: 10 KBS, 10 Push ups, 10 Pull ups, then Buy Out: 800m Run.
One of my members/friend, Bill, kept a strong pace for the first 800m run, and my goal was to simply keep him within arms-length of me the entire time. He held a good 5 rep lead on me throughout the 4 rounds, but then I finally caught him on the last set of 10 pull ups. My initial reaction was to sprint out the gates and try to gain as much of a lead on the run as possible, because I knew Bill would catch me at some point.
While in my mind I was competing with Bill, he had other plans. It only took him about a minute to catch up to me, and we were side by side at 200m.
I expected and waited for him to pass me by, and part of me was frustrated that I couldn’t beat him. But, then, I quickly realized that he was pacing me. He stayed with me the entire time, pushing me along, encouraging me, and made me run harder than I would have on my own.
In all honesty, if Bill had passed me by and beat me, I probably would have just paced the remainder of the run and finished semi-strong. I kind of think Bill knew that about me, too.
So, we ran hard together for the next 400m, and then in the last 200m, we paced the first 100m, and then sprinted hard for the last 100m, finishing together at the exact same time.
It was an awesome and humbling experience.
Bill did something for me that many of us forget to do for each other ~ He sacrificed his “best time” and the “win” to be with me. He put his teammate’s needs in front of his own. Bill pulled back just enough to help me be a better athlete, and to make me believe in myself in the last 200m.
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” ~ Bob Marley
So, here is a reminder to all of you CrossFitters and non-CrossFitters out there ~ Be kind, and pay it forward. Your kindness will go a lot further than you could ever imagine. One good turn deserves another, and can be an awesome domino effect in this world.
Bill reminded me today of a very important lesson. It’s easy to go back for the others when you’re already done with your workout, and it’s not too much more to join them on the last few reps.
But, to do the workout side-by-side with them to push them further than they originally thought possible, to be willing to slow down a little bit to bring them back up, and to finish together – Now THAT is a true display of sportsmanship, friendship, and integrity.
We make each other better together.
Pay It Forward.