Your Toughest Opponent

Your toughest opponent is not Annie Thorsdottir or Mat Fraser. It’s not your high school or college rivalry. And, it ain’t even Darth Vader or Hannibal Lecter.

Your toughest opponent has always been, and will always be YOURSELF.

You are your own worst critic. You are you’re biggest hurdle to your goals and dreams. You are the one who gets in your own way. You are the first one to quit on yourself, and the last one to believe in yourself.

This morning at around 3:45am I checked my social media while waiting for my coffee to brew. I saw the workouts for NorCal Masters this weekend, which is the event I am competing in. As I scrolled through the WODs, I started crying. I felt stupid. Embarrassed. I started listening to that ol’ mean voice inside. The one we all have. The Dementors within ourselves.

Those invasive thoughts we have is Ego. And, we all have them. You are not alone, nor an exception.

I just got off the phone with one of my good friends that is competing with me this weekend. I confessed to him that I felt like a jerk as a coach, because for the last 7 years that I owned our CrossFit gym in California, I gave the classic ol’ coach’s speech to so many amateur members on the fence about competing.

The one where I fluff their ego and tell them everything they want to hear. The speech where I say the outcome doesn’t matter and so what if they can’t do pull ups or lift all the weights, just do it. The thing is, I gave those speeches being able to do all that stuff. I gave those speeches in the peak of my training, when I was 11% body fat, when I could power clean 205 for reps, and finish “Fran” in a sub 3-min.

It was easy for me to talk then. It was too easy for me to tell a client to “just do it” while she insecurely struggled to muster two kipping pull ups together. I was able to walk into competitions knowing I could throwdown and keep up. She wasn’t able to, though, and I didn’t listen to her the way I should have…

Humility has come to show me. And, I am grateful for this new challenge, because it will make me a better coach and parent in the long run.

Coincidentally, as I struggle with my own ego near MLK Jr Day, one of his famous quotes popped up in my Instagram feed:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. “

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have stood in moments of comfort and convenience for too long as a gym owner and competitive CrossFitter. Now, I am on the other side - I am an employee to a gym owner, and a part-time exerciser. Emphasis on the word “exerciser!” ;-)

It doesn’t mean I will be this person for the rest of my life, though. It just means that this is where I am in my life right now. And, Humility has come with an opportunity for me to be better.

As I get older, I am realizing more and more that I am a constant Student of Life, and the moment I think I am the Head Professor is the moment Humility comes back at me with the yardstick!

Remain a student. Always.

This weekend will be a test of my character and growth. How will I stand in moments of challenge in these workouts (and there will be many)?! I hope I choose to stand tall. I hope I am truly the person I’d like to think I am, the person I present to others (especially my clients and my kids), and the person I want to be.

Me versus Me.

I hope I make myself proud.

Stay tuned…

Kara PurvesComment