Friday, November 22, 2013
This morning I was telling the story of when my son was 5 years old and wanted to be "brown".
When he was in kindergarten he had a little girl friend named Desire (pronounced Dez-er-ray). She was a precious little black girl and he talked about her all the time.
One day he came home and informed me that when he grew up he was going to have brown skin.
When I asked him why, he explained that he was going marry Desire so he needed to have brown skin like she did.
As sweet as I thought this was, I explained to him that he didn't need to change who he was to marry anybody and that it was important to just be himself.
He thought about this very hard for a moment and then proclaimed that he was going to have brown skin and have orange hair.
"Why?", I asked.
He answered very simply, "Because I like the color orange."
Fast forward 9 years. His skin is not brown and his hair is not orange, but he is a 14-year old that has embraced being an individual. He is that kid in band that has the long hair when no one else does. When all the kids were wearing skinny jeans, it seemed he was the one kid who refused. He didn't care what everyone else was wearing. (smart kid) When all his friends were playing baseball, he chose soccer.
He doesn't follow "the crowd" and aside from that day when he was 5, he has never wished he was anyone other than who he is. The kid is pretty self confident.
I have found that as adults we still struggle with this very thing. Self-Confidence.
I have met so many people in my adult life who are not happy with who they are, wishing they could have what someone else has, or do what someone else does.
I know I have been guilty of this in the past, thinking "if I could do "x" like this person, I would be sooo much happier!"
This is not healthy. Mentally it can be debilitating.
As CrossFitters, most of us at one point or another have looked over at that person next to us who has just crushed their WOD, secretly wishing they would drop a plate on their foot. We yell and congratulate them on their PR, giving them high fives while secretly thinking, "Damn It! How did they just beat me?"
It's okay to admit it. I mean, maybe you had a bad day and are just in a terrible mood. This doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you human. When it becomes a regular thing though, when you are constantly comparing yourself to someone else, that is the time to step back and take a breath and reevaluate.
If your thoughts are constantly on what other people are doing, you are no longer working on yourself. It makes it a bit more difficult to become better if you are focused and preoccupied with what everyone else is doing. What this WILL DO is cause you to get frustrated, disappointed and frankly will just suck the fun right out of your day!
As some of you know, one of my favorite CrossFit athletes is Cheryl Brost, initially because she is my age and watching her compete in the CrossFit Games gave me the confidence that I was not too old for CrossFit. Cheryl is a phenomenal athlete and I think it would be incredible to be as strong and fast as she is one day.
Coach Mike Burgener is another amazing person that inspires me and I can only hope to be as great of a coach as he is one day.
Will I ever be just like Cheryl Brost or Mike Burgener?
Nope! It's impossible for the simple reason that I am not Cheryl Brost or Mike Burgener. I am me. Do I want to get better? YES, and they inspire me to push myself harder, set new goals, continue to learn and better myself.
God made us all very different for a reason. We all have different goals, skills, talent, gifts, dreams...and faults. If we were all made the same, this world would be a very boring, uncolorful place.
So, the next time you get your butt kicked in a WOD by that person, EMBRACE it!
Be INSPIRED by it!
What you may not realize is that YOU were the one that inspired them first.