I know you might fall down dead to hear this, but this morning’s Crossfit workout was easy.
Yes. I said easy. I’m finally at a point where my form is good enough that I can actually start putting some serious weight (well, “serious weight” is relative, but you get the idea) on my bar, and I am trying to find my max. I keep adding more and more weight but haven’t yet really hit that point where it’s really hard yet. And for the first time ever, in today’s workout, I was the second one done. And we did box jumps. I hate box jumps.
Now, my point here isn’t to brag. Because it’s really nothing to brag about. If I know I can do five push ups and I keep doing five push ups, big deal! So I can do five push ups. If I’m not a big, sweaty, quivering lump on the floor by the end of my workout, then I haven’t put my all in. And here’s the sticky part: I don’t get anything out of it, either.
I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. When it comes to getting stronger, leaner, fitter, you have to work to failure. You have to dance along the tremulous, scary tightrope where on one side is an amazing victory and the other certain death. If you’re not in that place, you might be comfortable, but you’re also not doing anything very interesting.
Let me ask you: if you were in front of two t.v. screens and on one was a guy sitting on a couch doing nothing (and no, he’s not naked or anything) and on the other was a dude walking a tightrope strung between two cliffs, which would you watch?
As always, workout theory such as this translates well to living the beautiful life. To work and to leadership. When was the last time you did something that caused you to have a lump in your throat? Are you stuck settling for easy? Is your life incredibly comfortable? Or have you dared to do something that absolutely terrifies you? Have you dared to fail?
Failing in your strength workout means next time, you’ll be stronger. Failing in life means that next time, you’ll be smarter. Don’t get me wrong. Failure is painful. But just like you had to touch the hot pan to understand the pain of a burn, some lessons you need to feel to understand. They make you a better person. There can even be some joy in it. You can lose and be a loser, or you can lose to be lifetime winner. It’s all in your choice of response. Will you let the fire refine you? Or will you just get bitter about it?
Let’s take it a step further: will you seek out that thing that scares you? Like, on purpose?
Even further: I guarantee that the dream you have deep inside you…that seed God planted that’s the reason you were made, all the things that make you totally and uniquely you — I’m going to say that that terrifies you, doesn’t it?
Are you really willing to take a good hard look at your own potential, and admit to yourself how you are wasting it? Are you willing to put the heavy weights on the bar of your true calling in life? Or will you continue doing your five push ups, patting yourself on the back for it, telling yourself hey, yeah, I’m working out, look at me, I got these five push ups down pat. I know I’m made for more, but shut up while I justify my five push ups just a little longer. One, two, three, four, five.
But what if God says you can do fifty?
Or maybe you’re doing your five pushups — you know, down on the floor, chin up, and damn, you’re proud!
But what if God says you can do something crazy, like this:
Now, I know. Many of you are going, “Why the heck would I want to do that?” That’s a defense mechanism. It’s the thing that’s keeping you fat / in the wrong job / in the wrong relationship / unhealthy / poor / etc. It’s just a defense mechanism. Go ahead. Get it out. There. All done? Feel better?
Now. What if you could? What if you did?
What would happen?