I love movies. I love the vicarious exultation of watching a protagonist face insurmountable obstacles and overcome them in the span of 120 minutes! Talk about instant gratification. In the movies there is no challenge that cannot be overcome through a three minute montage of training and toil leading to a climactic triumph in the final act.
Life is not quite so neatly scripted. That glorious moment of victory might be weeks away, months away or years away. And the montage of training and toil lasts months, years or decades. And all those days of trying and failing do not blend together into one smooth, seamless flashback. Instead each failed effort is recalled vividly and distinctly along with its accompanying doubt and disappointment.
No wonder most people give up before they ever achieve success.
CrossFit is confronting like that. Muscle Ups, Pistols, Handstand Walks, L-Sit Rope Climbs. These skills do not develop overnight. At least not for most of us. And those that master them effortlessly are that much more discouraging for the rest of us.
In a culture conditioned to see cataclysmic disaster resolved inside the span of a 2-hour film few of us have the appetite or perseverance tackle real challenges. Few of us are willing to stretch ourselves to overcome limitations real and imagined. Yet that is what CrossFit demands us to do. Day after day.
Here on Dunbar Street and in boxes all around Vancouver people gather daily to test themselves with another CrossFit WOD. Some days there will be satisfying victories, breakthroughs to reward days, months, years of effort. Many days there are defeats, when the WOD gets the better of us. When we have to accept our current limitations and make allowances for our humanity. Add those days to your personal training montage and cherish them. Hold on to them so you can look back on them and savour them on that inevitable day sometime in the future when a month from now, a year from now or a decade from now you breakthrough and succeed at last.
This is not a movie but real life. There is no instant gratification. There is no triumph without hard work. Success is built brick-by-break upon a solid foundation of failed effort after failed effort.
The harder the road, the sweeter the victory. Embrace the struggle:)