I coached an on-ramp session today for an awesome new member who is starting CrossFit for the first time. She told me that when she joined, she also joined a group of Facebook for women who do CrossFit, and one of the tips that stood out to her in that group was to not compare yourself. It’s a great tip, because truly – we are all on our own path. Each of our journeys, particularly that of health and fitness, is our own. Each person who walks through our doors comes with their own goals, their own reasons, their own desires. So, while sometimes a little friendly competition in the box is helpful for a good push, the only person you should be comparing yourself to is the old you.
Yesterday’s you, a year ago’s you, ten years ago’s you. Each part of your journey brings a different version of yourself, too. So, that’s an important thing to consider. What goals are important to you in the moment, and what goals are important to you as you look to the future? Do you want to be stronger? Lose weight? Have more energy during the day? Increase your confidence? Want to be able to keep up with your grandkids (now or twenty years from now)? Want to feel better while you’re on the job? Learn new things? Feel better when you look in the mirror? Be a better mom or dad?
Okay – this last one gets me. And I’m not a parent. But when people bring this goal to our attention, it always brings to mind one of my favorite experiences when we first opened the gym many years ago. I think of it ALL the time, because it was so impactful to me, and hopefully, to this member. We only had a handful of members at the time. One of them was a mama of two, 30-something, military wife, wanting to feel better, drop some weight, spend quality time with her husband doing CrossFit (a shared challenge), to blow off steam, and just have some fun. One day, she was in the gym. Jobes was coaching. I was just meandering around, cheering, and observing. And I’m so glad I did. Her kids, maybe 7 and 9 years old at the time, were standing the in kids corner, emulating her every move, trying to lift like mom, be strong like Mama Bear. As I watched them, they watched their hero. They watched her put her health first, put herself in a position to be challenged, have the desire to be stronger, and do things that would make her feel empowered and confident.
After class, we started chatting – she shared with me that she was disappointed with weight loss she hadn’t yet achieved, and not being where she wanted to be yet. After she left, I got to thinking – and knew I needed to share what I saw. And for the purposes of this story – and your understanding of what’s important, I just dug and searched for our conversation, and found it, so I’ll share verbatim what happened next.
“I know a lot of things take a lot of patience – life, health, all the things – but I’ll tell you something incredible I watched today. Your boys, while somewhat in your way, emulating your movements, watching their mom move to be better for herself and be better for them, to work to be able to move well and live well – they wanted to be just like you. Regardless of whether or not you’ve dropped a pound or 20, you’re setting an amazing example for your kids and I watched today how much you’ve progressed since January – and to me, those things are all more exceptional than a pound on a scale.”
And her response: “That means so much to me that you noticed the boys doing that. The most important thing in my life are my boys and being a good example for them. I was just telling my husband how proud I was when I wanted to give up and my son said, ‘You can do it mom!’ Then we got home and he said, ‘Mom, I never knew your workouts were that hard….good job!’ I am in SUCH a different place right now than I was yesterday and earlier today. I feel happy, proud, accomplished.”
(And by the way – she’s one of the strongest, mightiest, most amazing humans I know.)
So, I’ll come back to where I started. Sometimes, it’s not so important to compare yourself to the person next to you who you may think looks like a fitness model. Sometimes, they may be fighting an equally challenging battle. The person next to you may be in the gym to fight depression and anxiety. The person next to them may be in the gym because it’s the ONE place that someone tells them, “Good job!” every day. Sometimes, and I would argue most times, it is just more important that you are HERE (or there…wherever your gym may be) taking small, even tiny, steps to whatever in-the-moment or long-term goal you have.
Show up. Encourage others. Listen to your coaches. Learn. Grow. Move better. Live better – today, tomorrow, always.
That’s all I’ve got folks. Never miss a Thursday. 😉
To learn more about how we can encourage you to show up with consistency and achieve your goals, small or big, contact us.