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I grew up in a small town in southern AZ. For a lot of my early years, I lacked self confidence. My family didn’t have a lot of money, I felt embarrassed and less important than those who did. The one place where I felt comfortable and confident was on the field, court and track. In those arenas, it didn’t matter where you came from, how big your house was or that you didn’t wear the coolest clothes. We were all equal, working towards a common goal. At the time I didn’t realize this is where I gained so much of my confidence. All I knew is that I felt good playing. I was one of the rare people who actually looked forward to practice. In grade school I played soccer, basketball and baseball. In high school I played football, basketball and ran track. I happened to be most successful in the sport I liked the least, track. I was an 800m state champion my junior and senior year in high school and part of a couple state champion relays. I ran track for a short time in college and earned a degree in Fire Service Management. After school it was harder and harder for me to find a competitive sport that fulfilled me. I continued with regular body
building types of workouts, lots of curls and lots of running. I ran 5k’s, half marathons and a couple full marathons. In 2005, I had a back surgery due to some poor back squats with heavy weight at my local globo gym. For a year, I rehabbed and worked to become functional again. My neurosurgeon recommended I never lift weights again for the rest of my life. He said if I was smart, the only physical activity I’ll do is yoga and a little swimming. I did that for a few months and found myself feeling empty. I had a friend talk to me about this new type of training and thought it might be beneficial for me. I checked out the CrossFit main site, I was skeptical at first. I would do my bodybuilding routine and then do some of the conditioning workouts off the CrossFit main page. After a bit, I started incorporating more and more CrossFit workouts and that led me to CrossFit Southwest. After my first workout there, I knew I had found something meaningful.
It wasn’t necessarily the workouts, although they helped me become stronger, it was the community that made me healthy. The support and inspiration you’re surrounded by is just as beneficial as the workout. Everyone is respected for the amount of work they put in. I was back in the arena where what you have outside of the gymnasium doesn’t matter, what matters was intensity. I was surrounded by people who were all working towards a similar yet different goal than mine.
It’s years later and looking back on the things that I thought were difficult times in my life, I wouldn’t change a thing. The tough times have prepared me to be a better coach. I’m able to relate to people walking in the door that feel they’re missing something in their life. I know what it’s like to lack self confidence, I know what it’s like dealing with injury, surgery and rehab. I know how having a whole gymnasium believing in you can help you get out of ordinary life and motivate you to do amazing things.
I’m going to leave ya with one last piece. It’s one of my favorite quotes.
“It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst; if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
What’s your arena? What are you waiting for?