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The Spirit of Sports


“The Spirit of Sports: The spirit of sports gives each of us who participate an opportunity to be creative. Sports knows no sex, age, race or religion. Sports gives us all the ability to test ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally in a way no other aspect of life can. For many of us who struggle with ‘fitting in’ or our identity – sports gives us our first face of confidence. That first bit of confidence can be a gateway to many other great things!” ~Dan O’Brien (picture above) Olympic gold medalist (Decathlon)

I am not a person of many regrets.  I am a firm believer in the notion that our mistakes shape us to be the people that we are, and that we can learn much from them.  However, one regret of my youth is that I didn’t play a sport.

I’ve often questioned my mother as to why I wasn’t enrolled in soccer, basketball, or even dance, and her response is the same each time, “You never wanted to do it, so I never pushed the issue”.

And she’s right.  It’s not her fault. In high school, I certainly could’ve signed up of my own initiative for track or cross-country, but I chose not to do so.  Perhaps this was because by that point self-doubt had already crept in, convincing me that I was in no way, shape, or form an athlete; so much so that my conscious told me I had zero interest in athletics.

I’m quite sure that I am not the only person to join CrossFit with a similar story.  But aren’t you glad that we found this sport?  Think of the mental, physical, and emotional obstacles that CrossFit throws our way.  Think about the confidence that you gain each time you overcome these obstacles.  Think of how overcoming these obstacles within the walls of our gym transfers over to your daily life.

Whether you are fitness or performance, scaled or prescribed, elite or moving towards it,  a competitor or just here to get fit, CrossFit makes you an athlete; an athlete amongst your peers.  Thereby, as O’Brien states above, you “fit-in”.  Your race, sex, religion, age, secular profession, and the title before your last name do not matter when you stand in front of that barbell.

I may have found CrossFit later than I would have liked, but, boy, am I glad that I found it…

I encourage you to share what CrossFit has done for you with your loved ones.  Share it with those that tell you that they cannot do it because “they have never been an athlete”.  Teach them all that the spirit of this sport has to offer.



2 Responses for The Spirit of Sports

  1. Maryann N.:
    September 26, 2013 07:06 am

    LP, I got goose bumps when I read this! I felt like I was reading my life story. I too have questioned my mom about why she didn’t sign me up or even encourage me to play sports. (Oh she did have me taking those private flute lessons though….) You are right. We don’t get involved, and then we watch from the sidelines filled with self-doubt. I had convinced myself I wasn’t athletic, that I hated gym class, it was more fun (and cool) to goof off with my friends (Judy O—who I am still goofing off with at CF!), or hang out with the boys. But it probably was not nearly as much fun as just participating.
    My joining SCF this year has been a life changing event for which I am deeply grateful. I love the eclectic bunch of members, who gather together each day to tackle the WOD. I love the coaches and their support and expertise.I love how I feel since joining.

    And when I enthusiastically speak about CF to others, I hear the same old excuses. “I don’t have time.” “It’s too far.” “My kids are in too many activities.” “I work.” “I’m not athletic enough for CF.”
    Believe me…I was the QUEEN of excuses and said all of these things myself. I am so glad I stopped wasting time with excuses and chose to get on with my life. Better late than never, as the saying goes.

    Thank you!

  2. Tricia Anderson:
    September 27, 2013 09:59 am

    LP, I feel you ~ I am reliving my athletic childhood at SCF. I get to play with barbells, weights, rings, dumbells, boxes and balls. I get to run, jump rope and play with my friends to my hearts content. Fantastic way to end my day 🙂 Thanks for being there !