The person at the very top of the game is an interesting one. It is hard to imagine what it would be like to be the very best in the world at something. Just imagine being Ilya Ilyin, a man who has never lost on the international stage - there aren't many people who can say they are "that guy." There are a few things that the Derek Jeters and Michael Jordans of the world share: God-given talents that set them head and shoulders above their peers, a tenacious dedication to hard work that compliments their ability on the field, as well as the obvious character traits of leadership and confidence under pressure.
I want to highlight the importance of humility in the context of athletic competition and, by extension, life. As most of you know, I spend a fair amount of time in the desert. Stricken with wanderlust, I venture out a little further every time in search of things like strange geographic features, absolutely pure silence, and very warm temperatures. I will never forget the first time I went to the proverbial "middle of nowhere." I was overcome by the feeling of insignificance when I realized that I was, in fact, not the center of the universe. The vast emptiness of the Mojave basin confirmed that I am a mere speck of dust, clinging to a pebble that is hurtling through an even larger empty space at a very high rate of speed. Let that sink in for a moment before we reconnect with the CrossFit component of this post.
We are now in the middle of the CrossFit Open and Rich Froning is doing what he does best: being the top CrossFit athlete in the world. I watched the 15.1 video a couple weeks ago and found some writer's inspiration (as opposed to the usual writer's block) for a blog. For the most part, the elite Games athletes are a perfect example of what it means to be humble: they are usually smiling, their responses to questions focus on the energy of the crowd or the steep competition their opponent put up, rather than the greatness of their own achievement. Froning beat Matt Fraser on both events in 15.1 and exemplified sportsmanship and humility the entire time. It speaks volumes about someone who remains down to Earth when they actually own the bragging rights of being the best of the best.
So what does this all mean? Well, the way I see it, you stand a lot more to gain from life when you are humble about your accomplishments. We're here for a fleeting period of time and what we do on a daily basis means so very little in the grand scheme of the universe. So, while we're here together on planet Earth, why not take the high road and seek to improve the quality of life around us rather than focusing solely on ourselves? After all, isn't that what CrossFit, and life, is all about?
The men's podium from the 2014 CrossFit Games!
A. Every 2 minutes for 5 rounds:
8 evil wheels
8 bent over rows
B. AMRAP 15 minutes:
15 box jumps (24/20)
10 thrusters (95/63)
Posted by Commish