I pick up the paper and the articles speak of the recession and the lost jobs and the dwindling opportunities and the overriding sense that America will never again be as good as we once were.
Yet I look at my e-mail inbox and there is a different story there. It is full of notes and letters and photos of CrossFitters and story after story of accomplishment and effort and hope. Not just here in America, but around the world.
I read CrossFit blogs and there are tales of advancement and expansion and sheer unbridled joy. Jobs are being created, CrossFit affiliates are growing and multiplying. Where once there was one person with a dream in a little garage, now stand 8 trainers and a 4,000 square foot business and so many happy members. Dreams have literally come true, here in my CrossFit world.
On the TV, there are ads for fast food and diet foods — and seemingly zero recognition of the irony of this juxtapositioning.
But in my CrossFit affiliate, almost everyone is eating according to the Zone or Paleo (or both!) — and we talk of vegetables and meat and fruit — and of how good we feel.
On the news, there are stories of doubt and despair and gloom. Obesity is rampant and people are lonely and technology has not succeeded in saving them.
Yet, in my own CrossFit affiliate, there are obese people — but they are our hardest workers and our success stories in the making. They work out next to people who used to be where they are now, who know the struggle yet also know the taste of victory and who are like the man with a rowboat next to a sinking ocean liner that throws out his hand to those in the water and says “Grab on. We can make it. The shore is within sight. Keep kicking. I’ll help.”
There is no loneliness in my CrossFit affiliate. I can’t say for yours, although I suspect it is the same. Because, in CrossFit, community matters. If there’s one thing we learned, it’s that we’re better together.
And technology? Well, we’re not waiting for it to save us. We’re using it right now — to connect to each other, to facilitate human contact, to talk to each other. Here and on Facebook and on e-mail. That’s what it’s designed for anyhow. It was never supposed to save us. We were always supposed to save each other.
In CrossFit, there is no sense that we will never be as good as we once were. There is only the sense that we are not even close to how good we can become.
The sun is shining so bright in my CrossFit world. I hope it is in your world too. And if it’s not, then step through these doors. The CrossFit world is an amazing place and we’re always happy to have new people join us. Here, use my barbell. It’s okay. I really am here to help.