We really love the word “challenge” – don’t we?
Everywhere you turn, there is another challenge at a CrossFit affiliate. A nutrition challenge, a push-up challenge, a burpee challenge. Heck, we’ve seen inverted challenges too.
We use the word “challenge” in one sense: “to invite into competition.” We are challenging our boxmates to best us in nutrition, or pushing-upping (yeah, I did that on purpose) or doing many renditions of Lucifer’s Favorite Exercise (aka the burpee). But maybe it would make more sense if we used another definition of “challenge”: “to arouse or stimulate especially by presenting with difficulties.” (Yeah, I used the word aroused — got your attention, right? I know you people.) But CrossFit does arouse/stimulate us by presenting with difficulties, doesn’t it? Like the difficulty of a heavy deadlift. Or the difficulty of the Filthy Fifty. Or the difficulty of not peeing your pants during double-unders. Or the difficulty of a heavy jerk. Or the difficulty (and grace) of a skin-the-cat. (Well, maybe not the way I do them, but you get the point.)
Or you could even use another definition of “challenge”: “to order to halt and prove identity.” That’s what we do also, isn’t it? To hang with us, to go through our nutrition challenge, or our burpee challenge, or our push-up challenge or our sexy nightie challenge or whatever the hell it is, we are asking you to halt and prove your identity. Not in a “Hark, who goes there?” velvet coat in castle entrance sort of way (although that might be nice), but in a real “Who are you?” sort of way.
And can you truly, honestly, right now answer that question? Who are you? If not, maybe these challenges help you on your path to finding that answer …