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The people that make it are the ones that remain teachable all their lives.

This bit of advice came to me over the weekend and although it’s pretty simple, I think it is incredibly profound.

Being teachable, to me, means willing to acknowledge the weaknesses we have and learning to overcome them. Mentors, peers, teacher, life and our mistakes are always trying to teach us something whether we choose to listen or not.

The past couple days have been pretty incredible as I watched the competition at the Crossfit Games unfold. Although there is nothing particularly exciting about watching some people workout, it IS very interesting to watch people as they place themselves in a competition that is all about seeing how far one can go.

In Crossfit, unlike any other sport, the athletes most esteemed asset is Heart.

It is the everyman sport. Many of us aren’t athletes, we can’t kick a 40 yard field goal or throw a curve-ball. If all of the sudden a woman in her 60’s decided she wanted to compete in sport she’d be given a solemn pat on the back and told to go back to the retirement home.

But in Crossfit, that same women would be told “Okay, we’ve got 11 months to train, so grab a barbell. Let’s get started!”

I walked by the Master’s competition on Friday, which is the fitness competition that features athletes over 60 years of age. Wow! I couldn’t help but be inspired because of how often I’m told by people in their 30’s and 40’s that they are too old for something like this.

Here is a woman, her salt and pepper hair dripping sweat, standing under the the pullup bar ready to find out what she’s made of. This woman is not a professional athlete. No one in crossfit is.

She is probably a grandmother who wants to stay healthy to see her grandchildren grow up. She probably isn’t too concerned about her age. She probably loves life and seeing herself grow even at an age where many think the growing and improvement stops.

She is undoubtedly older than any crossfit coach she trains with and yet she learns from them. She is still teachable. She still learns and applies it to become “Better Than Yesterday”.

Many of the top crossfit athletes have been competing for the past 3 or 4 years. Losing the top 3 spots every year. Four years ago they place 27th, 3 years ago ago it’s 16th, then 8th, then 4th. An athlete constantly improving year after year even after “losing” so many times.

One of the competitions had 6 teams go head to head in a 4 part relay workout. One team was unable to complete the workout in time, they weren’t even able to make it past the 1st part because one teammate was unable to do her ring dips. But as each of the other teams completed the relay they came back to cheer the team struggling to move on until every team stood by to see them finish.

They did. And the cheer was louder for them than the winning team. Why?

Because crossfitters as a whole are incredibly idealistic people and if they see a team, for whom, things are going horribly and yet are still going, they WANT to help, they want to see them through even if they’re competing against them.

It’s easy to do the workout when you’re ahead and feeling great. It’s god awful when it’s hot, you’re dead last, and the crowd is watching –so to keep going is venerable.

So be teachable, keep on keeping, and be better than yesterday.

WOD

AmRap 15
60 Burpees
30 Toes 2 Bar
10 Overhead Squat #135 #95

  • Phil Sarris August 10, 2011, 11:38 am

    Ricky,
    I thoroughly enjoyed the article you are an inspiration to the whole community.

    Keep up the good work.

    Phil

  • Ricky August 15, 2011, 9:25 pm

    Phil That means a lot. Thanks Man.