Living Life as a Failure
In life, most of us fear failure. Generally, it’s our goal not to fail. To fail means we weren't good enough, we didn't try hard enough or we weren't skilled enough. Some of us fight failure to the greatest extent - not even approaching some task because we believe we will surely fail if we try. But what if we don't? And even if we do, who said failure is actually a bad thing?
I will tell you about how actively living life as a failure, has helped me to grow both physically and mentally beyond what I could've ever hoped or imagined for myself.
Growing up, I was by far never the smartest, fastest, strongest - not really '-est' in anything. And trust me, people let me know. It always felt like I had a disadvantage against others. Even my siblings all had things they were incredibly proficient at: My oldest brother was quarterback of his high school football team, my next oldest brother could read a one thousand page book in three to five days, and my sister excelled at art. I, on the other hand, was just a pretty good listener, only because I've never been much of a speaker (some traits die hard).
At high school graduation, I weighed in at 245 pounds. Being very overweight made sports a real challenge. I'm a very slow reader. And I am very far from having a creative mind for art. I just saw the cards stacked against me. But, instead of living in my siblings shadows, I just decided to try everything. And I failed. A lot. So much so that failure just became something I expected to happen. Trying equalled failing. Somewhere along the road I realized that for me, failure wasn't just what could happen, but it was something that would happen.
In college, I would constantly try answering questions that I didn't know the answer to and, trust me, nothing makes you remember the answer to question like standing up in class and saying as surely as possible the incorrect answer. People stare, maybe even poke fun but the teacher telling you you're wrong and then explaining why will forever be ingrained in you. You will never get that question wrong again. You learn from failure.
Then I walked into the gym. The gym was a million different motions and objects I've never done or touched before. I remember thinking I couldn’t even recall a single moment in my childhood where I squatted - except to sit in a chair - and now someone was pushing me to do it with a barbell on my back? Ludicrous. But hey, what did I have to lose? And it happened again - I failed. Over and over again. I've had my fair share of getting stuck in the bottom of a squat and people having to pull the bar off of me.
Now is it scary? Absolutely. But did I learn something? Absolutely. Even after being crushed, I can still stand up and walk away. I now know my limits for this moment in time. I know what I need to fight against. The barbell presented me with a challenge. It told me I'm not allowed to stand up on my own two feet, and that's a challenge I have to fight against. This is when failure tells us to do one of the hardest things: to find our own courage inside us. Can we stand up against our own physical or mental limitation, or do we give into the fear of failure?
Here at CrossFit Kingfield, I've learned to fail with a better attitude. In my failures, I've grown and learned to succeed in ways I never dreamed possible. I can snatch over my body weight, deadlift 465 pounds, complete muscle ups and handstand push-ups. Now, if I was too afraid to fail that it prevented me from trying any of that, I am more afraid to imagine what my life would look like now. This journey is a hard one, but nothing will teach you more about standing up to what life hands you than this. I’ve been there, the coaching team has been there. We are here to help guide you on your journey now.
Now, let's find some courage.
Ready to find some courage in 2016? With coaches who have been there and a community who'll support you the whole way, we're sure you'll find success during our #KingfieldStrong Challenge and maybe even a little courage along the way. Sign up today!