“Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.” — James Allen
Competitions bring out the best in us in the same way that fire purifies gold. As a coach for five years, I believe I can continue to improve my craft not only by attending seminars and workshops but, more importantly, through subjecting myself to challenges that would test the very principles I teach. This year’s Manila Throwdown revealed many of my weaknesses as a competitive CrossFit athlete but it also surprised me as it also revealed strengths I didn’t know I have. I learned a lot about the game but more so about myself as I went up against some of the fittest athletes in the country and Asia. Overall, the experience gave me an opportunity to experience firsthand some of the most important lessons in fitness such as resilience, mental toughness, and contentment. All these I can now pass on to my students with much more passion, understanding and conviction.
It was during the fourth and final workout that I can honestly say I surprised myself. With a heavy deadlift and rope climb, it was a workout easily out of my wheelhouse. Alas, I came into this 4th and final WOD ranked 16th and my dream of finishing in Top 5 was already a blur (Yup, Top 5! haha).
But something magical happened. During this moment of detachment, I was able to pound away with pure flow and inexplicable joy. The only thing running in my head as I was grinding away were the words “All out, nothing to lose.” I learned a valuable lesson that day- that only during moments when I completely let go of things beyond my control that I am able to truly take control of my capabilities.
I finished 5th in this WOD and 12th overall in my division but honestly, I couldn’t have asked for more. Until the next one!
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
— Reinhold Niebuhr, Serenity Prayer