Like most children, when I was a kid I participated in team sports.
Hockey, baseball, football….I played them.
Being on a team was powerful. It forced you to show up, or you let the team down. The team encouraged and pushed you, forcing you to be better than you were the day before.
Being on a team, whether it be a sports team, work team, academic team, etc… by its very nature can help elevate a person to be more than they presently are, just by showing up.
A team can support, teach, encourage, and/or nurture a person to be more than they think they can be.
One of my favorite examples of this is a Crossfit gym.
Here many individuals come together of various backgrounds and athletic abilities, but they all share one goal, to get fit. All members do the same workout each day. The workload may be scaled back for some depending on their level of fitness, but everyone goes through the same workout and suffers together.
What is magical about the Crossfit gym though is how everyone comes together to cheer and encourage each other on. Most often the ‘hero’ of the gym is not the athlete that finishes the fastest, or moves the most weight, it is the person who is suffering the most. The person who doesn’t give up when every muscle fiber in their body is telling them to do just that.
This is the person the team rally’s behind, pushing them forward, encouraging them, and helping them to grow. All because they made the decision to just show up and not quit.
As I grew up, I gravitated away from team sports and became more focused on individual sports; cycling, track, speed skating, cross country skiing.
I became obsessed with pushing my limits, and to see how much pain I could endure.
Individual sports are not about winning or being the fastest at something, that just happens to be the outcome. Individual sports are about how much pain a person can endure and continue to push forward through that pain. The person who thrives in individual sports is the person who is willing to suffer the most.
When I was racing bikes, it was easy to go out on those nice warm, dry days and put in the work. But when it was cold, rainy, windy….those were the tough days. Those days were a battle of mind and will.
I had a name for those days, National Sucker Day. It was a phrase I read once by Stephen Roche, an Irish Professional Cyclist. When a National Sucker Day was declared, I stayed home and didn’t put in the work.
Because I didn’t show up, my racing suffered, especially in the Spring races.
I didn’t have the form I needed to be able to compete against those that did go out and put in the work.
The older I get, the more I see this philosophy of ‘just showing up’ applies to all aspects of life.
Whether it is Body, Mind, Business, or Relationships, the person that shows up day after day, and is willing to put in the work, is the person that will see the success they seek in life.
This is why I show up and 5am every morning and put in the work.
#KJHouseAndHome #BeGenerous #StoryAthlete