Be the Whiteboard
You do it. Your friends do it. i do it……we all do it. No one is safe from the hypnotic pull of the “all powerful whiteboard”. It has the ability to consume our thoughts and emotions – fill us with elation or anger, even control our own self image. Give it enough attention and that same whiteboard that starts every day as a blank sheet – will manifest itself as the representation of who you are. Don’t let it.
What is it that compels us to give a washable whiteboard and erasable marker the power to determine our permanent self worth? Are you not more of a man or woman than what “Fran” or “Helen” or “Jackie” says you are? How about Mrs. Snatch or Mr. Clean & Jerk?? i don’t know about you, but if i had my life on a whiteboard, my CrossFit benchmarks would easily be overlooked or bent over a knee by something more significant. But, i’m like you – it’s hard to stop comparing. And who’s to say i should stop? Shouldn’t i be pushing myself to better than everyone else? After all, if you’re not first, you’re last – right Reese Bobby?
No. i’m calling bullish*t on that one. i competed in a competition earlier this month – Future of Fitness Summer Throwdown @ CrossFit Believe in Warrensburg, Mo. My first one of the year (other than the open). i “threwdown” with a couple of great athletes from my own box, not to mention some of the best in the midwest region. A box owner, head coach, recently married step-father of two, and the oldest competitor in the RX division – i won’t lie, as warped as it may have been, i had my heart set on finishing in the top 5. Far from it – i finished 15th in a division of 38. Heartbroken and disappointed, i immediately fell victim to the whiteboard reflection. i didn’t like what i saw – i was down right embarrassed.
More than anything i wanted to make my wife and kids proud – say “WOW!” – that’s dad! i wanted all the athletes from our box to be motivated and inspired by their coaches’ performance. i didn’t want any of these people to merely accept a mediocre performance simply because i was a box owner, or coach, or hell – because i was simply CrossFitter. i wanted everyone else to have the same expectations that i did, despite my own delusions of grandeur. But, what i soon discovered is that what everyone else expected of me is exactly what they got – the best i could do. No one but myself attached a numerical value attached to my performance – not even my athletes. 1 finished 5th in the RX division, and the other 9th in the Scaled Division. But, they came in to have fun, not make a permanent mark on the erasable whiteboard. i, on the other hand, lost sight of what really matters – what CrossFit really stands for and what i really am made of.
All too often i let the pressure of the whiteboard influence what i expect myself to be. A monster – a goliath – a champion – an example. But, my “Fran” time has yet to break 3min, my snatch has yet to break 260lb, i have yet to qualify myself or have a team qualify for Regionals or the Games. So, how can i be any of those things? i’ll tell ya how.
Take the whiteboard for what it is – a snapshot measuring tool in the heat of the moment. One moment. You are so much more than that one min, or 3min, or 6min, or 12min, or 24min, or 48min – or whatever other time frame of fitness you can come up with. Know who you are – where you come from, what took you to get where you are and what you have done to get here. You, BE THE WHITEBOARD. Don’t ever let the time, weight, reps, or rounds on the wall determine who you are. Step back and look at the bigger picture – and 99.9% of the time i’m willing to bet you’re missing the big picture. Walk around representing your times, numbers, reps, rounds, etc – not vice versa. Confidence is way more accurate and attractive than a list of numbers.