Life Lessons of a CrossFitter
by CINDY LAU, Co-owner of CrossFit Kindred and certified life coach
Back before opening CrossFit Kindred, I did a doozy of a workout one day at CrossFit Silicon Valley called the “Bar Crawl.” Similar to the “Bear Complex,” it required you to find the max load at which you could execute an entire sequence of lifts, including front squats, hang cleans, thrusters, walking lunges with a front-racked bar, etc .– all without dropping the bar.
During my last attempt at the sequence, I started to panic early on. My friends cheered me on, but I thought, “Oh no — the bar’s too heavy. My legs are too tired. I’ll never make it!!” I seriously considered just giving up. But then a voice in my head started asking me what was up:
Me: “This burning feeling in my legs sucks!”
The voice: “What’s the worst that can happen?”
Me: “My legs will give out, and I’ll drop the bar.”
The voice: “What’s so bad about that?”
Me: “Well…I guess it wouldn’t be the end of the world.”
The voice: “What will happen if you give up before you even reach that point?”
Me: “Now THAT would truly suck!”
So I decided then and there that I would simply keep going until my legs gave out — but that I wasn’t going to let my mind give out first. And guess what? I proceeded to finish the entire set without dropping the bar.
Fast forward to a conversation I had last year with my own life coach. I was already well on my way to my dream career: I was launching CrossFit Kindred as well as my life coaching practice. But I was afraid of taking the final plunge and quitting my successful, secure career as a software engineer at Google. “What happens if I fail?” I asked my coach. “Won’t it mean that my dream just wasn’t meant to be? I’d have to go crawling back to software engineering, and I don’t know if I could face that.”
I responded: “Dropping the barbell during a lift.”
My coach: “And what happens if you drop the bar?”
Me: “Well, I just pick it up again.”
Similarly, I realized that, if I really wanted to make my dream career a success, I couldn’t let myself give up at the first sign of failure, or let that failure determine my beliefs about myself and my capabilities. I decided to go all in, and commit myself fully to my dream. And I’m happy to report that the dream is still alive and kicking today!
If my own experiences are a representative example of the true impact of CrossFit, it’s understandable why there are so many die-hard, Kool-Aid-drinking CrossFitters around the globe. CrossFit at its best is a grassroots movement forging not just elite fitness, but also courage, integrity, and the realization of human potential. My hope is for CrossFit Kindred to give this gift to as many people as possible, from all walks of life.