The CrossFit Games will be underway next week, but they will look a little different this year. I’m not talking about the expansion of the venue, the new WOD area, or the increase in spectators. No, they will look different this year because an athlete who has become synonymous with the Games will be in attendance as part of the media and not as a competitor: Chris Spealler. It will be the first year since the inception of the Games that he will not be in the mix as a competitor. Chris finished in 4th place at the South West Regional missing a bid to the Games by one spot. Chris inspires so many people because of his diminutive stature, his heart, and his ability to mix it up with fellow CrossFitters that tower over him and outweigh him by upwards of 50 pounds. I was reading his blog recently and really admired what he wrote about not qualifying for the Games this year. “As a competitor reaching for the highest levels we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. To say that we can win and believe it, even when it isn’t guaranteed. We have to be willing to risk it all and fall short sometimes, and still be ok. It doesn’t mean it’s not a struggle or tough to deal with it, but it’s part of competition. Failure? No. Set back? No. Just a place, just a result, and a piece of what can help us grow and become better as an athlete and as people.”
Now I know not all of our members compete in CrossFit and that is great. It’s there if you want it but never required. But you all walk through those doors for a reason. You all sweat, bleed, and sometimes cry in the pursuit of something. I would never be so bold as to assume what that may be for each of you individually, but I’m certain it’s something special (and I would love to hear about it). I have been doing a lot of introspection lately and reflecting on all of the great lessons I have learned from CrossFit Albuquerque and from all of you. Not to diminish it in anyway, but this community we are all a part of reaches beyond barbells and bumper plates. My point to all of this rambling is that I hope the time you spend with us not only makes you a better athlete in the gym, but also enriches your life outside those walls and prepares you for the struggles that await you out there in the world. Life can be brutal at times; it will punch you in the throat and kick you while you are down. You all know this, but it is my hope that through the hard work you put in at the gym you will be better prepared (physically and emotionally) to take the hits life throws at you. I hope you have learned that you are always capable of more than you know. I see it in each of you constantly and I hope you do as well.