13.5: The Voice

[/caption] The voice is always there. It’s the same voice that said you couldn’t get the job you wanted, the promotion you wanted, the guy or girl you wanted. It told you that you couldn’t finish an important project because it was too hard, that you wouldn’t pass the test, that you just weren’t good enough, smart enough or talented enough. It’s the same voice that tells you that you can’t pick up a barbell, that you can’t do a pull-up and that you’ll never do a muscle-up. It tells you you’re pathetic for even trying. It fills your head with doubt before a workout and then whispers a locomotive tempo of “can’t-won’t-shouldn’t” when the clock is running. The voice gets more insistent the longer you ignore it, and suddenly it’s like a piercing siren that screams only, “Stop!” And when you stop, the voice fills you with all sorts of bullshit: “Don’t bother trying. You’re too old, too weak, too slow. Your goals are beyond you. It hurts too much. You don’t deserve to succeed. Just give up completely.” The voice is in each one of us. Anyone who tells you it isn’t there at times is lying. [caption id="attachment_3479" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Why keep pulling when it's hard?"][/caption] But what separates some from others is the ability to ignore the voice in favour of another. Doing so is the mark of a champion, not just in Functional Fitness but in life. In the mind of a champion, “can’t-won’t-shouldn’t” is silenced while another voice states “can-will-should” with confidence. The latter is ultimately the more powerful of the two, and if you listen carefully, you can probably hear it echoing near any great feat that’s ever been accomplished. It was pretty tough to hear the positive voice in minute 3 of Event 13.5. Everything hurt. The lungs were burning. The bar was so heavy or so far away from the chest. The hands, forearms and biceps didn’t work. The legs were wobbly. Time was slipping away and taking goals with it. Everything still hurt, but more. Your goal was suddenly out of the question, and you wondered if you’d even get half the reps you wanted. Someone was screaming at you to just quit because it’s so much easier to walk away. When things get tough, the great among us—and we all have the potential for greatness in us—make a choice to keep going, to finish the fight. You can actually see it happening if you watch them closely. They just make a decision to pick up the barbell in spite of every reason not to, and they keep going even though it hurts. Event 13.5 gave everyone about 1,000 reasons to stop, and each person had to find just one reason to keep going. [caption id="attachment_3480" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Why behave like a Viking?"][/caption] Junior’s a pretty obvious example of someone who made a choice to keep going. Before 13.5, he told me to leave the pink door unlocked so he could get to the parking lot in a hurry after finishing 13.5. He wasn’t planning to hold anything back, and there wasn’t going to be any quitting on the agenda. His attitude made me 100 percent certain he would get 90 reps in under 4 minutes. And he did. But really, I admire the attitude more than I admire Junior’s score. It isn’t the score that makes the man or woman, but the man or woman who makes the score. That’s an important distinction, and it was great to see the determination throughout the gym as our athletes slogged through Franfinity to earn their scores. In the end, it really doesn’t matter what the final numbers were. All that matters is that you ignored every reason not to get that number. Thanks to everyone for a great Open season! Congratulations! We’ll take a look back at the entire five weeks after the dust settles this week.


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