When I was a kid, I was way too small to be a real pitcher. Well, at least that’s what they all told me; my coaches, my peers, all of them. I was way too short, I didn’t throw hard enough, and I wasn’t good enough. After all, great pitchers were very tall and lanky and threw very hard even at the age of 12.
But there was one person who thought otherwise. One day when my sister, my cousins, my dad, my uncle and me were goofing around at the school softball field pitching to each other my Uncle suddenly paid very close attention to me and said, “Man Joc, you really got it in you! You could be a great pitcher. I mean it!” And he said it with conviction.
Now , it’s a complicated and much longer story but fast forward to years later and I became a full scholarship athlete at UC Berkeley (only the number 1 public university in the nation), national champion, later USA athlete, a professional athlete, and world champion.
One day, years later, I was lucky enough to discover CrossFit. It was this funky fitness class being run in the back of Gold’s gym at the time. There were all these odd people throwing around weights doing high rep Olympic lifting and silly looking pull ups. The rest of the gym looked at them funny but it looked interesting to me one of the coaches grabbed me (or rather dragged me) to come give it a shot.
CrossFit was fantastic and I was in love. My love quickly grew very strong as did my dedication to this funky “sport” of exercise. My family and friends didn’t understand why I needed to be so serious about it. They thought it was silly. Even the owner of that globo gym didn’t see why I needed to “limit myself” to CrossFit when I could be doing yoga and cardio kick boxing too, and he verbalized this to me very clearly. I would tell people how excited I was when I PR’d on something, but they would think it was weird that I was so excited about lifting heavy weight. I didn’t get much support… at first.
But there was one person, the coach, Sam who did get excited for me. In fact, he said I could be great. I’ll never forget what he said that day, “Joc, I’ve got big plans for you.” Fast forward to a year later and I was a CrossFit Games competitor, the Nor Cal Champion, and Sam’s new business partner for CrossFit West Santa Cruz.
But enough about me. There’s a real point to this story. Sometimes, when you are reaching and fighting for something great it can seem like no one in the world understands. It can seem like you are all alone and there is no support. And sometimes it can seem like people are actually against you , urging you to just be a “regular” person. But sometimes, all it takes is that ONE person to tell you they believe in you to ignite your fire.
Believe in someone. I urge you. Be that person for someone else. Tell them you believe in them and say it with conviction. This is not to say that it will necessarily lead to sports scholarships or amazing career opportunities, but it sure could be the boost that inspires a person to make an important life change, to go for something big that fear has always deterred them from, or even just plain make them feel good. And that’s something special.
10 OH BB Lunge (95/65)
25yrd sprint/25yrd back pedal
12 KB Swings