Excellence

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The pursuit of excellence is one of the greatest things anyone can do. Unfortunately it is a rarer thing than most people believe.  Everybody, absolutely everybody, is guilty of not pursuing excellence. I certainly am and so are you.  I like to think that in all areas of my life–work, relationship, training, hobbies–I have consistently striven for excellence, but deep down, I know that there have been times when I did not.  And, while the result of most of those times was harmless, I know that there have been a few times when I let others and myself down. In all honestly, those times bother me still. 

The pursuit of excellence is, without a shred of doubt, its own goal.  Think about it for a moment.   Look back on your own life. Look at your life now.  When were you happiest?  When are you happiest?  The most fulfilled?  Satisfied?  I bet it was or is when you pursued excellence. It just happens that way.

Not only do we not always pursue excellence, but we are even more rarely in a situation where we are completely surrounded by the pursuit of excellence.  Think about the places where you spend a lot of time. Are you surrounded by excellence at work?  I haven’t always pursued excellence at work and I doubt everyone else does.  Constantly pursuing excellence is not the same as always being in a frenzy of activity. Motion does not always connote forward motion.  It is not just action, but a deliberate choice.

A CrossFit gym is one place where I just about always see the pursuit of excellence.  The only exception is beginners who are just kind of window shopping.  They usually don’t last.  Constantly striving for excellence is just too intense for them.  And that’s ok.  CrossFit certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  And if they do last, then their attitude changes, their goals change, and they slowly begin to recognize that wonderful Japanese saying that “a master of something reveals that mastery in his or her every action.”

In a CrossFit gym, you can be surrounded by the pursuit of excellence.  And it is a great thing, a wonderful feeling.  It is both uplifting and driving.  So strong that it is palpable.  This is one of the reasons people like to be in a CrossFit gym, why going to an affiliate is so fun, almost addictive, why people stop by and hang out even if they aren’t training. In a CrossFit gym, excellence is the rule, not the exception to it.  Surrounding yourself with that kind of energy feels good. 

CrossFit has its own saying about excellence and the pursuit of it.  “Virtuosity is doing the commonplace uncommonly well.”  Look back at the Japanese saying about mastery above. The two are the same.  It is easy to strive for excellence in the uncommon, or in a single venue.  It is much more difficult and nobler a calling to strive for excellence–virtuosity–in the everyday.  And far more rewarding.

Not all will agree or perhaps even understand, but beyond strength and speed and stamina, this lesson is one of the greatest benefits of CrossFit.

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Workout(courtesy of CrossFit Football):

AMRAP in 15 minutes

7 Front Squats 70%1RM

7 Burpee Pullups

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