Total Commitment

Alex S--the new contender for Emmett's bodyweight crown.


Yasuhiro Yamashita was one of the most dominant judo competitors of the last 50 years. He won Olympic gold (and probably would have in 1980 if Japan hadn’t boycotted the Games), 4 World Championships, and went undefeated for 203 straight matches (with 7 draws) in international competition, a streak which ended only with his retirement.  Along the way he also won just about every prestigious judo prize possible, such as the All-Japan Championship Openweight Division a mere 9 times.

Few have ever dominated a sport the way Yamashita did, much less a sport as roughly physical as judo. One thing I always liked about Yamashita was that when he competed, he was utterly committed. Before each competition, even as early as his college days, he would always completely clean and organize his room and his apartment, so that if he died in competition, he didn’t want to appear a slob when his family went to collect his belongings. Now, the odds of him dying in a judo match were admittedly slim, although deaths did occur in the rough and tumble years preceding organized judo and Yamashita once had his arm broken in the finals of the All-Japan (you can see a video of it here), but he approached each match as if it were his last.

And that is an absolutely great attitude to have. And a very difficult attitude to have. That kind of total commitment is a rare and precious thing. How often have you been doing a task–study for a test, a project for work, driving 17, doing a WOD–and your mind is elsewhere.  Have you ever taken up a task–eating a certain way for a length of time, maybe doing CrossFit 4 times a week for 3 months, practicing the piano daily–but never really followed through. I certainly have.

If possible, try to bring some of Yamashita’s attitude of total commitment to everything that you do, especially to your CrossFit training. Your CrossFit class is your time. It is your gift to yourself. While there, focus fully on it.

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CF West member Patrick C and his team just made the summit of Denali in Alaska. After several days of bad weather, they reached the summit on Tuesday and found no wind and a completely clear sky. Congratulations Pat!


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