The past weekend, over 400 athletes arrived in Madison, Wisconsin for the annual CrossFit Games. The CrossFit Games is a fitness competition and includes elite athletes, teenagers and a masters division with athletes from all over the world. And may I add, the masters division includes a 60+ division.

This year, the organizers took the event in a variety of directions of which the most significant was the cut in the athlete’s field after every competition day. The first two events of the weekend on Thursday, saw low-placing finishers taking a bow out of the competition. That continued until 10 male and female elite athletes were left in the field on Sunday morning. The athletes completed 11 workouts over the course of the weekend.

There was a lot of chatter on social media about the cut in the athlete field after every day. “Every athlete deserves to be there”, “The organizers have lost their mind”. Apart from the logistical nightmare, to have more than 400+ athletes in the water during a swim event, here’s the main thing I took away from the event this weekend.

The sport of CrossFit is about testing the well-roundedness of an athlete. If you’re an average gym goer, the objective stays the same. CrossFit is about enhancing the well-roundedness of a person. It helps you nothing if you can help your child through a window in a burning house (lifting), but you cannot get yourself out of the window (pulling). You will be pretty much screwed I would say. Which brings me to the point that some people see it as a very noble act not to be able to do something. Which is stupid really, if you think about it.  Especially if you know you can do something about it.

The definition of well-rounded is a person who is skilled, capable or knowledgeable in a lot of different things. The psychologists say that a well-rounded person tends to have a strong sense of responsibility and manages their time well in order to reach their goals. In other words, they are productive. In today’s informational age, it’s not about being an expert in a single field anymore. You will get spit out by the masses very quickly if that is how you approach your life.

Ten years ago, I finished my MBA. It certainly helped me to get a raise and a promotion at that time. But that was about it. For 5 years, I banked on my MBA degree to get myself a better paid job until I realized, I cannot piggy bag off a piece of paper. If something had to change, I would have to step up and initiate the change.

The event also taught me that if you want to walk out as the champion, you must show up at every single event in your life, in every area of your life, with you’re A-game.  You cannot piggy bag your success through life. You might be able to do it briefly, but the longer the challenge, the harder it’s going to be to keep up.  How you show up for the “opening ceremony” in your life, is the same way you should show up for every single event. 

That is excellence. That is living your life and getting the most out of it. It’s not about the deck of cards you were dealt in life. 

It’s about taking the action to flip the card to evaluate and prepare for your next action.

Until the next event,