August 01, 2008
How can we predict which of our kids will be successful? Those who are bold? Those who are confident? Those who are willing to take risks? There is no foolproof formula. But if you were at the CrossFit Games this year, you may be inclined to venture a guess. While I was there, I witnessed strength of character and a level of poise I had thought might be missing in this generation. I saw the best of our future.
Teenage CrossFitters like Josh, Connor, Kallista, Mariah, and David were simply amazing. Surrounded by world-class competitors who have years of training and experience on them, these kids walked into the arena ready for battle. No fanfare. No expressions of selfdoubt. In their minds, their ability to perform was as good as the next guy's, even if the next guy was bigger and stronger. I'll never forget the scenes. Connor gutted through Sunday's event next to an NFL player. Kallista stood tall next to the highlighted finalists, even after she took a scary spill. Mariah pumped out deadlifts and burpees like her life depended on it. David suffered a severe asthma attack and refused to give up. Josh pumped out clean and jerks with good form right up to the second the clock ran out. Their efforts inspired all of us who saw. We shook our heads and wondered, "How do they do it? What makes them so tough?" But for them, their performances weren't extraordinary or even remarkable. They simply did what they went there to do--complete the events and compete.
I suspect Coach Glassman foresaw this scenario when Jeff and Mikki Martin began to develop a CrossFit Kids program. Now well established, CrossFit Kids programs are profoundly changing the lives of children and teens around the world, in the gym and beyond. We're cultivating a group of kids who are better equipped to face whatever life brings them. It isn't about winning or losing. It's about character building and defining success in a positive manner. CrossFit Kids are working from a different paradigm than most of their peers. They view themselves as competent and capable. Appropriate risk taking and weathering the storms of life come more naturally to them. They're disciplined; they know how to persevere; they have learned to accept delayed gratification.