Epictetus never did Karen or Fran, but he definitely would have understood your determination to get through the many tests of the CrossFit Games Open.
“Let others practice lawsuits, others study problems, others syllogisms; here you practice how to die, how to be enchained, how to be racked, how to be exiled.” —Epictetus, The Discourses
The 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games Open is almost here, and we are about to be tested again. The Open has always fulfilled its promise to push us to our limits and has called on us to dig deep and overcome pain and frustration. If you need a good example, look no further than Open Workout 13.3, a repeat of 12.4.
As many reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
150 wall-ball shots
The days preceding that workout were riddled with anxiety for me and many others. I remember the dread I felt knowing full well how much 150 walls balls would hurt, but it was only after I did it that I understood what 13.3 was really about. The workout’s real purpose was to test whether or not you could deal with mental torture—of grueling repetition, of frustration and despair—and stay calm, focused and self-contained as you worked.
That was the test of 13.3. And this unstated test is what makes 13.3 the perfect workout to introduce Epictetus’ philosophy of stoicism, and to illustrate how CrossFit’s tests of “fitness” are really, at their root, meant to test—and cultivate—a stoic character.