On the last basketball team I played on, we had an inspirational message posted in the locker room. It was attributed to Magic Johnson, but I’ve never been able to find it elsewhere so I figure our coach just made it up and said Magic Johnson said it to give it some credibility.
I can’t remember exactly how the quote went, but it came to mind as I was out running my 800M this morning. The gist of it was that the path to greatness lies in daily practice and some players just love it.
I remember being incredulous at that last part. How could you love running sprints? How could you love doing all the little things that coaches make you do? That was pain and suffering; there wasn’t anything to love. By that time in my basketball career, I didn’t love it – and I quit at the end of the year.
CrossFit has brought me an understanding of what Magic Johnson (or my coach) was talking about. Even if you don’t love getting out of bed at 5am, or coming to the gym on a 100 degree day, or whatever obstacle it may be today, you can still love the feeling of overcoming those obstacles and pushing yourself to get a little bit better.
I can relate to how Mat Fraser talks about lying in bed at night, stirring with excitement thinking about the next days’ training. It’s fun to think about how that momentary pain and suffering will make me a better athlete – and a better person.
Unfortunately not all of us can be Magic Johnson or Mat Fraser, but that shouldn’t stop us from finding greatness by becoming the best version of ourselves.