“Sticking with something you love is like biking downhill, sticking with something you don’t love is like biking uphill.”
If you’ve never biked uphill, it’s tough to describe the agony it causes. A slow, unrelenting burn in the legs that never disappears. Your lungs feel like they want to explode. And the only way to stop the suffering is to either quit or get up to the top of the hill. For me quitting has never been an option
When I first learned about CrossFit, it was like going downhill on Mount Everest. I couldn’t get enough of it. Each day was an adventure. While in college I would secretly read CrossFit articles in the middle of class. School was boring. CrossFit wasn’t.
Since then I’ve had many ups and downs training this way. I once believed if I trained hard enough I could qualify for the CF Games. That was until I found myself competing with some of the best athletes in the state in Jacksonville, Florida in 2010. To my disappointment, I placed in the bottom 20%. Leading up to that moment I had committed all my energy and effort for that one competition. I don’t recall how it happened, but exercise slowly began to feel like biking uphill.
Looking back, I can’t recall one specific moment that made me feel that way, but over time I began to hate training. After that competition, I stopped CrossFit for a few weeks to re-evaluate my goals and purpose about exercise. I concluded that training for me was my getaway. It made me feel good, brought me joy, and provided a way to socialize with others. I humbled myself so much I enrolled as a judge for the CrossFit Regionals where I ended up judging the best athletes in the world (this was the first year Rich Froning came onto the scene).
The point of the story is that I found much more joy training because it made me happy instead of treating it like a job that I hated. Since then, I’ve continued to maintain that same mentality in all that I do. I’ve used that same concept in my own life, asking myself “does this feel like I’m riding uphill or downhill?”
In doing so, I’ve made some of my best decisions in the last ten years using this one question.