Monday, June 9, 2008
CrossFit makes me ponder life's big questions and consider a leap of faith...
I'm going to be honest. This post will be long, and it may be one of those things that you have to read in it's entirety before it makes much sense. So, if you feel a little sleepy, maybe grab a coffee, and settle in for a minute.
We all have our own perspectives, our own views on life. Until recently, with regards to the whole destiny/fate vs. making our own destiny debate I've always kind of been one for thinking that we make our own destiny. I've always thought that working hard would bring the results that you wanted. In most cases of course. Obviously there will be times when you work hard and will not get the desired results, but I was always a believer that hard work would see you through, and you could create whatever destiny you wanted to create. I never really believed that there was a series of wheels already set in motion that would create your life for you. I always thought that was a load of bull that people created when they didn't want to take responsibility for things.
I have to say that lately, CrossFit is making me question my own thoughts. I know it sounds a little wonky, but hear me out. I can't help but feel lately like there is a series of events in my life in motion that I cannot control, all sort of revolving around CrossFit. Had it not been for my interaction with Bobbby, I never would have found Jerry. Had I not found Jerry, I never would have made friends with some of the most awesome people in the world. Had I not met Jerry and these people, I never would have started this blog. Had I not started this blog, I never would have had reason to write any of these stories down. Had I not written this blog, I never would have gotten on a plane and flown to Chicago. Had I not written this blog, I never would have run a 5k. Had I not written this blog, I would not have had the opportunity to interact with all the people who have found me.
I feel right now that CrossFit is taking my life in a new direction. I feel as if I'm in a boat on a river, and CrossFit is the current, taking me somewhere downstream. I'm not really sure where it's taking me, but it's becoming a very exciting ride. Everyday I wake up jazzed for the workouts, and even though I usually feel really terrible during (and after) the workouts, I can't imagine CrossFit not being in my life at the moment. It feels as if through hard work I did create some of my own destiny, but at the same time, it feels as if things are just happening for a reason.
This reasoning, these happenings, have caused me to start to examine other things. This is where the whole leap of faith idea comes in. How do you describe a leap of faith? Well, I describe it as jumping into something and having faith that everything will work out well in the end. People take leaps of faith all the time. We trust in a relationship that if we take the leap of faith and tell someone we love them, they'll say it back. We take the leap of faith that the decisions we make in our jobs are the right ones and will be the best for our company, client, etc. We make the leap of faith with our workout programs. We jump and have faith that our work will produce results. We take leaps of faith when we gamble, hoping that the outcome will be better for us than the house. We have leaps of faith when we leave one job, and trust that the next will be better.
Last summer, I took a leap of faith. I left one school for another and had to trust that my decision was the right one for me. My leap was a good one. My new school has a lot to offer their students, and truly has been a great place for me, even if the year has been less than perfect. However, I'm wondering, if it is time to take another leap of faith. A wise man once said that when you cease to enjoy your work, it is time to stop doing it. I'm not 100% sure I enjoy teaching anymore. The feelings that I used to have about making a difference and getting kids to love reading and learning are gone. I feel more like an underpaid babysitter than someone who actually makes a difference in anyone's life. Amnongst tests, and grading, and IEP's, and lesson plans, and spending all my own money in the classroom, and spending 10 hours a day at school, those feelings have disappeared. The feeling of dread in the mornings that has replaced it is sometimes is like a lead weight vest. But, BUT, when I get up in the mornings to go to CrossFit, it's different. There is an excitement there, an energy. I feel like Jerry has given me some wicked cold that I just can't shake. Not that I want to, but I'm trying to make you understand that it's not something that goes away. I may not always LOOK like I have energy first thing at 0600 (cause let's face it, sometimes it's a miracle my eyes are actually open) but I do.
It just makes me wonder, why isn't teaching this way anymore? Shouldn't it be? I should love it, but since I don't, is it time to make a leap and figure out what I should do? The question was raised several times in Chicago about me doing a cert. The thought has crossed my mind, I've indicated interest several times. But I've had some ponderings about making CrossFit more than just a hobby. Sometimes (certainly not always) with this blog and with my words, I feel like I can and do make a difference to people. Not a huge one, but sometimes words can be your enemy, and sometimes they can be your friend. I feel like sometimes my words are people's friends. They help them to understand, or just to get over the hump of a bad day.
I wonder if I would be a good trainer should I make that leap. I would have MUCH to learn if I ever wanted to be 1/10 as good as Jerry, or even Andrea and Chris, and Adrienne, and the other CF'ers who have gone to certs. But part of me thinks I might be good at it. I've tried to answer the question as to why people find my blog interesting, and the conclusion that I've come to, is that I think I'm relatable. I'm not a firebreather. I'm not a wringer. I'm normal. I'm average, and people can relate to that. They can relate to my weight struggles... they can relate to my struggles with our workouts. It makes sense. I question whether or not that would then make them trust me as a trainer. It would be a long road... it would have to be a long term goal.... it's not something that I could change over night... but should I, dare I leap?
My grandfather used to be a teacher. When he discovered that both my middle sister and I were going to be teachers, he was tickled pink. Some of his most fond memories are of the FFA kids he used to teach back in the day. He taught agriculture because he loved to farm, and he loved plants. And he has told me hundreds of times that I'm preparing my students for a 75 year journey. But, even though those are some of his fondest memories, he didn't teach to retirement. He left and went to insurance, and eventually real estate. He realized that there were other things he loved doing. And plants, oh heavens. My grandfather is currently in not so hot of health, but until his recent issues, he could tell you anything you wanted to know. He's a stubborn man, but a smart one. He realized that it's not a failure to switch jobs and do something else. I think part of the reason I fear leaving teaching is because I've always been someone who felt that whatever you went to college for, that's what you needed to do for the rest of your life. But I don't want to run a rat race for the next 50 years. I want to be happy. But happiness sometimes involves risk right? So how do you know when you should take the risk? When do you know that a leap of faith is necessary? How do you know that the faith part won't fail you? Do you ever really know?
These are all of course just some more of my mindless ramblings... but any thoughts are always appreciated...
Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love.~David McCullough