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The heaviest pull will always be our selves: Whether it’s pulling ourselves out of bed at 4:30am, pulling ourselves back up after we have fallen, pulling it together when we are behind and the clock is winding down, or pulling ourselves across the finish line when our whole system wants nothing more than to shut down.

We have all been there... flying at a new peak and every week is filled with new PR’s, new strength and time breakthroughs, new size gains or weight cuts. With all this comes hard earned satisfaction, as well as a new mental model. A new status. A new bar.

Then unexpectedly we lose our footing on the ride up. We hear an incredibly unwelcome pop while doing a box jump, find out we need major surgery because of the strain we have been able to endure for so long, or maybe life forcefully asks us shift our priorities for a while.

The progress starts to fade. The daily and weekly gains are no longer lifting our spirit. We’re sliding. The weight of the expectations we barely even knew we had, become shockingly heavy and add momentum in the wrong direction.

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True Strength is in Surrender

Sometimes the strongest action we can muster is to let go. To create some space inside. To drop the crushing weight of our out dated expectations, our ego.

A lot of the time I measure myself and others up against times where I've confused greatness with the glamour of 'achievement'. But that's really just the surface... That is the effect of all the times we have had to dig deep, especially when things have gotten tough.

Greatness is simply the courage to overcome obstacles

That’s why we clap for the last person finishing the WOD. Because obstacles are different for absolutely everyone all the time. And they are different for our own selves from time to time.

But greatness is always available in this moment. Sometimes not going backwards is greatness. Sometimes sliding backwards and still fighting to keep it together is greatness. Sometimes letting people help is greatness.

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Whatever the circumstances are, it's the courage to fully accept the circumstances as they are, not how we wish they might be and the willingness to endure temporary (or maybe never-ending) pain for something greater than ourselves. To know that there is more to life, and to be willing to open up and make the choice to let it in: The places, the challenges, and the people.

April 07, 2016 — Gord Swenson
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