The Test

When heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on any man, it will exercise his mind with suffering, subject his sinews and bones to hard work, expose his body to hunger, put him to poverty, place obstacles in the paths of his deeds, so as to stimulate his mind, harden his nature, and improve wherever he is incompetent.
– Meng Tzu, 3rd cent BCE

Just about a month ago, I clicked “submit” for a full payment to register for a Crossfit Level 1 certification in January.

Oddly enough, before laying down that large sum of money, I was a walking billboard for all things Crossfit. I was chatting up strangers every chance I could just to have the opportunity to talk about Crossfit, spread the good word, and foster hope and inspiration in others.

Can someone explain to me why it is that the day I PAY to take a step toward making this a career, I lose it?…

…I lose interest; I lose excitement; I lose drive. I stopped doing everything that I did for fun for the last two years… WHAT THE HECK?!

It probably did not help when shortly after I paid for the cert, I hurt myself pretty badly in the gym. Poor form had finally caught up with me. While I was able to do more, faster, in the gym, I was sacrificing my form, and what it had come down to was I either HAD to change how I was doing things, or I could stop working out all together…

…not a chance.

When I was confronted by my lack of interest in the one topic that I used to brim over with excitement about…I finally opened up about it. I didn’t understand the timing…I didn’t understand how I could teach people Crossfit when I felt like it was breaking my body down…I didn’t understand why when I was the healthiest I had ever been in my life, and had the most help on my side, I was the most broken (or so I felt). This is when Nick got up and walked to the kitchen and pulled this quote off the fridge for me. He just handed it to me and said nothing.

When heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on any man, it will exercise his mind with suffering, subject his sinews and bones to hard work, expose his body to hunger, put him to poverty, place obstacles in the paths of his deeds, so as to stimulate his mind, harden his nature, and improve wherever he is incompetent.
– Meng Tzu, 3rd cent BCE

During the build-out here at the office, Nick had these thoughts pretty often. There were things that would pop up that were unexpected, and he felt beat down because of them. One day he was flipping through a book that was given to us at our going away party and came upon this quote. For him, that one quote was what got him through all the tough moments in the 9 months of build-out…

…and now it is happening to me.

I’m being tested physically, as literally as I can ever imagine. I am being tested emotionally, not understanding why these things are happening. I’m being tested financially…I didn’t just pay for that cert for fun, or like I just didn’t know what to do with the money…

…I truly believe that I’m being tested. I’m being tested to improve those aspects where I am incompetent.

Form. It is ESSENTIAL to do it properly in any sport or fitness program…especially Crossfit since it is at such a high intensity.

Empathy. I went from being the least athletic person I had ever met, to a walking Crossfit billboard. I was fortunate enough to have coaches who were HUGE on form, and made a huge deal about doing it right… Regardless of this, sometimes you get hurt. Sometimes you get crazy in there, forget what you’re doing when you’re exhausted, and form breaks… Having this experience is driving the lesson of ALWAYS having proper form home for me…and educating me through experience how to teach my future clients how to perfect their form; it is also giving me empathy to understand their frustrations and pain when things break down…it sucks, I know…

Reality check. I feel that this experience in the last month or two has brought me down to Earth a touch, created more relativity in me. I have to admit, I may have been a tad bit much for the last two years (nothing I would take back one bit)…to the extent of one person telling me I was a walking blog post, and other friends walking away… I don’t have a problem with this either, it taught me who were real friends and what I wanted in a group of friends…but I do think that this blast of reality for me will make me much more relatable to future clients…and that is definitely a gift.

…unless I fail to make the turn…

…welp, that is a choice that I am just NOT willing to make this time…

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8 thoughts on “The Test

  1. frankfoe says:

    Love the quote! Love your post! It is how we rise to meet these struggles that define who we are and where we will end up. Don’t let the challenges this life presents be your downfall, make them your brightest!

  2. Lauren Bragg says:

    I’m pretty sure that quote just changed my life forever. And honestly, a lot of people face what you’re facing I think. It’s just the truly passionate never give up. Good call on the form, it is SO important, I needed a reminder. Love this post!!

    • beautifullystrong says:

      I’m so glad that this quote is getting out…so many people take these hurdles as a sign to stop, to discontinue their effort…but really, its a test to truly test the committed. Glad it could help, it helped me too! 🙂

  3. Jessica Rea says:

    Great post Jen! What a great quote! I love how you always pull out the positive, inspirational side of a bad situation! I know reading this will help others on their path too. xx

  4. Alexis Girvan says:

    You are GROWING. This is the tangible stuff of it. I am SO proud of you.. and stoked to watch it continue. You are the girl that can handle this…. 🙂 Love you

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