Good Afternoon CFTP,

I’ll be the first to admit that when 19.5 was announced on Thursday night, I was totally bummed. I had visions of a beautiful chipper to finish our Open off with but once again, Castro had to throw in a brutal couplet to send us off. I had a not so great attitude about it really up until about 3 seconds after I finished on Friday night and then my poor attitude changed to a feeling of success.

Every year CrossFit puts in at least one, sometimes two, workouts that force you into the pain cave. They are designed perfectly so that it really is impossible, scaled or Rx, to avoid it. I have not allowed myself into the dark recesses of the pain cave in quite some time and about 80 reps into this one… I knew it was coming. All the signs were there… The cramping legs, the lack of oxygen, the constant trips to the chalk bucket, the doubt racing through my mind, the constant looking at my judge (Zach Lake) in hopes that he could somehow give me some relief, then to have him tell me to go back to work and me wanting to throat punch him, the questioning of why I was doing this to myself and on and on. I know you all know this feeling far too well.

Then, all of the sudden, my chest hit the bar for the 105th time in 19 minutes and 44 seconds and it was all over. The pain began to subside, my friends were cheering and excited about the effort I put in, a feeling of pride started to rise up inside and I knew that I had accomplished something hard. I crawled over to my little Scarlet and I felt proud to have done what I did.

I had taken on the challenge of something difficult and had succeeded. I didn’t get the fastest time but I gave my 100 percent.

What makes experts experts in their field? Obviously it’s education and learning their craft but I believe becoming an expert in any area of life takes experience. When you experience something over and over again, you learn how to adapt and you learn how to respond. Doctors aren’t only experts in their field because they went to school, they are experts because when you come in with a sore throat and a rash, they have seen those same symptoms hundreds of times and they know what you need to do to get better.

Why is this important in our lives? In life, I believe it is impossible for us to avoid trials and struggles or to use the term above, go through “pain cave” moments in our lives. It’s inevitable! We all have gone through, are going through, or will go through times in our lives that we feel, like I did during the workout, like we can’t breathe. We feel like the walls are closing in on us and we will never be able to get through it. By doing workouts like 19.5 I believe it prepares us for these types of moments. It gives us the confidence that we can do hard things. Workouts like 19.5 aren’t just making us physically stronger, they are making us mentally stronger and mentally more prepared for what life might throw at us. I truly believe this. I have seen it in many situations in my own life and have heard from so many of you who have had similar stories to mine. The more we experience these types of “pain cave” moments in the gym, the more prepared we will be when they pop up in our day to day lives.

I have truly enjoyed this past 5 weeks. I have loved how involved you all have been and I think one of the best parts was seeing all of your before and afters, hearing your motivational videos, learning more about what makes you tick. I love how supportive you have been with each other. Friday nights were a blast! This has been one of my favorite opens to date and good news… We don’t have to wait a year for the next one… Next open is this October!

I’ll leave you with a thought from Coach LaDee:

“What motivates me to love others in my relationships? Quid pro quo? Give to receive? I want my motivation to love others simply because I am loved. Am I loving as much as I can without needing anything in return, no strings attached? Let’s all LOVE WELL and FULLY! This world needs more of that!”

Thank you Coach!

Coach Dan