Sumo Deadlift 3-3-3-3-3-3-3
Is Defeat Always a Bad Thing?
For those of you new to CrossFit, during the 2010 Games, Rich Froning was the dark horse. The relatively unknown athlete dominated through out the weekend, finishing outside the top 10 only once and went into the final event in first place with a pretty comfortable lead. At the start of the last part of the final event (about 16:00 into the video), Rich was all but guaranteed the title of “Fittest Man on Earth,” unless he somehow bombed the final portion of the WOD.
Cue rope climbs.
Rich Froning’s inability to efficiently climb a rope cost him first place. But did that defeat actually lead to his overwhelming success in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Games? According to Rich, it did:
“Two years and two Games championships later, I still get asked by those in the CrossFit community about that rope and how it cost me the title. They suggest that if it hadn’t been for the rope, I would be a three-time Games champion. But the truth is, if not for that rope, I don’t think I would be a three-time champ. Or even a two-time champion. I am convinced I would not have won another Games. There is something those people don’t know about the rope. Or me. The rope changed my life.”
– Rich Froning, “First: What It Takes to Win”
Rich Froning went home with a fire lit under his ass to strengthen his weakness, learn how to effectively climb a rope, and came back stronger to take the title in 2011 (and again in 2012 and again in 2013). You can bet that if he decides to compete next year, he’ll probably work on his swimming technique.
Failure and defeat aren’t necessarily bad things. Yes, it sucks to lose, especially if you were a sure bet to win. However, it is your attitude and resiliency that determines if that failure will become an excuse to quit, to collect your toys and go home or if you turn that failure into a plan of action. This is true of anything in life.
You cannot control what challenges life hands you, but you can always control your reaction to those challenges.