You’ll notice in the gym that I have a list, ten principles of thinking, that are up on the wall above the storage cubbyholes. Each day I look at the list and try to focus on one of those principles and get my head in the zone for the day. With Murph coming on Saturday May 25th and while “grind through obstacles” seems the natural choice to focus on, I actually wanted to touch on something different. The idea of: “focusing only on what you can control.”
For a bit of context, this will be my 7th “Murph” as I’ve done the workout every year since I started doing CrossFit. I’ve done this WOD with and without body armor, straight through and also partitioned. We do these long, grinder workouts – known as Hero WODs – because we want to remember those who have made sacrifices for us to remain the best and most free country on earth. It’s a tradition in CrossFit I am proud to continue at RoxFire/RF1.
In terms of “Focusing Only On What You Can Control,” Murphy made a choice to get to a clearing so he could radio a signal for help. He did this so his teammates could be rescued knowing full well it could expose his position and lead to death. This risk didn’t stop him from making the choice and focusing like a laser on the variables that were within his control – his ability to radio for help. In his set of life or death circumstances, he wasn’t a victim and he pushed through what must have been terrifying fear. He took charge and made a choice and didn’t let anything deter him from focusing on what he could do. He died a hero because of it.
Every day we are presented with obstacles. We hem and haw and chew complain about insignificant details, many of which are outside of our control that we can’t change. Knowing how to cut through the noise and react to your obstacles with a sense of power and purpose is truly an art.
During Murph on Memorial Day, remember that it’s a gift that you get to choose to do this workout. While it may be raining, or you feel hot or bothered by whatever variables are outside of your control, know that you have the power to grind through because all you really can control is how you react to the world around you.