When the Crossfit Gods don’t call your name

June 30, 2016 1 Comment

When the Crossfit Gods don’t call your name.

We trained all year to see how we would rank in the Open. For some of us we even have a shot at Regional, and then there are the select few who get a shot at the big show.

We do it for fun because it’s hard and inspiring but for many of us the seasons ends and we start faithfully watching the next level athletes take it as far as they can. As I take it as far as I can I end each season and say to myself, “I still have passion for this. I still have weaknesses. And I still have goals for next year.”

I am 34 years old and have been doing Crossfit for five years. Yet here I am again, at the bottom of the year-long hill, ready to get rolling.

I am Sisyphus.

Let’s talk about the Legend of Sisyphus...

Sisyphus was a King who apparently was deceptive or dishonest. So the gods cursed him to push a boulder up a mountain. But when the boulder reached the top, it just rolled back down. Sisyphus was cursed to do this seemingly futile work for all of eternity.

We can take one of two approaches to this story.

First there are those who identify with the soul crushing futility of work. They see only external rewards, a number on the Scale, or when they fit into that pair of jeans. In Sisyphus they only see toil with no true reward.

The Second group says Sisyphus actually fell in love with the toil. It never goes into great detail of the psyche of Sisyphus but there are plenty of us who know that whatever our life goals and aspirations might be, we are all perusing goals in some way overlooking the futility of it all and just learning to love the process.

As a trainer, I work with people who come in with goals. Usually they want to lose weight, especially around their mid-section. I try to tell them right off the bat that those who fall in love with the process see the best results. These results come when you aren’t paying attention.

For some the scale is the boulder. Every morning it’s telling them they aren’t good enough. They want results—bad—, but they also want the process to end once they reach the top. Sadly, this mentality is usually not enough to keep the results they want. Sometimes, they get the boulder to the top, but they hate the process. And it’s crushing to watch it go back down the mountain.

Results can even get in the way sometimes. People can get all sorts of benefits from exercise but not recognize it because they aren’t a certain weight or dress size.

For others the process becomes they thing we love. We live for gym time. Oddly, we love the challenge and the struggle. When the boulder goes down we see it as opportunity.


There’s another skill we can learn.

There’s another challenge we can conquer.

There’s another Open next year.

Is that crazy? Is it futile? Maybe.

But here’s the truth: One way or another, we are all Sisyphus. We can either let the boulder crush us or we can learn to love the process.


This is a guest post from Joshua Wright - trainer/coach at Colaw fitness and founder of Wrightfix NutritionIn addition to personal training, Josh has experience as a Program Director and Head Trainer of a MMA Gym. He has been involved in Crossfit since 2009. You can follow Josh on  Instagram and Facebook 

1 Response

Polly wilson
Polly wilson

March 27, 2017

Really good story and great lesson, especially for the girl that tends to just see the boulder…..

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.