“Death smiles at all men, all men can do is smile back”
This is a quote from the movie Gladiator and is wrongly attributed to Marcus Aurelius. Even though, as far as we know, The Emperor never actually uttered these words but they still have a lot of meaning. We, as a society, fear death. This is a legitimate fear as we do not know what happens after we die. We can believe in an afterlife but there is no way of actually knowing what will happen to us. This is key to remember as we journey through our days. We do not know when our time will come.
What does this have to do with fitness? Well, everything. Our time on this earth is finite, just like your time in the gym and the competition world is finite. We only have a small amount of time to make our impact on this world. When you come to the gym are you someone who lowly gags around and wastes time or are you someone who gets in and starts warming up. I recently watched a video with Mark Bell from the Super Training gym out in California. He and his buddies take a mile walk every morning before training. Why? Because that is where they do their talking and joking. Once they are in the gym, they get to training. They get to work out. When you come to the gym what is your reason? One of the biggest faults I see with people who fail to see progress is they don’t have their “why”. Why are you doing what you are doing? Once again, are you blindly following along or are making a meaningful impact on yourself, your training partners, and those around you? These should be your goals. I will not be here in a hundred years but I can impact the lives of people that will be. By helping a young man get off blood pressure medication he will, in turn, teach his kids never to be in that spot in the first place and his grandkids after that. By helping someone achieve the goal of competing in a CrossFit event then they can inspire the next generation to compete in their first competition and then inspire their kids, who again are always watching, to pick up a sport and live an active lifestyle. The small things you do in the gym everyday impact more people than you will ever know. Quit wasting time and get to work.
The life we all live in is finite. We are all capable of impacting someone and the beauty of group classes is you don’t have to be friends with anyone to impact their life. All you have to do is put in the effort every single day. This day you are given is a blessing, how will you use it? If you can positively impact the lives of those you meet when death comes smiling, you will be able to smile back!