The last two weekends have offered opportunities in which to practice the idea of GROWTH.
By growth I mean expanding yourself past points of comfort. It’s really a pretty simple concept that I’m sure most of you understand, but yet, very few of you apply to your lives. So, by me sharing my experiences of growth, it is not to say, “Hey! Look at me! I’m growing and becoming better!” It’s rather that I’m using this post as a platform to remind you of ways that you, too, can be stretching and growing. I use these new experiences as examples in order to fire you up, get you thinking and, hopefully, motivate you to take action!
So with that brief preface, let me share with you what has occurred for me the past two weekends.
On Sunday the 22nd, Michael Winchester, RBG athlete, Dru Sellers, and I all participated in what was our very first Highland Games competition! That’s right, folks! We rocked the kilts and all!
I will be honest with y’all and say that I was a bit naive going into this thing. I thought that because I was relatively strong and athletic that I would do decently well……Not the case. The competition started with a standing stone throw – think shot put without all the fancy footwork. I am still unclear as to how heavy the stone was, but I want to say 27lbs. In any case, I tossed the shit outta that thing with a respectable 27′ 5″. Not too bad. Unfortunately that was the very first round of the very first event, and that is where I peaked.
There were other variations of stone toss, some weight tossing(yes, that’s a different event), hammer, the infamous caber toss, and finally the sheaf toss for height.
In all of these events there was a specific technique that was required in order to be competitive in any form or fashion. I did not exhibit said techniques. It’s weird….It’s like….If you practiced the techniques, you’d be better at the activity…..Hmmmmmm.
Anyway, it was an awesome experience that I will most likely do again. I can’t stand sucking at stuff, so wandering around in a kilt, trying to compete in a sport that I had severely underestimated was a very humbling experience. It forced me to stretch beyond my comfort zone. See how I tied that all together like that? Not bad, huh?
Now, as far as this weekend’s festivities go. The skill changed from what was seemingly brute strength(not the case) to a test of brains and endurance. Friday night was the 2nd ever Night Ops Challenge. It was put on by some friends of mine at Atomic Athlete, Jake and Todd. These guys both have some military experience and took their training sessions and converted them in to a civilian-friendly land navigation and task completion challenge.
Now, this sounds pretty badass, I know, and it is. But, let me paint the picture for you….
Men were to carry 20lbs packs, not including water. Ladies were to carry 10lbs. We started downtown and finished downtown, but took a long-ass loop around downtown/central Austin with several checkpoints in between. Each checkpoint had a unique task that had to be completed successfully in order to get the location of the next checkpoint. See what’s going on here?
The tasks ranged from story problems, to carrying a cinder block, to untying a monkey fist knot….look it up. The distance ran was probably somewhere around 7 miles and took roughly 3 hours. Keep in mind we were running when we weren’t completing tasks….and you know how I feel about running….
In either case, both events were rewarding in their own way. And each tested me in ways that I needed in order to stretch and grow. So, the next time something that seems a bit out of your usual activity list pops up on your radar, jump at the opportunity! For it’s a chance to expand your horizons and grow!
Travis Holley is a CrossFit Level II Coach, has a B.S. in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Northern Colorado, and has 3 years of experience coaching a wide variety of individuals ranging from young athletes to grandparents, and everyone in between.