2017. A year of massive forced growth.
A painful public conflict, Bergeron, a team restructure, a mission redefined, an uneasy reintroduction to formal education, an event of events, a meltdown for the ages, and finally a break.
And the right people.
If ever a concept was hammered home this year, it was this one. The support, the expertise, the hard work, the love and friendship of those around me this year have made all the difference.
I have never experienced a worse start to a year. Nobody likes conflict, but when it’s public, it’s a different animal. Let’s just say there were plenty of growth opportunities in January. It’s funny, you come through these things stronger, relationships fortified and you find out who you are. But at the time…
The whole episode taught me two things. Firstly, good work eventually gets recognised. I always hate seeing lazy, cynical work being rewarded. This year, my faith in the power of good work was restored. Secondly, self-delusion is a very dangerous thing indeed.
From there followed a year so jam-packed, it’s hard to believe it all occurred in the same 12 months. Bergeron changed the game for me. Simple, simple solutions, so obvious to the point of embarrassment, but brilliant in equal measure. I have to think it was a timing thing. It was the right information, delivered in the right way, just at the right time. I will be forever grateful.
From this flowed everything. The new team are brilliant. I say this not with any throw-away use of the word brilliant. I mean each of them, in their own way, are actually brilliant at what they do. I am bursting with pride for our coaching team. I love being part of it. Again, the right people.
We also defined who we are as a gym, and where we are headed. This has been a powerful engine driving everything forward. My favourite aspect of having a clear mission is my new-found ease with saying no. It is instantly obvious what to me what is a yes and what is a no. So many bright and shiny “opportunities” pop up and where previously I always said yes, this year was very often a hard no. I have not one single regret.
Then, I went back to college. This was a big step, and one I never saw coming. And so far, so good. The material is hugely interesting and I am learning an awful lot. I have lived with this stuff my whole working life, so there is a certain comfort with it. The structure in which they want it regurgitated on the other hand is not so straightforward. The academic world is not immune to it’s own set of politics and bullshit, which is taking some getting used to. I suppose it’s all part of the learning process, but I do wonder about the value in some of it. If this time next year I am writing about having a MSc, It will all be worth it. If nothing else, I am appreciating the struggle.
In the middle of all this was the small matter of the Filthy 150. Without a shadow of doubt, the best one yet. Like every year, you hope the programming works out the way you imagined. I was quite satisfied with it, although there were still lessons in there. I loved working with the judging team this year, what a great bunch of people. And the volunteers again were so supportive…not least, the wife. Watching her bring her skills of persuasion to the world of CrossFit was something to behold. Games athletes, company CEOs, and big sponsors were all standing on the floor of the National Show Centre saying, “I am in Dublin and I am not sure why..but here I am”. Once wifey decides something is happening, it tends to happen. In the end, it was quite a show.
Which brings me to my meltdown. My exams this Christmas were an eye-opener. I went full tail-spin, questioning my existence. Didn’t see it coming either. All of a sudden I found myself in the middle of something that I couldn’t control and it was utterly disorientating. I considered skipping exams, quitting college and just walking away. It was all on the table. At the end of the day, I had to coach myself through it. “Where’s your growth mindset?…control what you can control…take on the challenge, grow from the experience”. It got me through it…well to show up and write stuff down at least. As for the results, I will find them out soon but going through the experience was something I have learned from and hopefully will make me a better coach.
And thats the whole point. Here I am on a break, reflecting on another huge year. No work, just a holiday. Yet all I can think about is the gym and what the next 12 months can bring. I am truly in some sort of dream where everything I could possibly want is right here in front of me. The people I want to train, the coaches I want to work with, in the facility I always wanted to build. Nothing left to do but to take a breath, be grateful and kick in the door to 2018.