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Sport or Alternative Approach, Pursue Progress

What do you do to discover your limits?

One of my main methods for personal progress is sport.

Since the first time I learned about Indigenous teachings of the medicine wheel as an adolescent, I have always believed life should be a constant pursuit of becoming better:

Physically

Emotionally

Mentally

and Spiritually.

When I began CrossFit it was out of a desire to improve in the physical aspect; the program appealed to me because of its holistic nature – the goal is to develop the most well-rounded athlete possible: “As a CrossFit athlete you will probably never squat 1000 lbs or run a 4-minute mile, but you might squat 500 lbs and have a 5-minute mile,” I was told. This seemed like the ideal regime for all-encompassing physical betterment.

However, as any athlete knows, once you become serious about your sport it requires fierce focus from every aspect of your being; it is no longer just physical. Outstanding success demands mental and emotional growth, and with the number of athletes you see pray before they approach a barbell or point to the heavens when they score a goal, it is clear that a person’s spiritual beliefs also influence their involvement in sport (or vice versa).

So again, I ask you: though some of us choose sport, what are you doing to develop in these four areas?

As I became a better CrossFitter I learnt more about myself, and I found that what made my spirit soar the highest and where my mind seemed to have the greatest aptitude to focus and remain positive was maximal effort lifts, and so I chose to take on strength sports: powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting. My current pursuit of physical growth is to discover how strong I can become. I am forever growing as an athlete and sport is one of the primary tools I use to force myself to evolve as a human being: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Whatever you do, life should be an incessant expedition in the pursuit of progress. Mindfully find the modes that work for your own self-improvement and master them.


Video: Me pulling 153 kg at Saskatchewan powerlifting provincials to break the 63 kg deadlift record and get a 10.5 kg PR on my deadlift.

Pictured: Me attempting a 160 kg deadlift at Canadian Powerlifting Union Nationals – over 2.8x body weight.  I didn’t get it, but I will at my next meet.  Although not the most flattering picture of me, that’s half the reason I love it: women should be encouraged to challenge themselves and even demonstrate stereotypically male behaviours like aggression sometimes if it isn’t harming anyone else and is helping them discover their limits. 🙂

Photo Credit: Harnek Singh Rai

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