Fearlessness Training & the Art of the Whole Life Challenge

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For time:
10 One-arm, alternating DB Snatch (55/40)
100 Double unders
20 DB Sn.
75 Double unders
30 DB Sn.
50 Double unders
40 DB Dn.
25 Double unders

See 6/18/13 for last results


Partner WOD
AMRAP 20 (One partner working at a time):
250m Row
6 burpees
12 DB thrusters
During the last Whole Life Challenge, I ignored a lot of fears. I ignored them and subsequently did the worst I’ve done in all five Whole Life Challenges. I ignored my fears because my logic at the time was – god – how many fears must I face all the time? I was settling into a new role at work. I’m a mother of teenagers. I’m a 46 year old CrossFitter, which always tests my fears. Even currently: my husband was laid off the day before Thanksgiving. My life is – and has been – a revolving door of fear-facing (or not facing them). I imagine your lives are the same, to your own degree.

I don’t feel the same now – I feel my fears are less of a burden or hindrance. And this means I’m feeling brave about this Whole Life Challenge, which starts Saturday. The fears are still present, but here’s a paraphrase of something I read recently: When we acknowledge fear, we are then entitled to bouts of fearlessness. Fearlessness!

I’ve been reading about the “true path of warriorship” in an old book called Shambhala; The Sacred Path of the Warrior. In the book, the definition of a warrior is simply one who is brave. And the first principle is to not be afraid of who you are; of your true self. There are many means to discovering your true self – which all take bravery. They don’t mean the type of bravery that is a façade – some put-on sense of aggression and judgment. Real bravery is needed for basic goodness, for gratitude and appreciation. Compassion and kindness take bravery. And tapping into compassion can make you feel less inhibited to recognize our own fears. Facing and acknowledging fears dissolves their power. Fearlessness is by no means an absence of fear, but simply an ability to move beyond it. Fear is a call to action.

I don’t often have a fear of failing. That’s one great thing I’ve learned from being a CrossFitter. I have taken away all pressure of being great, even of being pretty good, which was not easy especially as a leader of our community. But in that, I’ve become great at simply being consistent and being authentic. Putting myself out there to fail is not as hard now, and with that I often surprise myself with many triumphs. This has conditioned me to continually face my physical fears.

But when it came to the last Whole Life Challenge, I had developed a fear that only a veteran player could develop. I had won the Spirit of the Challenge award during our inaugural challenge. I had become the face and champion of vegan and vegetarian players. My family looks to me as a beacon of healthy eating. Suddenly, I was afraid to disappoint everyone looking to me for inspiration and in that I tried to fade off in the distance and hide out, pretending like I had it all together. Because of that, I didn’t gain ANY benefits from the last challenge. I could have tweaked just one thing. I could have acknowledged all of this during the challenge. I coulda shoulda woulda. But I didn’t and I was not the better for it.

Am I still afraid of disappointing my friends and family, or anyone looking to me as an example? Absolutely. Is it ok? Absolutely. I may not be perfect in points, but I plan to be perfect in intention. I intend to keep working towards a sustainable balance that not only benefits my true self’s vision of health and fitness, but will still be an example of consistency and authenticity. This time I’m prepared to acknowledge any fears of failure, of feeling deprived, of cravings, of succeeding(!), and I intend to give an all-in effort – just like I do in everything else where I feel fearless.

If you feel hesitant about doing the Whole Life Challenge because it brings up a lot of fears, whether it’s your first time or your sixth, I hear you. Come be on my team (after joining the CrossFit Los Angeles team) and let’s be brave together and, as a result, we’ll cash in our bouts of fearlessness.

CrossFitLA Image
Dave acknowledging his fear of V-Ups



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