There is no shame in being the last one working.
There is no shame in scaling.
There is no shame in finishing last
Because to FIL means you started, and better yet, it means you finished.
For the past 3 years I have been the first face you see when entering ANiMAL CrossFit, and my responsibility is to make sure you understand, and perform all the movements safe, and efficiently. Members consistently ask me how to get better at CrossFit, and that they fear being last once they leave the foundation program. I try to remind them that just showing up every day is enough and it does not matter if you FIL. It is important to remember that taking the little steps makes us a winner. Without the little steps, we don’t get anywhere; sometimes the big steps are overwhelming, but little steps back to back make big gains.
A personal inspiration to me in the gym is one of our ANiMAL athletes, Thomas Mikulski-Gomez. Tom started CrossFit about 5 months ago with the goal to change his physique. In first 2 months Tom did not squat without the use of a few plates and a medicine ball. Now Tom is squatting below parallel, and feeling confident enough to start increasing load. Tom took a small step and was probably frustrated in doing so, but he set a goal and is making HUGE GAINS and success. Whether Tom finishes first or last, he shows up and finishes strong every day.
Even if you finish with a single second left on the clock – you had a choice. You had the choice to try and crank out those last wall balls until the buzzer rang, or to give up and let the time slip away. You endured the pain longer than anyone. Your pain and your fatigue is no less significant than the person who finished first, and yet, you endured it for minutes longer.
Look up, stand tall, and be proud. You finished! You chose to break through the barrier of self-doubt and muscle failure to create a new benchmark within yourself. You chose to reach deep and finish when there was no one left to beat.
FIL is not a mark of shame – it is a mark of pride, an acknowledgement of the courage it took to keep going when it was just you against the clock, a battle that you won. Show up, dig deep, give 100% of whatever your 100% is for the day, and finish strong.
FIL? Right On!