WED: “Bury Me In My White Belt”
Over the past few years, I’ve made it a point to try and not have negativity as the influence for a blog, even if the takeaway is ultimately positive.
Today I break that rule.
One of our coaches recently shared with our team an interaction she had with a trial during the Monday 6 am class. The trial was a self proclaimed “CrossFit Level 2” coach, and in his short interaction he embodied absolutely nothing about that title. Story goes, he showed up late to the workout unregistered and entitled. Throughout his class, he was outwardly dismissive of any critique and insistent upon completing the workout his own way. Poor, stubborn, and flagrantly incorrect with his approach and technique. After the workout, his wallet was conveniently at his AirBnB as to not be able to pay for his drop-in.
Chances are this guy was just a cocksucker of a person, but the more likely concept is the entitlement he felt as a coach and all the wrong ways he sells himself the behavioral allowances that title brings him. The narrative he had of himself was that he was above whatever our coach in the room had to tell him, despite our coach being highly experienced and decorated.
His interaction is disgraceful to the coaching profession. A “coach” is not earned with a label and a fancy name tag on the back of your shirt. Respect isn’t earned by flashing a badge at someone. If we want people to be coachable to us, do we not have to be coachable to others?
The concept of always-the-student is no more perfectly embodied than by Kano Jigoro, the Japanese man who invented Judo in the late 19th century. By all accounts, this man was a savage, also credited with the innovation of martial arts belt classification, and effectively persuading his nation to include Judo as a curriculum feature in Japanese public schools.
It goes without saying that Jigoro could likely defeat any man or woman on the planet in the discipline of Judo at the time, but as the story goes, upon his death in 1938 just shy of age 80, Jigoro gathered his closest pupils and ensured that upon his death, his burial was not accompanied with adornment, praise, or recognition of his many martial arts accomplishments.
Jigoro embodied the spirit of “always the student” in life and he wanted to make sure he symbolized that in death. Instead of adoration, his instructions were simple.
“Bury me in my white belt.”
I wonder what our drop-in’s instructions would be.
Complete as fast as possible while prioritizing technique over time.
50 Barbell Rows w/ UH Grip
50 Squat Jumps
50 High Plank DB Pull Through