Thanksgiving happens year-round for me. But I feel especially thankful around the end of March.
More than ever in 2015, I’m thankful for the virtuosity of Catalyst coaches, volunteers and athletes. As Greg Glassman wrote in his essay of the same name in 2005, “[virtuosity is] defined in gymnastics as ‘performing the common uncommonly well.'”
We coach this every day, of course. In any CrossFit class, you’ll see a squat spectrum: new athletes learning to stay on their heels, intermediates fighting to keep their chest just a bit higher, and the more advanced trying to move faster. Or heavier. Or simply better still. It was a treat to see veteran lifters hit power clean PRs yesterday when they were put on the spot after a longer MetCon session. Those who can keep good positions when fatigued can do challenging things when they’re tired.
These “good positions” might come naturally, but we lose them without practice. I’ve never seen anyone with a perfect squat in their first workout. The best athletes are those who will practice the basics critically in the relentless pursuit of excellence. And this goes far beyond exercise.
Our coaches and judges have volunteered their Sunday morning for the last 5 weeks. They’ve judged and counted and held our standards strictly for more than 12 hours each. They’ve smiled throughout. That’s virtuosity.
Our Team Captains have turned up several times every week to cheer athletes on their squads. They’ve been recruiters, mentors, cheerleaders and everything an athlete could need to get through their first (or fifth) Open. They help every time, without complaint. That’s virtuosity.
Our athletes have accepted each new challenge with excitement, trepidation and anxiety, but never with complaint. They’ve taken every “no rep!” in stride, never arguing a call or asking for a favor. That’s virtuosity.
Yes, these things seem common at Catalyst: coaches doing their job, athletes doing their sport. But we do them uncommonly well. And I’m thankful.