You know the quote. The bigger the challenge, the greater the reward. I usually dismissed this as pompous motivational jargon, until I looked at a barbell and thought wow, that quote makes sense now. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the quote applies to real life as well.
We celebrate personal records in CrossFit. It’s a simple concept; you lift more weight than you ever have before, you set a new PR. Logic follows that attempting to lift a heavier weight presents a bigger challenge than a previous, lighter lift.
I honestly never thought I’d see the day when I could lift a bar with 8 plates on it. Ok, maybe I thought it was in the future but when I maxed out my deadlift earlier last year at 315 pounds… I figured I was a LONG way away from the 400club. Well… yeah, I deadlifted 405 pounds not too long ago. I was pretty pumped about that.
I felt so freaking alive when I made that lift. I knew that as a direct result of CrossFit, I was stronger than I had ever been before. This wasn’t just a feeling inside me… I had physical proof that I was stronger. I kept adding weight to the barbell and I kept lifting it off the floor.
My challenge grew bigger… and so did my reward. Sure, there are plenty of people that are plenty stronger than me. But to me, ME, that was an incredible moment and an incredible accomplishment for all my 182 pounds.
What about other sports? Hitting a home run, finishing a marathon, acing that hole-in-one… every time you push yourself harder and further and faster, and you succeed, a more complete sense of pleasure and accomplishment follows.
So if the gym produces tangible evidence of bigger challenges/greater rewards, can’t life outside fitness do the same? Yes, of course it does. If you land that new job or close that big deal, you get a bigger sense of satisfaction.
But what about when the rewards are less obvious? What about cooking a healthy meal instead of fast food? What about telling the truth when a lie is so much easier? What about following your passion and love instead of following comfort and normalcy?
The bigger challenges also bring bigger fears. Fear is a motherfucker. I’m working diligently to get rid of the bad fear in my life. Fear of lifting even heavier. Fear of following my dreams. Fear of failing.
Grab the challenges by the horns. Wrestle that bull to the ground. Hog tie it. Kick it when you’re finished. Taunt it. Ask if that was its best shot.
Don’t let fear stand in the way of your reward. We are only on this rock for a brief, fleeting moment. We must infuse all the LIFE into our lives as possible. We can only be scared for so long before it defines us. And then we die, afraid, and rewardless.
Don’t die rewardless. Take on the big challenges. Fail sometimes. Learn from those mistakes. Succeed next time. To the victor goes the spoils.
Go get your
reward bigger reward.
Your turn -> What challenges are you facing? What rewards are you hoping for?