2017 Games Reflections - part 6 - The Future by Max el-hag

What does the future hold for TTT?

Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned in my life thus far is that planning is a kind of a self-delusion I use to shield myself against the unpredictability of life. I try to accumulate knowledge, use my experiences, and ensure that my future doesn’t repeat the same pattern as before to avoid pain. But life is constant movement. The unpredictability and uncertainty make most people frightened, and I find myself sometimes getting wrapped in my own paranoia. But the funny thing about worry, is that the worst stuff that happens to you in life are almost never the things you are actually imagining. They come out of left field. So, I know that if there is an order in the chaos, my mind is not capable of perceiving it. As such, I don’t really know what the future holds for TTT. I know what I want the future to be for TTT, I know what I am aiming for with regards to TTT, but I don’t want the plan to be too solidified, too concrete, too predetermined, because I have to be agile enough to pivot whenever required. Right now, in this moment, this is what I do know.

Travis, Noah, the other athletes, and any other athletes I committed to this year are going to try to get better. It inspires me that they are continuing to fight to be the best athletes they can be.

I am committed to building an in-person training environment that has the capacity to cultivate elite level talent in the sport of fitness, and also one where I can push myself further than I’ve ever been physically.

I am going to try to set the example in hopes that all the people who trust me are building long-term value in themselves physically, intellectually, and emotionally.

I’ve attracted a team that is inspired to build an organization that has future opportunities for a small number coaches, athletes, medical professionals, media professionals, and marketing professionals who want to thrive in the sports and fitness industries. We’re aimed at long term infrastructure over short term cash flows, and we’re ready for things to be rocky because of that decision and an adherence to our shared morality about physical training.

In my athletic career, I wasn’t capable of dealing with the emotions of failure. I made many mistakes, I was profoundly insecure, and I still resent talking about all of my ‘accomplishments’ because I know that I let a lot of people down who believed I was capable of much more. As a coach and business owner, I am going to try to have the resolve that is required to change my belief in myself.

In short, all I can do is continue my pursuit to be my best self. And I am going to try to do my best to document, through writing and video media, the story so that if I am right about any of it, in the future, there is a model for people to see. Proof that you can be broken and rebuild yourself many times over until you find a place of peace and prosperity. And no matter where you are in your journey right now, you can take pride in the journey you’re traveling before you arrive at your destination.

Was this year a “success” and what will define success in the CF sporting world next year?

I don’t really know how to answer this question. In the past, success seemed simple. There was such a nice simplicity in winning and losing. It’s easy to think in rich or poor. It makes sense to say we are right or wrong. It’s so easily classifiable to think in terms of “in shape” or “out of shape.” The longer I live, the more I perceive that these states of duality don’t really work for me. Things are so gray in life. For me, I want the athletes I support to win. I want the business I am in charge of to continue to be in a better financial position than it was in the previous year. I want to make progress in my own physical training. I want the people who work for me to be happy and feel as if the climate of the business and my future vision is inspiring enough to them to keep them working hard, learning a lot, and having fun in training. I want to improve my capacity to love myself and others. I want feel comfortable accepting positive encouragement without feeling strange when people praise me. I want to attract the best minds in the world to continue to learn from so I can refine my craft. All of these things cannot be defined by what happens at the CrossFit Games, but I do admit that they are a big moment in that journey.

Arriana Huffington has said,

“I do know defining success purely as a measure of money and power is like a two legged stool. You cannot sit on it for long. Sooner or later you will topple over. We do need that third metric. And a big part of that third metric is “Giving back.” Then life is incredibly enriched and acquires purpose and meaning.“

So, I do feel like this year was a “success” and I hope to continue to build upon that every year I am able until I can no longer endure.

Final thoughts…

On the way home from the games, I watched a documentary on John Paul Jones DeJoria, the owner of Paul Mitchell and Patron. When things happen in my life that I classify as “bad,” I try to find inspiration from people who have accomplished things I want to accomplish, and experienced worse than I am going through. In spite of now being worth 3.2 billion dollars, he came from a horrible state of poverty, he has been homeless two times in his adult life, his companies have a reputation for having an extremely supportive and healthy work environment, and donates millions of dollars and hundreds of hours of his own time per year to charities and causes to try to make the world a better place. So many people who have that type of success seem “hardened” by life. I was inspired to have seen his positivity and resolve, and it helped me realize that things are not so bad and never really have been so bad. It is often how we think of the problems we are experiencing that makes them problems in the first place instead of the actual circumstances themselves. He has a mantra he speaks in the documentary:

“In the end, it’ll all be ok. And if it’s not ok, it’s not the end…”

For me, in this moment, it feels as if it’s not ok. When I set out this past year with my marketing plans and my training plans, I set out to have two athletes on the podium at the CrossFit Games and multiple more qualifiers. I set out to have had more products, more camps built, more coaches, etc. Many of those things didn’t go according to plan, but so many things progressed so far and so many things went better than expected. My unrealistic expectations sometimes hold me back from happiness, and so I feel a bit ‘stuck’ in spite of many people ‘looking up’ to me. But, for now I am ok with it not being ok. This is just the conclusion of a chapter in my story, it is not the end. So, hopefully you’ll keep reading…

~ Max

Part 6- The future (you're here now)

Created By
Max El-Hag

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