Questioning Life by max el-hag

How many times have you heard “…there is no such thing as a stupid question,”? When I was younger I remember thinking that some students were asking stupid questions. I feel shame for the side of me that is judgmental, but I’m pretty sure all humans come to evaluate things sometimes without having a full understanding. I’m not too embarrassed to admit that I believe stupid questions do, in fact, exist. I’ve come to this realization by discovering most of my own questions to be stupid. But, you can’t realize that until you have experienced life and learned to pay attention to the information that would provide an answer to your questions. I have never stopped asking questions even though I know they might be stupid. My curiosity has greatly improved the quality of my life so I don’t intend on curtailing my process of inquiry. As media has taken a bigger role in my business, I want to stay true to my suspicious mind and share the search with our audience. In that spirit, here are some of the questions I am trying to answer in regards to three important aspects of my life in the fitness business.

On business…

As our coaching and education business expands into a larger market, is it possible to maintain control of the quality of our coaches, continue to upgrade our material, build a larger community that still feels special and all inclusive, maintain a range of people served from high level athletes to general population fitness clientele, and use the same vision as a guide when more opportunities are offered to members of the organization?

So far, we’ve successfully maintained the philosophy ‘undercharge and over-deliver’ for our products and services. As a business grows, our coaches get more opportunities, our prices rise to reflect continued upgrades in our knowledge base and experience, and expectations on our performance go up from the perception of our clients; can we maintain the perception that we are more valuable than the money we are charging for our services?

When a client is not a right fit for our system (ie non compliant, desiring social interaction MORE than progress, program jumping, non reporting), is it best to let them go, or stay by their side to slowly coach them within the confines of their desires if we believe their current behaviors will make them more likely to fail?

On training CrossFit™ Games athletes…

Is it possible to simultaneously develop a human body-mind into a machine for performance in a sport that places linear demand on the body, while maintaining adaptability/resilience of the system for chaos?

What is the best way to use the expertise of specialty coaches in a sport where specialization in one discipline is a detriment to the fatigue resistance of those systems?

What is the best way to gauge an effective coaching process in a sport if you don’t believe that you can influence the likelihood of winning and losing to the degree that is required to make the statement?

On my own training…

In my own experience and in the literature, systemic tension creates explosive strength, but inhibits broad range movement expression. Whereas relaxation creates freedom of range but the lax feeling creates a sensation of low energy and weakness. Can I exist in a state where I can call on both systems whenever desired without existing in either state permanent; a master of tension if you will?

Is it possible to integrate priorities of body, mind, business, emotions, and relationships, into a unified system that creates forward progress in all elements? If so, will that progress be ‘enough’ for me without feeling as if I should become obsessive and create singular focus? If that balance is possible, is that achieved as a result of compartmentalizing obsessive focus in each discipline when the time is right, or does it mean distributing focus at a lower intensity to all disciplines all the time?

Is it possible with my other training goals, and if so, how much volume of CrossFit™ specific testing will I need to be able to beat one of my coaches in a met-con so I can try to shame them in front of all the other coaches?


Tony Robbins once said, “…quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” I’m not sure how one defines success, and I’m not sure how one defines a ‘quality life,’ but I know that I do not have control of my curiosity, nor do I want to stop questioning. I hope during the course of my life and career my tireless pursuit of information, knowledge, and wisdom will yield results that I feel have given me purpose. As you live your life, I would urge you to learn to deal with the uncertainty that comes with questioning so that you can learn more, grow, connect, and continue to expand, instead of remaining in the cave of comfort that we all as humans so commonly seek. Keep seeking and explore the world outside of your cave, even if it sometimes causes discomfort...

~ Max

Created By
Max El-Hag

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