Adversity, My New Friend

So recently I’ve been all over mindset, it’s like my latest hobby. If you know me, you’ll know that I don’t just like something, I FUCKING LIKE IT, in bold, caps lock on. Whether it’s an object (must wear my Train Manchester tank from Sam Briggs’s gym every Saturday), a food (I have eaten broccoli every day for the last 12 months) or a person (my bff and I have 3 matching tattoos), I must absolutely immerse myself in whatever that thing is, until it either becomes as much a part of me as my frequent use of the C word, or I basically fuck it to death and move on to the next thing. My nutrition coach, realising this about my personality from v early on, supplied me with a reading list, and I have been dutifully taking notes/ writing on every mirror in my house and spouting all my new wisdom to whoever has had the pleasure of my company recently.

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Naturally I felt this blog was a good opportunity to push my new fixation onto strangers. So far my favourite new wisdom is regarding adversity. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger has always sounded to me like some pointless wank that annoying glass-half-full people say, and also Kayne West, and also Kelly Clarkson. Sometimes things are shit and there’s nothing good that comes from them, right? But the more I thought about and dissected these shit things, the more I realised that maybe my glass has been fuller than I thought. Or that I was just holding it upside down the whole time like a fucking spaz.

Two years ago a car hit me while I was cycling to work. It was shit because I was planning on squatting that day. It was also shit because lying in the ambulance having a cry over my new Nike tights being cut apart with scissors I realised that I didn’t want my husband to come to the hospital, which made me think I probably didn’t want to be with him anymore. Besides this epiphany, being hit by a car was a massive stitch up. My bike was a write off and back then this was how I got places. Worse, the impact of hitting the road caused some pretty major soft tissue damage to my knee, and it became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to do much with my legs for a while.

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Obviously, I was a massive sook over this. At the time I didn’t do CrossFit (what was I even doing with my life, you ask) but fancied myself as some sort of weapon in the gym (I wasn’t) and was devastated at the prospect of losing all my gains (there weren’t any). The only obvious thing to do that I could see was bench press and chin-up my absolute dick off. Now not to blow my own horn, (actually fuck it, this is my blog, I’m gonna) I’m a beast at bench press and weighted chins, push-ups, handstand push-ups, these are my jam. And that is why. Because literally all I did for three months were these things.

Also I did what obviously everyone with an injury should do which was START CrossFit. Anyway, when I really think about it, if that car hadn’t hit me I could still be married and, even worse, still be squatting 60kg. I wouldn’t have found the sport I love, the job I love, and the people I love. I wouldn’t have spent the last 18 months living by myself (w cat) and only choosing to be around people who add to my life and who make me hold my cup the right way up.

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I wouldn’t have met the wonderful people at Evolutio, and I wouldn’t be writing this blog.

If I relate this new way of thinking to my training, which I probably should considering that’s kinda the purpose of this blog, there’s a shitload more examples. I would have made the finals of an individual comp earlier this year if I hadn’t failed miserably at rope climbs. Like literally my hand was inches from the beam on my last rep, forearms exploding out of my body and every inch of my being telling me I would fucking fall. Like a scared little girl I backed down the rope crying, telling anyone who would listen that there was just no way I could have held on for even five more seconds. False. I bitched the fuck out and this moment still kills me. Even more recently I was absolutely annihilated by wall balls at a comp I had been losing sleep over for weeks (although ironically not this particular workout). I repeatedly caught the ball with my face and completely failed the entire workout worse than probably any other in my history of comps.

Where was I? Adversity. It is the best thing that can happen to you. I’m not going to go ahead and say I'll never fail another rope climb or wall ball, and I’m hoping I don’t get hit by a car or marry the wrong person again, but any amount of bullshit could happen at any given time, and I'll be ready for it.

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To steal a quote from Billie Jean King, pressure is a privilege, not a problem. Rich Froning famously failed rope climbs at the 2010 CF Games. He then went on to hold the title of Fittest on Earth for FOUR YEARS. He'll probably say this has something to do with God, but I reckon its more the fact that he trained the shit out of rope climbs so they would never fuck him again. Don’t be a fuckin sook, embrace adversity like your post workout carbs and learn from your no reps, so that next time you’re at the top of that rope, you’ll reach that extra inch and make the final. <3


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Sarah currently trains and coaches out at our Wards Gym in Richmond. She's a legend and is one of a kind. She's come on board as one of our ambassadors. You can follow here instagram @sarahsfitaye which is a source of constant entertainment, with training, trying to wear dresses and videos of her anti-social cat Graham.

Sarah Florence

Evolutio , 3 Bromham Place, Richmond, VIC, 3121