Hey everyone, Coach Musti here. I wanted to take the time and let you guys get to know me a little bit better and talk about what I believe CrossFit and sobriety have in common.
As some of you, if not most of you guys know by now, I am a person in long term recovery. That means that I am clean and sober, no drugs or alcohol anymore, and I have been for just a little under two years. Since September 14th, 2015 to be exact. Those of you who know me know that I am very open about my situation and that I am proud of who I am and what I am doing today. I wear my sobriety proudly, like a badge of honor, it is not something I am ashamed of. Yes, I have made some very poor choices in my life and put myself, my family and friends in some sticky situations, but I do not let my past represent who I am as a person today. I chose not to dwell on the past but instead do everything in my power to ensure a long, happy, and healthy future.
Some of you guys might be thinking, how can CrossFit and sobriety be similar? One has to do with drugs and alcohol and the other with fitness and making healthy choices. Well, I will let you decide when you are finished reading this.
There is no doubt that drugs and alcohol and CrossFit do not mix well. CrossFit takes true dedication, eating healthy and often, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep. Somebody addicted to drugs and alcohol could not possibly keep up with the type of maintenance your body needs in order to do CrossFit. Now take someone like me who was addicted to drugs and alcohol and tell them they can no longer use drugs or drink alcohol. Keep in mind that was my whole life, my life revolved around the next drug or next high, I was not thinking about what Fran time I wanted to get, or how big of a backsquat I was going to hit that day. In order to maintain sobriety that person will have to go through an entire lifestyle change, an entire new way of thinking. He or she needs to work a program of recovery like the 12-Steps, meet new people and make new friends who share the same interests such as staying sober and getting healthier, be a part of a community, help others, and be held accountable for their actions.
Are you starting to see what CrossFit and sobriety could have in common?
Community, helping others, and accountability are all major parts of maintaining sobriety and damn, you might as well add those characteristics to the definition of CrossFit!
When I walk into the gym I am surrounded by my friends and members who share the same passion that I do. Other members at the gym experience the same thing when they walk through the door. We come together under one roof for many reasons, primarily being that we all want to better our lives and become stronger, happier, and healthier. There is no doubt that when a group of individuals who share the same passion and love for something like CrossFit work together, they will succeed and be better than they were yesterday. This is the beauty of the CrossFit community.
So, how can the CrossFit community relate to the sober community?
Easy. It is the strength in numbers concept that was mentioned above. That is, when a group of individuals who share the same passion and drive to accomplish a certain goal come together, there is no limit to what they can achieve. In sobriety, when you walk into a meeting, just like you would the gym, you are surrounded by individuals who want to achieve the same goal. You are surrounded by people that are there for each other and who can come together as something greater than themselves to provide a community that could ensure sobriety if you chose to do the next right thing and work as hard as you can. You see how the community aspect works in both areas? It is nearly identical. So lets now move on to helping others and how they have things in common.
Helping other is one of the most selfless acts that benefits you entirely. When you learn something new that benefits you as a person, teaching somebody, or giving that advice to others is how you start to actually learn more yourself or practice what you preach. An easy example of how we help others inside the gym is our coaches and how we get the message across or how we teach a movement. When we see people struggling to put the pieces together on certain movements and take the extra time to ensure that we make the movement click in ones body and brain is when we as coaches help others and actually learn more ourselves and add tools to our coaching bag. And my favorite example of how we help others is the most beautiful part of CrossFit. That is when there are still one or two people finishing up a WOD and then you see the people who have completed it going over to those people or that person and cheer them on, encouraging them to push themselves and get the work done. It is truly amazing when this happens.
So what does this mean for sobriety?
I am constantly looking to lend out a helping hand wherever I can, with whoever needs it. I choose to help others who are in sobriety by teaching them tools that I have learned from somebody else that have helped me maintain my sobriety. It is when somebody you know is struggling and your initial response is to immediately drop what you are doing and help them with whatever they need that helping others benefits you the most. There is no better feeling than seeing somebody struggle and by helping them out, you see their eyes light up like they have found the answer that they need, or the steps to overcome the adversity they are facing. By doing this I and many others among me in sobriety begin to practice what we preach and become better individuals. I think that helping others is so important, if not the most important part of it all. A group of people that are constantly helping out one another to blast through goals and become better people is what you see in the CrossFit gym and inside the sober community. And by having people like this alongside you is where accountability comes into play in the relationship of CrossFit and sobriety.
We all need to be held accountable for various reasons. I think that without accountability there would be no sense of direction, what to do and when to do it. We are all held accountable in the gym believe it or not. The coaches are held accountable to teach classes and maintain day to day operations inside the gym. And members of the gym are held accountable during every single class, to pay attention, work together, encourage others, complete the WOD in its entirety, and to respect the equipment by cleaning up after themselves or put the Concept 2 Rower or Assault Bike away. Everybody plays a role in how the gym operates whether you have thought about that or not and without any accountability, it would be chaos.
You see how we need accountability to run classes and teach CrossFit, lets now look at how accountability plays a role in sobriety.
In sobriety you must get yourself a sponsor that can hold you accountable. They might ask you to call them once a day before a certain time, meet once a week in person and do step work, or reach out to other people that you can help. Being held accountable in early sobriety and throughout the journey will teach you to be trustworthy and reliable. I can only speak from my experience, but being held accountable to do these things are crucial parts of my sobriety that help me out on a daily basis. It forces me to be responsible and take action to achieve certain things. When I say that I am going to be somewhere every week at a certain time to meet with others, whether it is a sponsee or a group of people, they hold me accountable for being there and doing what I said I was going to do. These are all things you can achieve with some accountability and people by your side.
It is so cool for me to be able to relate two things that are so important in my life today and be able to let others see how similar they are, even if they appear completely different. I share this information with you all so that you can get to know me a little better and start to look at things with a different view. I hope by reading this that you learned how somebody in sobriety works just as hard to maintain their sobriety as the daily CrossFitter does when they go to the gym to workout. Also, with a little open mindedness and hard work, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this,