In honor of Father's Day, here are some thoughts from CrossFit Games athlete Jason Khalipa on how CrossFit made him a better father: (https://morningchalkup.com/2019/06/14/how-crossfit-made-me-a-better-father/)
In 2006, when I was first introduced to CrossFit, I couldn’t imagine the impact it would have on my life.
My children and family are undoubtedly my number one priority and CrossFit and moving on a daily basis are the standards for me to perform at my best. I have seen an incredible impact on my fitness, my mindset, and my ability to show our children what “hard work” is.
Fitness should never inhibit what I want to do, or what my children want to do. You need some motivation to workout. This is a great one! Through training CrossFit on a daily basis for over a decade, it is clear that I will never have to worry about my children asking me to do something physical. Want to play tag, jump on the trampoline, or go on a bike ride? Absolutely, is the answer. This is one of the best gifts CrossFit has provided me.
CrossFit has also made a huge impact on my mindset. Through the Sport of Fitness and also daily workouts I learned to push myself mentally and physically. Every day in the gym is an opportunity for us to overcome obstacles in a “low risk” environment. Low risk in the sense that if you “fail” (perhaps you don’t get the reps you wanted or the time you were striving for) it’s not a life and death situation. You try, you learn, you get after it again tomorrow.
Jason Khalipa with his son and daughter standing on the podium after taking second at the 2014 CrossFit Games.
Learning to overcome these obstacles has paid huge dividends in real life, specifically as a husband and father. In daily life when I am approached with challenges I instantly revert back to the skills I have developed in the gym and through competition. I have learned to focus on what is in my control and remain positive, two critical skills that can be developed in the gym really well.
See a workout pop up that stresses you out? Evaluate what is in your control vs. out of your control and focus solely on that through the workout. Get in a workout and your legs start to burn? Start coaching yourself in a positive way, revert away from the “my legs hurt,” and focus on your breathing as an example. Once you develop this skill in workouts it’s amazing how it transfers to real life.
Through training CrossFit on a daily basis for over a decade, it is clear that I will never have to worry about my children asking me to do something physical…This is one of the best gifts CrossFit has provided me.
Never was this more apparent than when our daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia. It’s like every workout, every failed rep, every mental prep I went through for “Fran” prepared us for when it really mattered. In a less extreme way I see this play out on a daily basis in my relationships and the way I interact with my children. CrossFit allows me to destress, focus, and be the best version of myself.
Finally, CrossFit has helped show my children what “hard work” is. Almost daily my children are in one of our gyms or in the garage watching/participating with me in a workout. From my experience children can’t understand what it means to “work hard” on emails or in meetings. As much as I try to share they just can’t understand the concept without seeing something physical. Showing them the value of hard work, commitment, and community through fitness has been a game changer. My children have an opportunity to see so many life lessons in one workout.
I wish all the father’s and father figures the best day! Let’s keep getting after it in the gym so we can get after it outside the gym.
Bar Facing Burpees