I sat my CrossFit Level 3 Exam today, failed it.
I’m not going to lie, I am pretty shattered.
When you’ve owned and operated a box for almost 7 years, absolutely living and breathing the stuff every single day, you don’t expect to be given a big fat X at the end of a 3.5 hour test.
When copping a huge whack in an area you know you excel in, an area people look up to you in, an area closely linked to your pride and self worth, it’s very hard not to have some pretty strong shame, embarrassment, imposter and fraud-like feelings.
You may worry about what others may think of you:
“He really mustn’t be that good of a coach.”
“See, I knew he was full of shit.”
You may question what you think of yourself:
‘Maybe I am not that good at this health and fitness stuff?’
‘How can I even call myself a coach, a leader and a gym owner?’
‘Are you actually good at anything? Or just mediocre at a bunch of stuff?’
‘Why are you even doing this?’
Or you may blame them:
‘Them and their stupid test that on occasion seemed more like it was trying to trick you into picking a less correct answer, when it should be just genuinely testing your knowledge on the topics. Those bastards! If they focussed more on knowledge and less on trying to trick and confuse me, I’d have bloody passed that test!’
I could do all the above (don’t get me wrong, I certainly did feel all of it to a degree, how else would I know to write it?). But what is the point? To protect my pride and ego? What would that achieve?
As much as many of us love a little blame, sympathy and self sabotage, absolutely none of the above feelings, thoughts and behaviours are in any way going to help me move forward or cheer me up.
“Pride blunts the very instrument we need to own in order to succeed: our mind. Our ability to learn, to adapt, to be flexible, to build relationships, all of this is dulled by pride.” – Ryan Holiday – Ego is the Enemy
So I’ve had my moment of pity, it’s done with now. I just failed a test. I know I am great at this. This failure doesn’t actually question my capabilities, knowledge and position in the world of CrossFit, fitness and health. I just did a poor job of the exam. If I really thought I was some sort of fraud I wouldn’t have attempted it in the first place.
Every failure is an opportunity to learn. It is an obstacle that leads to greater growth. It is where new opportunities are discovered. It is where you sharpen your spear. The greatest failures lead to the greatest successes. Without failu… yeah, yeah, yeah…you’ve all heard them before, I know you know them because you’re always posting them on your Insta stories.
But how many of you are actually practicing it? Most are still up there doing the first 3 things… fearing judgement, doubting yourselves, blaming everyone but yourself… then to go a step further… quitting.
My test result doesn’t define me.
Your failures don’t define you either… unless you give in to them.
I am a fucking great CrossFit coach. And I don’t need anyone to confirm that for me.
I know am responsible for the amount of study I did for the exam, which I thought I did a lot of. Clearly it wasn’t enough. I am also responsible for not knowing the tricky questions in enough detail to nail the most correct answer. I know I have all the knowledge and experience required to nail that exam, I just need to ensure I learnt from the mistakes I made today.
I’ll go back and study and then re-sit the exam… after I go back and take Level 2, because it expires at the end of the month and I cannot re-sit Level 3 for another 90 days, forcing me to have to go back to L2… after I shift my CF affiliate registration into our head coach Shannon’s name, because I won’t have a valid CF certification until my level 2 has been completed… yeah… after those added failures and ‘shames’, I’ll then have my level 3.