Monthly Archives: July 2013

Luke 9:23

Where is your source of strength from?

As I go through this journey of coping with my injury and searching for the light in the midst of darkness, I have been trying to find the answers to what went wrong.

When I saw the question above one day, I stopped and asked myself, where is my source of strength from? What do I turn to, to find my strength? Who am I drawing strength from?

And right there and then, I realised that as a Christian, I was no longer turning to God to seek and find strength. Instead, I was drawing my strength from CrossFit. I’m a guy who is very focused. When I’m doing something, I stay on that track and I’m blind to everything else around me. I was so in love with CrossFit, that I had unknowingly became obsessed with it. God allows things to happen for a reason and getting injured was one of them.

Look, I’m not saying God allowed the injury to happen to “punish” me. What I’m saying is, God is a jealous God. And as his children, when we seek strength or find comfort in things that are not beneficial for us, He gently reminds us that He should be in the number 1 spot in our life.

He’s also not saying that I should give up CrossFit. After all, as a fellow brother-in-christ and CrossFitter told me, it’s not a coincidence that it’s called “Cross-Fit”.

It’s about giving up my love to God and surrendering it all to Him. As much as I want to beat myself up for getting here in the first place, I have come to understand that this is part of my spiritual growth. The “1-step forward, 2-steps back” mentality that I adopt when God teaches me a lesson, needs to go. I can do all I can to prevent a similar situation from happening again in the future, but I know it’s not possible. The fact of the matter is, it is through lessons like these that I’m reminded dying to self is a lifelong process. Therefore, I should be thankful and rejoice that God is teaching me such lessons.

I will end with words from Rich Froning, 2x and reigning CrossFit Games champion:

“God’s word has taught me that the key to truly winning is not to be first. The key to winning is to put God first”

 

 

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“The darkest hour is just before the dawn”

If you are expecting this post to be about fitness advice, you can close this page right now.

This week was supposed to be my rest week, which is a week for me to rest and relax. But it feels like I have been through hell and back. I have never fought so hard with my inner demons before that I felt so helpless and was on the verge of giving everything up.

Monday started with me realising that something was wrong with my hip. That all is not right because I was limping around in pain. The day before, during the squat event in my powerlifting competition, I went to a full squat and felt something shifted. I looked down at my hip, lost a little focus and stumbled. I got a red flag for my effort. I was afraid I had broken something. But I could still walk, so I dismissed the pain as something that will magically disappear.

But as the pain grew worse the next few days, I knew I had to face the inevitable truth. That I was injured, for the first time in 6 years of training. This was my first time dealing with an injury and I thought I could cope. I was so wrong. I will come back to this later.

Advertising is an highly stressful job. A month in to the job and I have been making a lot of mistakes. Yes, making mistakes is the only way to learn. But I have been making so many mistakes, that I started to lose confidence in myself. CrossFit was the only thing that kept me sane and helped me coped with my new job.

Now, back to coping with my injury. Faced with the fact that I will not be training any time soon in the near future, I crumbled. When my superiors sat me down to ask me why I had done a task wrongly, I told them, on the verge of tears, that I think I wasn’t up to it anymore.

It just went downhill from there on. It was like I slipped in to a hole where it was all darkness and I couldn’t see the light anymore. Everywhere I turned, I could see nothing except darkness. All I could think of was that I wasn’t good enough, that I was a disappointment. Maybe I should just give up and quit my job. In my darkest moment, I turned to God and cried out to him to save me.

I would have slipped further, lost touch of reality and gone over the edge if not for my friends and my colleagues (you know who you are), who pulled me back with their encouraging messages instead of judging me. I teared when when I read them because at that moment, I knew I did not need to face my problems alone.

This has been a scary episode for me because my demons were coming at me in full force. I’m not a person who gives up easily, so I was shocked that I wanted to give up so easily. But I have learn 2 lessons from this episode:

1) Manage my expectations when I’m doing something new for the first time. Because instead of trying to crawl, walk or run, I try to fly. Which is humanly impossible.

2) Prepare myself for potential injury during training. Being injury-free for the last 6 years lured me in to a false sense of security. This meant that I wasn’t prepared at all, mentally, when I finally got injured.

The most important lesson I took away from this, was to take things one step at a time, one day at a time when faced with troubles. Somehow, I thank God for putting me through this trial, because I know I will emerge from this stronger, physically and mentally.

And no matter how gloomy it may look, there is always, ALWAYS, a light at the end of the tunnel.

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“Familia”

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I did my first ever powerlifting competition today! Coming in to this meet, my goals were to have fun, make new friends, soak in the atmosphere and learn. And learn I did. My squats were fine. But when it came to the bench press event, I didn’t score a single point for any of my 3 attempts because I failed to listen to the judges’ instructions.

But what I really took away from this meet was the feeling of “family”. I didn’t expect anyone to come down and support me. But the day before, my coach, Sam, messaged me and told me he was coming down to support me. Even though this didn’t have very much to do with CrossFit, he told me: “family never leave anyone behind”.

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I cannot express how grateful and relieved I was to have Sam with me backstage. His advices and tips to me in his calm, reassuring voice, together with his signature smile really helped me to relax and do my best. From advising me on what weight to go up to and just talking random stuff with me to keep my mind relaxed, I really felt like a son to him. The most significant advice he gave to me was before I gave my final weight for my deadlifts. I did 150kg for my 2nd attempt and I was trying to stay conservative and go for 160kg in my 3rd and final attempt. But Sam told me to go for my PR, 170kg, which is honestly a struggle for me. But his confidence in me spurred me on and I lifted 170kg without a hassle, like the first picture. This lift is for you, Sam.

I am also really thankful for the rest of the community in the box who kept sending me endless encouragement messages . Thankful for Farhan, who came down and support me instead of going home for a rest after finishing a 10km race. Thankful for Melanie, who came down despite being very tired. Thankful for Elaine, who is always a reassuring figure.

These people drive me to do what I love and I’m really really proud to call them my family 🙂

 

 

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