Friday, August 19, 2011

...LiFe iS LiKe bOx jUmPs...

Box jumps are a funny thing. To some people, they are no big others the shortest box can be terrifying! Some people are okay until they fall or catch their shin on the edge...after that they are wary...or sometimes they then avoid THAT tall of a box altogether. Others can fall and bleed and jump right back up and keep jumping.

I brought my 9 yr old son, Jake to work with me. After everyone left, I was working out and he was on the couch. Next thing I knew, he had gotten some small dumbbells out of the locker and he was doing some shoulder presses behind me. After I corrected his form, I said, "You wanna do a couple of workouts while I finish?" He said "Sure." The 1st thing I was having him do, was a combo of 12 inch box jumps paired with ring rows. He jumped up on the box once...then twice...then the 3rd time he looked a lil iffy. I see it all the time, people get to feeling confident or get tired and they lose focus, get sloppy and that's when falls occur. As he was doing his 4th jump, I said, "When you get to the top, stop because I want to tell you something about staying focused." As I said this, he jumped, caught the box with a toe, hit his knee on the edge of the box, and landed on the lifting platform. You'd think it would've scared me. It didn't. This is normal. People fall or bleed in our gym. It happens.

My biggest concern was not whether or not he was hurt. I knew he'd be fine. I wanted to use this as a teaching experience. He was breathing deep, trying to hold back the tears, shoulders hanging down, frowning and looking at me with big brown eyes that look just like mine. I sat him down and talked about how important it is to stay focused, and I told him that he should get right back to jumping.
"Don't be afraid of the box son. This happens in here all the time. The important part is that you don't become afraid of the box or feel like a failure. One day, you might fall again, and that's okay too. You get up and you jump again and again."
He nodded and smiled at me with glassy eyes, full of tears that he never let fall. We cleaned up his bloody knee and he finished the first of 3 short workouts.

I thought about my very own words as we drove home. That's when it hit me. Life really is like box jumps. Sometimes we are scared to jump. We doubt our ability to get that high, but when we's so rewarding and builds our confidence. Sometimes we get cocky and unfocused. We jump without thinking or looking. We think that we are too good to fall. We might make it just fine a few times, but eventually, we catch our toe and take a tumble. It's humbling and even embarrassing sometimes, and this is where life weeds people out...where greatness is born or dies. Some of us may make mistakes or get knocked down and choose to give up or blame other people. Maybe those get up, but the never try to jump that high again and sentence themselves to a life full of "what ifs" and "coulda beens". But there's also those of us that get up, acknowledge the pain, clean the wound, and keep jumping...even when it hurts...even when we are afraid...knowing that we will probably fall again someday.

You have to choose which one you will be. The fall is not what makes one weak. It's what happens AFTER the fall that determines that. So if you fall, get up. Don't give up. Be strong and remember that failing does not mean you are a failure. It means you get another chance to jump!


  1. Great article! We reposted you on our blog inside the the WOD for 20 Aug! Keep it strong, we love your work

    John and Carine

  2. Hi Marsha,

    I stumbled across your blog via a Facebook link today, and just wanted to tell you I love it. It couldn't have come at a better time. I'm training for my first muay thai fight in November, and have experienced a lot of the same ups and downs.

    I also love your clothing line! I bought a few tanks, and can hardly wait to wear them at the gym.

    Just wanted to say that you're awesome. I'll definitely be back.

  3. I feel sorry for your son. After reading this, I think your blog should be titled "Stupid is the new smart".

    1. I feel sorry for you that you feel the need to be so mean spirited and that you missed the point. It's easy to make judgements and be harsh anonymously. I know with a surety that if you saw the love in my home or had been there the day that I wrote this, you could NOT say that to me.

  4. I think it's great that Jake is learning so young how to get back up after he falls and that it doesn't have to stop him from achieving things. We all get hurt. We all have to choose whether it will stop us or not. Inner strength is what gets you through life. Go Jake!