28 Aug Belief
BELIEF IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN EVER GIVE TO SOMEONE.
On the contrary lack of belief can be the most devastating disease to ever enter a human body.
As the gym is celebrating its 8th year in business – this is the main thesis that has been proven time and time again.
I first saw the impacts on building belief as a young man in my early to mid 20s in Iraq. While deployed I served as an intelligence officer supporting a Special Forces unit and I had the honor to learn from the best and brightest minds in the military.
During the 04-06 time-frame at the height of the insurgency, we were fighting an enemy whose main weapon was fear. Terrorists would commit unspeakable acts of violence against the Iraqi people. What the enemy lacked in the form of conventional weapons they made up for in psychological weapons. Fear was their main tool in getting the Iraqis to lose hope and belief in a better way of life and a better future.
The way to fight against this fear is to empower confidence and capability – to ultimately regain belief. This is exactly what small Special Forces teams do. Their tools of battle are more often trust, compassion, relationship building and hope than a rifle or grenade.
They are experts in Foreign Internal Defense – building, developing, training and fighting alongside a foreign army. The end goal is to build a capable and confident fighting force in order to create a safe, stable, and peaceful country – ultimately instilling a sense of belief.
I had seen the impacts that evil can bring to a population. But the main lesson I learned is what a tribe of good people can do to fight that evil and the hope it can bring to people.
In the Army I had learned that physical fitness bonds soldiers together in the belief that great challenges allow for great opportunities.
Fast forward a few years later to 2007 – 2010
I was fresh out of the Army – more angry – less greys in the beard – and disgruntled.
I was upset at my community and my country. I was pissed that soldiers were dying and fighting and it seemed no one knew and/or cared about it. More people could tell you the family tree of the Kardashians or Paris Hilton than could tell you a single name of a fallen soldier.
I was upset that while I was away for the college and the military – my town had become ground zero in the pill mill explosion leading the country in the opiate epidemic. There was a massive fight going on in my backyard and it appeared no one was doing anything about it. My town that I loved was devastated by weakness, disease, and lack of belief. Belief that anything could be done about it, belief that better days were done and no hope in a future.
Luckily CrossFit brought me out of my funk. It cleared my mind – sharpened my spirit – and connecting me back to a community.
Through a series of fortunate events the gym opened up on Saturday, August 28th 2010. No business plan, not much equipment, no money – just a lot of heart, rage, spirit, and fight.
That day changed my life and would go onto changing the lives of many others. I thought I’d never be apart of a unit again – I thought I’d never have another mission. PSKC gave me a unit and a new mission.
I wasn’t interested in exercising just for the sake of fitness or business. In the early days there was no money to even justify the business – our first location had no A/C, the kettlebells would freeze overnight, and the gym would flood every time it rained.
But to fight any insurgency you need a base of operations – a training ground and you need a tribe willing to fight. I wanted to jump start an epidemic of belief that could only be earned from within the mind and amplified by suffering and ultimately conquering challenges alongside other people – working together.
Our gym’s motto is a quote from Henry Rollins:
“Pain Is Not My Enemy – It Is My Call to Greatness”
In a town devastated by weakness and pain we needed to train and equip people with strength to fight that weakness. We needed to get them to believe in themselves first on a micro level so they could believe they could make a difference in the community on a macro level.
Belief must be earned – this is not a participation trophy feeling – you’ve got to sweat and bleed for it. You’ve got to show up and work when you don’t feel like it – you’ve got to test yourself in order to see your capability and potential.
From my days in Iraq, the lessons of foreign internal defense had come full circle.
Portsmouth and towns like it are engaged in a war and they need capable fighters to bring these towns back.
To fight weakness – you must be strong in mind, body, and spirit.
To fight poverty – you must be engaged in commerce with creativity as your main weapon.
Citizens who believe in their capability will create something much better for children.
To increase your capability you need to challenge yourself in 3 ways everyday:
Physical – Do something that tests you – something that is scary – something you have to train for – something that challenges you and brings you to the point where you think you may not be able to complete it. Build your body into a weapon capable of handling any task at any time at any place. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re too old.
Mental – Read, listen, and watch – consume education, enlightenment, and knowledge. Be a subject matter expert in your field of vocation. Those who can think, problem solve, communicate, and create are worth their gold. But these skills aren’t inherited they are earned and learned.
Spirit – connect to your God, creator, or spirit – whatever religion or philosophy that might be. Take time to be quiet and listen to what He is telling you. Everyone understands they need to train their body and nourish their mind – but what are you doing to strengthen your Spirit?
What is your purpose in this life? What will you be your positive impact you left on this world?
Choose to believe – choose to make us a difference – choose to believe that you have a gift and that you were put on this Earth to use it to help others.
Go Find the fight in your backyard – arm yourself through your training – find your tribe and go to war. Your town might just be looking to you to believe.