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Russell’s Sunday Sermon: Sleep in the Bed You Made


Russell’s Sunday Sermon: Sleep in the Bed You Made

Welcome to Russell’s Psycho-Babble Roller Coaster, Week Two! The authorities have elected to compile additional case data before pressing charges and moving to trial, and I have been left to prosetylize and spread my truth bombs among the masses.

Lucky you.

The first version ruffled a few feathers, but the truth is, if you read far enough to complain, it still means you read it. Thank you for your patronage! We hope you’ll keep reading, even if only to complain at the end.

The Second Sermon, v4.0 (there have been edits and revisions) needs to have a message. But what? Something that arose over and over in the rewrites, was the idea of living with the things that you’ve done – sleeping in the bed you’ve made. Accepting what you’ve done as yours, and dealing with it.

I was on the periphery of Facebook traffic about several weak-minded idiots, though I’m not sure what was meant by it exactly. The commenter phrased it thus, though I think he was trying to say something about people who sabotage their own hopes and dreams through short-sighted, selfish, self-indulgent subterfuge. I wasn’t able to get all of the details from him, but I think the crux of the message was sleeping in the bed as you’ve made it.

We’re each given choice in life. We’re given the choice to work hard, to study, to take care of ourselves. We’re given the choice to get up early, to get that worm.

How paleo.

But how heavy is that weight on your shoulders? How deep is the will to succeed? Does it burn within you? Do you have it in you to try? Do you have it in you to bleed?

Is that college degree worth the sleepless nights?

Was the promotion to manager worth the extra hours it demands from you?

Does owning your own business warrant the couch you sleep on while there?

Quote time – another subject not worth repeating from the rewrites (moral of the story, never begin with a quote. It’s super lame.)

“Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.” Steve Prefontaine.

We have an ongoing conversation about competition at BTCF. Some people are righteously athletic, but they lack the burning desire to accept death before defeat. They can’t go to that dark place where the only thing that matters is winning. Pain and suffering happen, but they happen for victory and their existence won’t stand in its way.

I ran high school track with a girl who was not a great athlete. She wasn’t horrible, but she certainly had no specific gifts. She decided she was going to be a middle distance/distance runner. One year, at state track, she got it into her head that she could hang with, and maybe beat, one of the best female distance runners in the state.

Pain is mental, not physical – until it becomes physical.

She tried.

I don’t know from what fiery pit of will she was drawing energy but she came damned close. I think she PR’d by several minutes. Her face was bright red in the middle laps, then progressively darker and darker as her body shunted blood to her core and dilated vessels in her skin in a failed attempt at cooling. When she hit the finish line, within several yards of the winner, she completely collapsed. Mentally and physically, she evaporated and left the field. Another male athlete and I had to carry her around the infield, keeping her moving – kinda sort of, keeping her upright, for over half an hour. She never regained memory of that span of time. Ever. She thanked us because somebody told her she’d been carried around for over thirty minutes, but she couldn’t remember it.

If that isn’t a bed you’d be proud to sleep in. She left everything on the field. The well was dry and there was no more. She had exerted herself beyond mental function. It might be creative history, but I think she even peed herself. Over twenty years later, this day stands as one of the most remarkable athletic performances that I’ve seen. A loss by a female, high school track runner from a tiny, 1A Wyoming high school.

Most of us never get there. We dwell in our comfy little piece of the world, where everything is neat and safe. We never know true pain. We never know true suffering. We don’t know what it is to try so hard that we physically lose time. Jess does. She did it. I saw it. I was proud to carry her around afterward.

But most of us don’t need to bleed. We don’t really need to venture into that hell. But when you look back at your day, can you sleep in the bed you made? Did you give your all? Did you leave it on the field? Did you leave anything on the field? How did your existence change the world? Did it at all? Did you give enough of yourself to matter?

This is a blog for a Crossfit box, but it would be pretty fucking narrow to only apply it to Crossfit. Did you give your wife your all? Your kids? Your job? Did you do your best at the gym? Can you sleep in that bed? Are the people and things you hold dear worth a piece of you?

Did you give your friends the best you have, or did you show up with paperwork to sell their house at 10am on a Friday morning? Can you sleep in that bed?

Our lives are a summation of who we are. Our beliefs, our efforts, our hopes and our desires. Where is the balance? Is it a bed you can sleep in?

**This blog has not been approved for weak-minded idiots.**

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