“Sepehr, I wanted to say, if it wasn’t for you and your CrossFit sessions last year, I would not have gotten here. I wouldn’t have started and kept working out, more, on my own. I’ve lost ten kilos (twenty-two pounds).” He says to me as we shake hands. “This is incredible man, thank you for sharing and, you have a six pack!” I am moved by his journey. I haven’t seen him since I left Malaysia in April 2014. I didn’t recognize him until his name was called for him to go up on stage at the Mindvalley weekly team meeting. There he stood, before more than a hundred and thirty people encouraging them to join him in the weekly workouts and the upcoming Viper Challenge obstacle race in Kuala Lumpur.
Jonathan, for those of us who haven’t met him, is a quiet, timid kind of individual. He’s not much of a talker. He’s more of a doer. He let’s his actions do the talking. And man, do they talk? No, they sing, they scream, out loud. They’re screaming that you can be and do whatever you want, right here, right now. All you gotta do, is do it. This should not be taken lightly. It’s an impeccable and critical quality of any achiever. He is persistent. He is focused. He is determined. He does not look to others for advice – chasing the latest fashion, trend, or shortcut. He lives down on earth. He flies when he gets down to work. You dig? Simple. Easy? I don’t know, depends. But, who wants easy? Why settle for easy when you can know glory?
One motion at a time. One push-up at a time. One sit-up at a time. One burpee at a time. One step at a time. One breathe at a time. One drop of sweat at a time. One. One. And Done. No, not quite. Remember, you don’t want easy, do you? You’re never really done. This is another thing to take note of (hint to reader: highlight this part, put a line under it, mark it, bold it, italicize it, know it). Have fun before you get to where you’re going. You never have as much fun by arriving as you do, while getting there. There is no doubt whether you can and will, ultimately, get to where you decide you want to go so long as you persist.
You do the work, and swoosh, magic, wallah, you’re there. This applies to everything, yes, even that, uh huh, that goal too. Yes, that big terrifying, bold, scary dream of yours, especially, that one. It is indifferent. Decide, then act, and let yourself get there. Trust that you’ll get there. As you learn to trust, enjoy the ride, too.
I say this second part because it’s something I am becoming more aware of as I get the hang of this thing called life – or accept that there’s no hanging to it at all. You’re here to have fun, well, maybe not, who knows? But come on, you might as well since you’re here. As long as you’re chasing, you’re waiting, you’re longing for something better, or some imagined “improved” future state, you distance yourself from the fulfillment, contentment, satisfaction, peace, and joy that you can feel in the present.
I used to be like this. I seldom enjoyed life, until now. I lived out of fear, instead of trust. This is how I functioned most my life. When I was coaching Jonathan or others, I didn’t see the transformation I was empowering another human being to experience. I was so caught up in my own head filled with expectations, comparisons, and longing, all rooted in fear maintained by a lack of self-trust that I could not see life as enough, as it were, as I was, as it is, and as I am. I had little fun.
I don’t have an exact count of how many people I’ve exposed to fitness or CrossFit either directory or indirectly – as a side effect of them sharing their own experience with others. Yet, it’s never been physical fitness that I hoped to share. I wanted to expose others, and myself, to a very simple and incredibly powerful idea. What if. What if, you tried? What if, you did it? Not in the way you think you’re supposed to do it, but in the way that you can do it, now. Once you see a glimpse of your own greatness, once you reach that “Holy shit I am more capable than I may have believed” moment, once you see what all you can be, then, you are unstoppable. You have learned trust.
Trust is something you can learn. It’s something you must earn. It demands experience. It is an experiential phenomena. But what exactly are you trusting? It’s not “the universe”, “god”, or what have you. You’re learning to trust, yourself, your own ability to create, your reality. You’re understanding how to live according to laws of life, or nature. This can be scary at first. But the more you practice trust, the less fear there can be. Fear is fluffy. Trust is sturdy. Fear resists and destroys. Trust creates and flows. Fear lingers. Trust liberates.
Shatter the dam. Break the walls. Realize there were no walls to begin with. You are the real force. All else was habitual hoax. You have only to get out of the way and let it ride you where it may. The amazing thing is, you can never get enough. This can take away most of the fun. You can fall into this future state trap. You tend to be waiting, longing for some moment where you feel “happy”. You gotta start seeing everything, and I mean everything, from who you are, what you do, and who you love, to everyone and everything through and through as, enough. You have more fun when you forget this whole “better” idea and just be. Better is part of the journey. It will come, naturally.
Come to think of it, I was a passenger on the ship cruising in the vast open sea, chasing the sun in the horizon, a far and distant fantasy. A place I could never see. I missed all the wonder that passed, right by me. Nowadays, I tend to look around. I notice my breathe more often. I see the birds flying above. I feel the wind running through me. I appreciate the people who surround me. I smile, heck, I laugh at the craziness of it all. I too, sometimes cry.
Having traveled to twenty-five countries and lived in half a dozen or so, my mind ceases to exist noticing the infinitude of our species – the multitude of varieties that can be, the choices, the options, the opportunities, the paths, the possibilities, the anomalies, the uncertainties, the unknown. In the end, it is all the same, we all wanna return, to a place we can call, home.