Sam Daoud

Life Lessons from CrossFit

The first day I walked in to CrossFit I saw two heavily tattooed guys and a bunch of people screaming and lifting weights. Little did I know that I would soon be a part of this family. This initially intimidating environment has since proven to have a major impact on my life. When I first started I was the youngest, skinniest athlete there. No one knew who I was and I didn’t know anyone. I wanted to bulk up and put some meat on my bones, and although this is still important to me, I have learned so much more about myself and life, especially camaraderie, perseverance, and maturity.

With an eclectic mix of athletes ranging from ex military Special Forces, high profile business leaders, doctors, lawyers, and police officers, I was wondering how to fit in.  What I learned is that we all shared a common goal to work hard and improve.  In order to fit in or be noticed you need to be dedicated, otherwise the coaches won’t pay attention to you.  If you show you don’t care and don’t want to put forth effort you would not earn the respect of this discerning group.  With men and women of all ages and abilities we work hard through a very challenging WOD (Workout Of the Day).  You learn a lot about people when you see them dripping in sweat, working to the point of exhaustion. Through this shared experience we developed a camaraderie of friendship, respect, encouragement and inspiration for each other. This has taught me to get involved and work together as a group.


Perseverance is a lesson I have learned. The workouts we do are very strenuous.  At times you will want to quit or take a break, but you just need to keep working through it. Perseverance is doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. To achieve success in a workout you can’t quit and that is the same in life. This has helped me in school and life to stay focused and put in complete effort to overcome challenges. Like CrossFit, some days and certain experiences in life can be more grueling than others.  When I encounter challenges I have the mental and physical toughness to get through the COL (Challenges Of Life).

Having had the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports and activities I have been exposed to different types of leadership styles. One type of leadership focuses only on the top athletes and winning. Although coaches are hired and paid to have winning teams, there are different ways to go about achieving success. The CrossFit leaders are not your typical coaches. They care about each individual reaching his or her goals. This experience has given me the maturity to appreciate different styles of leadership and motivation. Having a winning team and making everyone feel important is essential to working with people and running a successful business. Everybody wants to be recognized and valued for what they bring to the team whether in business or sport.

Who would have thought that this tough bunch of very dedicated sometimes-rough athletes would have made such a positive impact on my life? Through this CrossFit experience, I have learned camaraderie, perseverance, and maturity. From this I gained confidence in myself, compassion for others, and that no matter how hard you work you can always work harder and get better. My biceps did get bigger and I am still working on my legs, but the lessons I have learned are bigger than my biceps.

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