The 2010 CrossFit Games
The ultimate proving grounds of the world’s fittest athletes.
July 16-18, 2010 • Carson, CA
The Home Depot Center Sports Complex
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United States Qualifiers
Spirituality and CrossFit
Chris Spealler Talks About the Source of His Mental Strength
Developing fitness is largely a mental game. The act of pushing through the pain of workouts, eating well and recovering outside of the gym requires and develops mental toughness. CrossFit's founder Greg Glassman once told Greg Amundson that "the greatest adaptation to CrossFit is between the ears." One source of mental strength for many CrossFitters is their spirituality. For example, each of the top 3 male competitors in 2010, Graham Holmberg, Rich Froning Jr., and Chris Spealler has acknowledged their Christian faith.
In the Roundtable Discussion at the Rogue vs. Again Faster Tahoe Throwdown, Chris Spealler mentioned his faith. Chris is considered by many to be one of the most mentally tough CrossFit athletes, but it may surprise you to know that Chris has said that his faith is the "only thing that helps me with the psychological component of CrossFit."
Dealing with the stress of CrossFit can be difficult for many Games competitiors. Chris deals with the stress of competition through his faith. He prays both before and after training. Contrary to what one may expect, though, Chris's faith does not spur him on in a quest for physical and spiritual perfection. Instead, Chris's faith is about "resting in God's grace and the fact that there is nothing I need to do to earn His love for me." This thought allows Chris to disassociate his performance from his self-worth. Instead of his performance, Chris wants his "relationship with Christ to define who I am." Training this way allows Chris to experience the "joy" of training, instead of worrying about how his numbers will stack up.
Finally, while his Christian faith is extremely important to him, Chris wants people to know that no matter "where you are personally," it "doesn't affect my respect for you."