There was a New England theologian who from a young age started writing what became a long list of commitments — resolutions — of how he should live his life in light of the fact that he’d believed God existed and loved him. They’re beautiful and they remind me what is most fundamental in life. I often forget them. Worse, I often forget how beautiful God is, and how fundamental his grace and forgiveness is.
The resolution that sticks with me the most is, “Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.”
This isn’t the same thing. But it’s not entirely dissimilar.
“C’mon, man,” I said. “You should just do it.”
I’m terrible at selling people things. I really am. I try and do this thing where I make things super objective, give them all their options, and hope they weigh them carefully. In other words, I make things confusing. I worked in sales for a little while and was awful. I’m as winsome as a man selling pagers to high school students. But it seemed spirits of the great of all snake-oil slicksters, televangelistic hucksters and used car hustlers had come upon me.
He looked back at me with a smile. Well, many would think it was just a smile, but I knew better. I’d seen it before. It was as if we’d suddenly been transported from where we stood to a cliffside, and I was telling him to trust me, that’d I’d jumped in before and it was safe. And he smiled. Because he wanted to. But, you know — it’s scary.
“You should call the coaches. You’re in way better shape than I was when I started. You’ll do fine. And you’ll love it.”
He made jokes. Evaded the topic directly.
Then what was said next surprised the both of us. Especially me, because I said it:
“When I started, I just knew I needed to; I tolerated it. Now, honestly, I’ve never liked physical activity before, but I kind of really have started to love it.”
Ever see a kid cry after falling on their head? Sometimes they cry because it really hurts. But sometimes they cry because the adults react and they get freaked out. My friend looks at me surprised, and about ten seconds later, so was I. What did I say?
It occured to me that this was the greatest sales pitch I’d ever pitched, the greatest hustle I’d ever hustled. And it was on myself. I was the con man and the mark. And I’d been had. Swindled. Hoodwinked. I’d finally bought in. This was more than just something I was doing to get healthy, it was something I enjoyed, something I knew I needed.
CrossFit freaks me out. I’m nervous and antsy every time. Doubly so when any running is written on that whiteboard. But I love it. And I sort of feel like I need it.
PS. Dear Future Glen: Please remember this. Yours, You.