What is #Earned?
Sunday April 28, 2019
Ben Bergeron & Christine Bald
Every year, we send all of our Games and Qualifier athletes white CompTrain t-shirts emblazoned with “Earned” on the back. But #Earned is deeper than a t-shirt or a social media campaign. It’s at the heart of who we are.
In the face of extreme difficulty, #Earned is a reminder that results are reflection of our effort and our behavior.
Let’s unpack that:
Earning something implies difficulty. You can’t earn something without putting in work. There’s a word for that—given. Earned without struggle is like thunder without lightning. You might not have seen it, but trust me, it was there.
Most people naturally avoid struggle, consciously or unconsciously. CompTrain athletes are not like most people. When adversity finds us, we make a point of running into it headfirst. We do this because we understand an essential truth: that adversity is the only thing that makes us better.
Most of the time, #Earned is synonymous with results. That’s fine. We’re proud of those. But we’re more proud of what our results imply about what we became in the process—better.
Talent is Overrated
When we watch those at the top of their game perform on game day, it’s easier to say they are “talented” than it is to acknowledge that they have spent thousands and thousands of hours beating on their craft, lungs burning, exhausted, all when no one is watching.
When people think they see talent, what they really see is effort.
Effort is at the heart of #Earned.
There is very little genetic talent in the world. No one is born good at muscle-ups, running, walking on their hands, or Fran. Ninety-nine percent of the time, when people are good at things, it’s the result of dedication to a craft; to learning and improving over time. #Earned reminds us that the bright lights don’t make us shine—they only reveal the work we did in the dark.
The last element of #Earned reflects our behavior. #Earned is a choice.
No one becomes world-class on accident. Katrin, Brooke and Cole are world-class because they decided to be.
#Earned implies something important—though easily forgotten—about the glitz and glamour around the CrossFit Games. That getting there is painful. That it’s the result of years of hard work and learning from mistakes.
#Earned is a nod to the daily discipline. To all of the seemingly insignificant habits and choices that added up—over a very long period of time—to something extraordinary: The decision to go to that dark place in a workout (or not). The decision to return to that place, day after day, despite the pain that waits for you there (or not). The decision to go all-in on nutrition (or not). The decision to commit to warm-up and recovery protocols (or not). The decision to make sleep a priority (or not). The decision to improve your mental game (or not).
#Earned isn’t for the chosen few. It is for the few who choose.
Embrace adversity—it’s the only thing that makes you better.
Focus on your effort—talent is a sugar-coated lie.
Choose excellence—every decision you make moves you closer or further away from your goals.
This is our ethos.