Written by Justin Seltzer:
“Yet hear me, friends! We have now to deal with another people, small and feeble when our forefathers first met with them, but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough, they have a mind to till the soil, and the love of possessions is a disease in them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break, but the poor may not! They have a religion in which the poor worship, but the rich will not! They even take tithes of the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule. They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse. They compel her to produce out of season, and when sterile she is made to take medicine in order to produce again. All this is sacrilege.”
Sitting Bull made this speech in 1866, 144 years ago if math isn’t your thing. Funny how times never seem to change. But yet, even then, he could feel the winds of change blowing, ready to tear down the only beloved natural world he, and most animals for that matter, had ever known. Today, we live in a world that has fulfilled his prophecy and then some. We are forced to “live” in a filthy, polluted, undereducated, overly stimulated, 24 hours a day/7 days a week, all go, no stop world. We spend most of our time doing menial, repetitive jobs, driving to said jobs, and depriving ourselves of sleep so we can “get ahead.” We do this all so we can afford to buy the stupid checkboxes enumerated under the heading of “success.” We work too hard, we get lazy because we’re tired from working, we get fat, we take medication for our fatness, laziness, and all the associated health conditions, then suddenly we die from a heart attack, stroke, cancer, or complications from diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other “age-related” diseases. This is all considered medically normal. If caught in time medical science can even treat some of these conditions, thus prolonging your life so you can instead die from something else soon after.
Sorry to paint such a bleak picture for you, but this is life, and life plays for keeps. Take it or leave it. Most people choose to take it, letting their lives of pointless toil suck the life energy right out of them. They eat McDonald’s, they watch reality TV, they sit on their butts all day long, then come home to sit on their butts some more. Odds are if you’re reading this right now, you’re not one of those people or at least are considering a change. This is good, the first step in the process of changing your life is to acknowledge that the world sucks and that you can rise above it. See, these (buffalo) people mentioned above have a problem. Three major ones actually, which I will list in a moment. These three problems are killing them slowly, but luckily there is something they can do about it. Changing these three things will put you on a path towards badass-hood. It won’t make you a badass, but it will put your mind in the right frame to continue the journey.
Problem 1: You let other people tell you what to do.
No, this isn’t some weird, hippy, “take control of your life” nonsense. This is the real deal. I can only say it so plainly. Stop letting people tell you what to do all the time. I am not advocating you break laws, but society’s morality should not be a chain on your life. We are so afraid of confrontation that this normal interaction has been all but lost on our society. Disagree with your boss, tell someone they’re wrong, tell that hot girl who is full of shit that she is indeed full of shit. Have an opinion and back it up. This is a necessary step towards becoming a badass, because badasses don’t let other people dictate how they think.
Problem 2: You do stuff for the wrong reasons.
I’ve asked people before “Why do you do what you do?” Most of the time it’s “the money is good” or “it’s not too hard.” While you may be thinking that those two things sound good, they are in fact the worst things one can say about their jobs. Note the lack of passion, the lack of drive, the lack of joia de vive these people display in their answers. Do things for a living that you love. Be creative. Do things that are difficult. Challenge yourself. Do something that benefits society. Nothing in life worth doing is easy, even things that seem mundane. You shouldn’t do a job because it pays well, you should do it because you like it. I would rather have a few fewer dollars in my pocket doing something I love than dread every hour of the workday like it is going to sneak up behind me and kill me. You may even like your job, but I guarantee if I got you drunk and asked you what you truly love, I doubt you’d say “accounting.” Being in the wrong place is demoralizing you. Find your place in the world, and you will be a badass for it.
Problem 3: You have too much shit and it is stressing you out
The problem itself is pretty self-explanatory. You spend too much time and energy working the job mentioned in problem 2, but for what? So you can have money? To do what? Buy shit. Buy lots of shit. Notice how I use “shit” instead of “things” or “stuff.” That’s because you are buying “shit,” things you don’t need. You buy these things because you feel you must, because they are symbols of the success you think you have to have. You take out loans to buy more cars, houses, boats and other top shelf items. Then you stress yourself half to death worrying about how to pay for all of this “shit” you now own. Badasses are badasses because they know themselves, and know what they want and need. Badasses don’t need some outward societal projection of success to define the word. Instead, define success by how much you kick ass at what you do (quickly, back to problem 2: one usually kicks more ass at something they love).
Take a step back and evaluate your life. The road to being a badass isn’t easy, but you may just find that rising above all the world’s bullshit will make you happier, healthier, and more interested in seeking out other ways to improve your life. When you get there, we at CrossFit Mean Streets will be waiting to take you to the next level. Just be sure to bring some water.
For Time: Muscle-ups, Isabel Grace
30 muscle ups
30 Snatches (135lbs/95lbs)
30 Clean and Jerk (135lbs/95lbs)
CrossFit Mean Streets
Downtown Los Angeles…..where one week of rain buys about 2 days of clean air and ground