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The Road to BCS: Real Talk

In the early years of BCS, there was one key detail of any competition that seemingly signaled, “okay, yeah, this is legit.” As might come as no surprise, it was the integration of a rig to the competition floor. Naturally, with a rig on hand, everything from programming to media benefited from an immensely wider field of possibility. So much so that, today, it seems like an expected detail of any competition. Obviously, times have changed. But little is known about the nature of this infrastructural change, and why it matters. With change comes challenge. And with challenge comes a clarification of character. Adversity’s power is unmatched like that.

Now, standing just 2 weeks out from Friday Night Lights at BCS, it’s all but certain you’ve encountered adversity of your own in the weeks and months leading up.

What’s been the result?

In what follows, BCS Founder and Director, Charlie Lima, recounts moments of adversity he’s faced throughout the 12 years of producing the competition. His insight and perspective offer several things to take away, but chief among them is this: when faced with adversity, when experiencing the push and pull of life, you can either back down or rise up. Spoiler, he chooses to rise.

So, in more ways than one, this is for you.  

Time Under Tension

Any amount of time in a CrossFit gym or following strength training methodology can likely be reduced to the spirit of this phrase, time under tension. Across training cycles, the various techniques and perspectives employed to build strength make use of some dimension of this guiding principle. The more time spent under tension at progressively heavier loads, the more strength will be cultivated. Simple.

However, if you zoom out from training or CrossFit to the level where you can see the picture of your life in full focus, time under tension is at work there, too. The first year BCS was set to include a rig in its layout, the team had to retrieve it from Houston, TX. A short, 90-minute trip and back. Easy. Or so they thought.  

Just as soon as Charlie and the team secured the hardware and materials and made it back to the venue, it suddenly dawned on them they would have to set up the rig. Like, construct it from nuts and bolts and supports. What was a seemingly simple task quickly turned into a nightmare reminiscent of late nights spent constructing together Ikea furniture in new apartment living rooms. And we all know how that goes. Still, with persistence, inevitable frustration, and even more persistence, Charlie and the team managed to get the rig constructed and secured together hours before competition day. As it stood proudly, assertive in its newness, the team looked on and realized the time spent laboring, pivoting, adapting, and persisting gave way to a new realm of possibility BCS had never known before. True to the method, it was as if the time spent under tension did, in fact, cultivate new strength.

Following the infamous tale of the first BCS rig, there have been other challenges. Rounding up enough equipment to outfit the comp. Building a volunteer team equipped to help keep things running smoothly. Adapting, in real time, as a shifting pandemic landscape only yielded more questions than it did clear answers.

“I could feel beat up in my emotions, literally on the ground. But I’m going to keep getting up.” In each case, Charlie chose to not let these setbacks have the final say.

Keep Getting Up

If you’re wondering how any of this applies to you, here it is. Facing challenges head-on is scary, although sometimes riveting. Especially when you cannot determine the outcome, be it good or bad, that’s when you know options are slim. Back down or rise up.

There comes a point when it isn’t enough to do nothing. Perhaps you’ve experienced that in aspects of your training or even in the heat of a competition event. While every excuse your mind can compute tells you no, you double-down and find a way forward. Because act, you must.

It’s possible you’ll never know the experience of building a rig for competition, sure. But you are certainly building a life filled with things you value, a story, and whatever impact you hope to leave behind. Your participation in BCS or fitness is a pixel in the fuller image of living. And the most mesmerizing part of all is that while the hardest moments and days are also aspects of this image, so too are the best days and moments.  

Whether your mantra is grit and bear it, or win the day, or something wildly your own when challenge surfaces, lean in.

The opportunities for you to transfer potential energy to kinetic energy are fast approaching. It’s expected for there to be moments of adversity. Maybe that will look like thrusters or devil’s presses. But, just like adversity is a given, so is overcoming.

When asked what the message for BCS is, Charlie responded with such a sentiment. “I hope this event reminds all of us that there’s a higher purpose for our lives. God has you. He loves you. He wants a good life for you.” Be it through personal victories, testimonies of overcoming, community, or the spiritual experience that is fitness, it’s going to be epic. Unforgettable, even.

What will be your anthem of come August 27th? One way or another, we’re set to find out.

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