By definition, integrity is, “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”
Do you have integrity? Or better yet, do you live all areas of your life with integrity? Do you live with integrity only when in front of others, or do you maintain integrity when you’re by yourself? Here are just a couple big areas of my life that I’d like to write about!
In my life, I have about 5–6 absolute best friends that I know I can count on at anytime. It doesn’t sound like a big number does it? I have lots of friends, but these are my people, my ride or die. They have integrity. I know what I say to them does not go to anyone else. I know I could call them at 2am if I needed help. I know that I could not talk to them for 2 weeks, 2 months, or more, yet pick up the phone and start exactly where we ended off without being judged. I value being a good friend to others. I am honest with my friends and tell them how I feel and what I’m thinking because I know they will not judge me. They let me live my best life. Think about your friendships. Do they all have integrity? Or, are people talking about each other and not giving honest thoughts in fear of being judged? What kind of a friend are you? What kind of friend would you like to be?
As a CrossFit athlete for roughly 6 years and a coach for about 4.5 years, integrity plays a role in so many different ways inside of “The Box.” As an athlete, I hold myself up to the standards when I workout. It is personally important to me that I am completing each movement to its standard. Whether that means chest and chest only to the ground on push ups, chin over the bar on pull ups, medicine ball making contact to the correct target on wallballs, running the correct path, squatting below parallel, locking out…etc, I make sure I do it. If I don’t, I won’t count it. There have been multiple times I’ve even been caught giving myself a “No rep” at a competition or during The Open before my judge could say it. To me, it’s important that I complete each movement as it should be done because I know it will only make me better as an athlete. As a coach, I challenge you to ask yourself do I continually strive to meet the standards of each movement I complete (if my body is capable).
In my coaching career, I cannot tell you the amount of times members have approached me with the concern that another athlete is cheating (not doing all the reps, skipped a round, didn’t do the movement to standard). Don’t get me wrong, it’s aggravating to know that you’ve done all the reps and the athlete next to you hasn’t, but I always try to give that person the benefit of the doubt. We all make mistakes sometimes, maybe they were going so fast they didn’t realize it, maybe they were modifying the workout due to injury or other reasons. Personally, I think people get too wrapped up in the whiteboard. You should leave everyday and ask yourself, “Did I do my best?, Did I give everything I could today?, Did I do all the reps and complete all the movements with integrity?” If you can answer “yes” to all of those questions, then does it really matter what the person next to you did?
Are you the type of person that sees a paper towel on the bathroom floor and walks away, or do you pick it up even when no one is looking? Do you offer a friendly wave when someone lets you merge into traffic? (It sounds trivial, but think about it). Do you preach and teach healthy living and live it yourself? Do you support and encourage your family and friends? Do you feel supported and encouraged from your family and friends?
Integrity is a quality I continue to work on. I strive to be honest in all areas of my life. I’m not perfect by any means, but I know when I make a mistake I need to be honest with myself about it and continue to grow. It’s not always easy living with integrity in some situations, but in the end it always feels worth it.