by Scott Zagarino
I've had the privilege of being present to a more than average share of people's last few moments in this "mortal coil" and it never ceases to amaze me, at the time someone knows that each breath could be their last, how similar the moments that mattered were.
Almost universally the things that mattered most, the things that either brought a small smile of satisfaction, or a tear of regret, were small things that most of us take completely for granted when we're alone with our daydreams. A child's laugh on a summer vacation. A hug from a spouse at just the moment a hug seemed out of the question, the smallest things. Most of all, those last moments have been reserved for the savoring of the times when all of the chattering in their head about what they "needed," was forgotten and replaced by those memories of what they'd given back.
As athletes, and I prefer to use that descriptor in the broadest sense that defines anyone who accepts a physical challenge and sees it through to the end, we all have just the kind of gift that we/I tend to hoard, as if this workout or that competition is the last one we'll ever have. We tend to view those less fortunate in the physical world as signposts to spur us into a brief appreciation of our gifts, rather than as a note to the soul to serve rather than to seek even greater glory.
As the founder of the Fight Gone Bad event, I have witnessed countless episodes of the transformation of CrossFitters who start out the day all about scores and totals, and end the day teary-eyed for the realization of the fact that for one shining moment they had made a difference in the lives of a soldier, a family, or a child that they would never meet.
With that, I've come to appreciate my own moments. Not the ones I ever thought would mark my brief stay on the planet earth, but the unexpected ones when I was able to get out of my own way long enough to change a few minutes in someone else's history for the better.
As it turns out, my gift to our community is just as unexpected. While Greta Rose and I worked insane hours those first years, and not much has changed in that regard, we thought we were working for the good of our beneficiaries. As it turns out, my own small smile when the lights are just about out will almost certainly be for our small part in providing the stage that Fight Gone Bad has become for CrossFitters all over the world to unself themselves, and maybe to give a few more of us the right to a smile at the end, rather than a tear for what we could have done.
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