When I first saw this post from NC Fit owner and CrossFit athlete Jason Khalipa (also a father who has a child undergoing cancer treatment), I was sitting in a dim hospital waiting room with my laptop balanced on my knees. I was working on a project I’d been finding worryingly difficult, and I’d just taken a break to send a scarily emotional message opening up to a friend. I’d worked out that morning before cleaning up and driving three hours to have several vials of blood drawn and an ultrasound done on my neck.
It had, in short, been a day of hedge building. So perhaps why it meant so much to me to hear the concept defined.
I get upset sometimes when it feels like results aren’t showing. I’d gotten upset that very morning for that exact reason. But that’s just the thing about hedge building. Work isn’t for show. Work is for results. Not the same thing.
I think this is true for nearly everything. Work, finances, exercise, relationships, whatever. Some days you don’t get exciting moments. Some days, you don’t even see progress. I’d venture to say that, most days, you don’t see progress. But that’s not bad – it’s the point. If you put in work, including on the days that aren’t obviously rewarding, that’s what makes the difference. When you need it, that effort has banked. That hedge has been built.
I find the stereotypical mindset of an athlete interesting because I don’t think I have it. I find most athletes to be performers at heart. They want to win, to have the laurels. But, as Mr. Darcy said, I don’t perform to strangers. Not well anyway. I don’t need to be first and don’t much enjoy the spotlight.
I’m motivated by other things. Fitness-wise, I don’t want a medal, but I want the ability to successfully try a new activity. I want to remedy several decades of not liking myself very much. I want clean check-ups. And, I realize, I’m motivated in large part by hedge-building. Life happens. Things go wrong. Doctors have bad news. Pink slips arrive. People disappear. You do what you can to protect what you value.
To hear a reminder about the value in working to build a safe space, from someone I’ve always thought of as the prototypical competitor, was particularly compelling.
So here’s to hedge building. May we need it rarely, and when we do, may the hedges be strong.