What makes a rolemodel?

3 Feb

Its sunday night and I hope that most of you have had the chance to spend some quality time with family and friends, in order to be able to return to the choirs tomorrow, with a fully charged battery and a big smile on your face?

For some time now I have been nurturing a worry, or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a discomforting feeling about a tendency in the community that we all hold so dear – the CrossFit community!
I absolutely love the CrossFit comunity! I have never come across a community that is as caring, genuinely interested in the welfare of others, and deeply committed to sharing what we do with the community, so that we can all get better at what we do! The collective soul of this community is dedicated to contributing to the success of others, and it is a thing of beauty, and I feel blessed to the very core to be a part of this community – I carry it with me with pride and I will go through fire to defend this community!

It is the above mentioned love for the CrossFit community that drives me to spending countless hours on social media platforms to see what my brothers and sisters are doing and what experiences they are gracefully sharing. It is during the time spent on these platforms that the discomforting feeling has grown forth, and it has left me with a question that I would now like to share with you, and I would like to hear you thoughts on this!

It used to be that people who were good at some or more parts of what we do, be it olympic lifting, running, swimming, gymnastics, coaching, mobility etc. would post their thoughts and experiences on their websites, facebook, twitter, bloggs, pod-casts etc. and as result of the wisdom shared and the lives and athletic careers they influenced, these people would become some sort of ”celebrities” ”authorities” ”coaches”!
In other words the rise to stardom was based on actions and results! The fact that these people were awesome is what got other people to follow them, and revere in what they did! That is how I found myself following Annie Sakamoto, Karl Steadman, Martin Altemark, Blair Morrisson, Chris Spealler etc. eagerly following everything they did and learning from the things they shared! As a result they became my role models – but none of them ever asked or demanded that they be rolemodels! It just came to them simply because they deserved it!

So when I surf the internet looking for something that will help me excell at what I do, and I constantly find people calling themselves coaches, and act as some sort of self-proclaimed CrossFit Messiah – I am filled with a feeling of discomfort! What has happened? What happened to the culture of performing first and then letting the results speak for themselves? Is the new order of the day that the rolemodel is the one who yells the loudest? Is the new rolemodel simply better at marketing than the rolemodels who went quietly about their business and let their actions speak for themselves?

So the question quite simply is if you think this is right? What made you interested in the people whom you consider to be your rolemodels? Was it their actions, or the fact that they fed you a constant stream of fancy pictures and had a constant presence in your social media flow?

Just a thought on a sunday night:-)

Much love



Ett svar to “What makes a rolemodel?”

  1. Mattias februari 3, 2013 den 8:23 e m #

    I think it’s the sad state of the world at the moment where public visibility and hot air speaks louder than actions. It’s the emperors new clothes all over again. Seen it before and I bet we’ll see it again.

    However I think that this too shall pass and that cream will rise to the top once again.
    It might be that the community will segregate into the ”display models” (coaches and athletes alike) and the ”performers” and I know who I’m betting on in the long run.

    I think there is a philosophical difference between a true ”role model” and a ”display model”. I think the lure of the display models is more of ”what they got” than what they know or who they are where as a role model is defined by their abilities and actions on a more fundamental level. Quality over Quantity as a paradigm has not changed.

    Although – to make this distinction you have to think, reflect and decide what YOU want to get out of the community and even more important what you are willing to provide.

    I wager that over time we’ll see the ones that are just in it just to be able to say ”I do crossfit” and not contribute will follow the loudmouths and those willing to give something back will gravitate towards the true beacons of competence. But before that happens, I wouldn’t be suprised to see a polarisation in the community. Hopefully people will see the light sooner than later.

    As the geek I am, I think it all can be summarized quite neatly in a simple movie quote:

    – Is the dark side stronger?
    – No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.
    – But how am I to know the good side from the bad?
    – You will know… when you are calm, at peace, passive.



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