“It’s Win or Learn, No Losses”

I heard that line in a song and it said a lot to me. Many athletes believe “if you’re not first, you’re last.” So, the idea of using competition as a growth experience, rather than an all or nothing success or failure can be foreign. I mentioned in an earlier post that I kind of tanked in this year’s CrossFit Open. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but I’m working on finding the win in everything. Like, I got to educate other competitors about athletes and problem gambling just by participating in the event and wearing shirts and handing out giveaways that highlighted the topic or help for problem gambling. Social media posts helped spread the word further. So, can I swallow my pride and compete when I know I’ll be really low on the leaderboard, in part, to get out an important message? Yes, and I’ll count it as a win.
And on a related note, check out this article that talks about CrossFit as a viable support for those in addiction recovery. Anything with positive social connectedness can be a big asset in a recovery program. But for some recovering problem gamblers, it can also provide an outlet for a competitive streak that needs to be fed. Keep in mind, some gamblers need to find a way to quiet that part of themselves. Others will find a healthier alternative. Everyone’s path is different. If CrossFit sounds like an option for a gambler seeking recovery, my only caution is that workouts and competitions are, of course, sober events. That doesn’t mean some groups don’t hang out afterwards over a few beers. Just don’t be caught off guard, and know that many just choose not to participate in post-competition drinking. Also, if pain is a trigger for you (some people gamble in response to physical or emotional pain) have a plan in place to ease into the sport and soothe aches and pains in healthy ways.

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