SEMESTER SERIES: KIRK SMITH – Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

The above phrase has many applications in life. Before business school, I was a CrossFit instructor in Northern Virginia and frequently referenced this phrase when introducing new clients into this intense, athletic regimen. Since starting business school, however, I have found that this also applies to many aspects of the academic experience. You will NOT get along with your core-team 100% of the time. If you do, then you aren’t pushing each others’ buttons enough to find the best solution. There WILL be uncomfortable moments. Whether they are with a small team, or being cold called out by a Professor in a class you forgot to prepare for. The sentiment of being uncomfortable made me think about how else business school and CrossFit are alike, surprisingly there is a high amount of similarities. Goizueta’s core values directly translate into elements of CrossFit that most athletes would understand.

  • Courage– Whether you are chasing a personal best in lifting, or raising your hand to answer that Professor who absolutely terrifies you, there will be times in your life when you need to summon the strength to push yourself into the unknown to help you understand who you are as a person.
  • Integrity– In CrossFit, you no-rep (unsuccessfully complete a repetition) yourself if you didn’t fully extend on a lift. You don’t move on to another movement until you know you’ve done all the reps. At Goizueta, you are expected to do your own work and make sure that you don’t cut corners.
  • Accountability– Similar to integrity, you hold yourself, and your teammates accountable. Whether that is showing up for team practices at the gym, or showing up to team meetings fully prepared, there is accountability for your actions in both situations.
  • Rigor– Work your @$$ off. No matter what. You are at school to learn. If you want to improve, whether in the gym or the classroom, you need to practice, practice, practice. With 22 credit hours in the fall at Goizueta, you will have more than enough practice!
  • Diversity– 43% of my class is made up of international students. You will rarely find a person with the same background and reason why they came to business school. Like the diversity of movements found in CrossFit that help a person identify their personal strengths and weaknesses, diversity in groups aids in the same way; helping identify the groups strengths and weaknesses in order to build us all up. I’m thankful that I get to learn from my classmates every day to eliminate those weaknesses.
  • Teamwork– You will not go the entire fall semester without working with a group. If you’re a subject matter expert in every subject at business school, then why are you there? A great team compliments strengths and this is no different than any team you would assemble for a competition; in or out of the classroom.
  • Community– My favorite. Goizueta has an incredibly strong community because there are only 178 students in my class; large by our standards. We support each other during highs and lows, much like athletes in CrossFit.

This post may only relate to a small amount of people reading this blog. However, I just wanted to show how the dynamics found in business school translate to even distantly related activities, such as CrossFit. My time at Goizueta has opened up many perspectives I never considered in the past, and I hope you find the same results when you attend next fall!