Weekly Thoughts


Get To vs. Have To

Let’s enjoy this sh*t

Last Monday, some of us did the annual Memorial Day “Murph” workout.  This workout, popular in the Crossfit community, is named after Lieutenant Michael Murphy, a SEAL team member who lost his life serving his country in Afghanistan in 2005.  Murphy’s story was popularized in the book (and 2013 film) Lone Survivor

The workout itself consists of a 1-mile run followed by 100 pullups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and a 1-mile run to finish it off.  Participants are encouraged to wear a weight vest (20 lbs for men, 14 lbs for women) for the duration of the workout.  It’s a challenging workout, but that’s the point.  It’s supposed to be difficult.  A small piece of personal physical sacrifice on a holiday in honor of something bigger than ourselves is what makes it worthwhile.

Some wonder why we do such things in our spare time.  We do these things because we have found that for us, challenging physical activity shapes and disciplines the mind.  If we can do one hard thing, it gives us the confidence that we may be able to do the next hard thing.  That mindset pervades fitness.  For instance, this belief underpins Chenmark’s core value of Chasing Better.

A couple of years ago, we were reminded by a friend, coach, and former Marine that we don’t have to do Murph.  We get to do Murph.  That simple mindset shift in the face of adversity is incredibly powerful, both in and (arguably more so) outside of the gym.  We don’t have to have a challenging performance feedback conversation.  We get to.  We don’t have to stay up late reviewing legal docs.  We get to.  The list goes on.

This mindset reminds us of a segment from Jesse Itzler’s Living with a SEAL, 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet (the book title says it all).  Itzler recalls a conversation during Day 7 of training (which consisted of 17 miles of running and 225 push-ups): 

“One and a half miles into our [last] six-mile run, SEAL talks for the first time. 

‘You okay?’

‘No. I don’t feel well,’ I say as I keep pace. 

‘F*ck, yeah,’ he celebrates. ‘Now you’re seeing what it’s like to train, Jesse. I hope you enjoy this sh*t.'”

The reality is that operating a small business well is hard.  There are moments when we are tired, frustrated, and close to our breaking point.  The more we embrace the mindset that we get to do this hard work, and perhaps even want to do this hard work, the tougher we are and the more formidable our businesses will become.  So, let’s enjoy this sh*t. 

Have a great week,

Your Chenmark Team

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