This series will be for each month of the year, and will highlight one individual. Although one person will be picked each month, what they have done represents us as a community. The characteristics valued are meant to remind us of whats important, and how we can always work to improve something in our lives. They will be drafted after a short conversation with the athlete of the month, and we will try to keep them short and poignant. So… we start with Jim.
Humble Jim Harding
“At 45, I can kick my 25 year old’s ass.”-JH
After a quick chat with Jim today, I knew I had to start this with this quote from our conversation. It immediately prompted a laugh from me, and as I scribbled I could tell he felt awkward about saying it. Some people might read that and think “Wow, this guy is full of himself”, but I know that’s not what he meant . I felt it was the perfect expression of how Jim exemplifies humbleness.
If you haven’t met Jim Harding at the gym yet, here’s a quick run down of who he is. He’s 45 years young, and has been doing CrossFit for 4 years now. He is a pharmaceutical sales rep, and I can say confidently that I have seen him at every class time we offer. He gets to the gym, and if he’s on the road he’ll find a gym! His favorite workout is “Diane”, and he has 4 weeks to figure out double unders in time for Nor Cal Masters. He could be seen as an average joe, but lately Jim has been anything but.
Just before writing this I watched him beat his previous time on Fran by over a minute. People who do this for 4 years usually don’t have those types of PRs anymore. Although, for the past few months it seems this has been the trend for Jim. Day after day he’s strolled in with a smile and a hand shake, crushed the workout, and left with the same smile and a wave. He’ll tell you it’s because of nutrition, and if you want to ask him what changes he made I know he would love to talk to you about them. I say it’s because he chose to be humble.
“I was lifting too heavy, too fast. And I would get hurt. I wish I would have strived for virtuous movement.”-JH
Jim is old school, and that makes being humble hard sometimes. If you’ve done something a certain way for long enough, it can be difficult to try something new. I think we can all agree that just starting CrossFit is a relatively difficult choice, but nothing good comes easy. Jim made changes in his diet, and refined his technique in certain movements rather than going for 5 pounds more than the guy next to him and to In & Out as his post workout meal. He decided to fill his fridge with real food, measure twice, and cut once. Those choices started with the decision to be humble and strive to be better.
“I love that it’s something we can do together. I love that she’s passionate about something I love.”-JH
Lesha, Jim, and their two sons are one of many families at the gym. Family may be the greatest common attribute we have as a community, and it makes sense why. For Jim and Lesha, I hope you realize that this post is more about your family than your workouts. Your decisions positively affected yourselves, but more importantly I know that they will positively affect your children and possibly other children. It is inspiring.
In summary, Jim was humble and decided that good wasn’t great, and great could be better. I think his first quote shows the only way you can make yourself better is if you’re willing to accept that you might be worse.
To the gym, thank you. Jim is a representation of us. He is an example of humility in a group that practices it everyday.