These Keynote Speakers Got in My Head and Now I Do CrossFit

By Tim Mathy | Oct. 2, 2018

So, I’ve joined a CrossFit group and I’m totally out of my element!

I’ve always been able to hang in sports. I play on a “middle aged” softball team that won an overhyped trophy several years in a row. I was playing in a weekly basketball game, until my wife told me she wasn’t willing to nurse me through even one more basketball incurred knee injury. Throw me a ball and I’m going to make the play.

When I learned about CrossFit, a class happening in the park across the street from my house, it seemed like a no-brainer. I’d run some, do some lifting and stretching, get some sun, and get the early morning started with a bang.

Then I learned about no, got schooled in, CrossFit. Hill Sprints=Serious Killers, Burpees=Torture Tactics. I was humbled.

I came home from my first class ready to quit. (Full disclosure, I crawled home from the first class, struggling to form sentences and curling up in love with the fetal position.) I’m the one lying down with his hands on his chest.


I mean WHY should I do this? I’m in pretty good shape. I don’t need to humiliate myself in front of a group. I’m smart enough, I’m good enough, and doggonit people like me.


It got me thinking a bit. Why AM I doing this? Why do I suck at it? Why do I continue to attend? After some thought, I stepped back and realized I am a lucky dude. I get to hear some of the best speakers in the world. I stand in the back of the room and watch the speakers connect with the attendees and make a difference in their life. I forget how much influence they can have on me. Hence with the CrossFit. I’ll explain.

CrossFit_DaymondJohnHave you heard Daymond John speak lately? His speech is a lot like a one man play; it is amazing. 

One of his key points is that when we work hard and give our all-in business, we often don’t care enough for ourselves. Not only should we work on our business, we need to keep ourselves healthy. How am I supposed to walk away from a class that is right across the street? Damn you, Daymond.




The biggest reason I wanted to quit is probably familiar to everyone.  I don’t want to work so hard just to look like an idiot! Daymond helped get me out there and Brené Brown kept me there. Brené reminds us to reach beyond our comfort zone. We should strive to be vulnerable, embrace imperfection, and challenge ourselves to grow along the way. She somehow magically, spiritually, tapped me on the shoulder and told me to get my lazy butt back out there. Want to see the embodiment of imperfection? Check me out on Day 2 after doing an ungodly number of burpees.

Self-care, vulnerability…check!

Why do I keep going to this stupid *#!*@* CrossFit class? Because I have actually found happiness. Thank you, Shawn Achor.

CrossFit_ShawnAchorShawn speaks about the science of happiness. He explains that studies have shown you are more likely to work out in the morning if you sleep in your workout clothes or have them right next to your bed.  I heard him say this years ago, but still kept these clothes in my closet because, in my head, I did not want to go to the gym. Rolling over and going back to sleep felt so much better. Armed with this knowledge, I had a decision to make. Was I committed to CrossFit? Did I want to get up early, feel some pain, and look like an idiot? I guess so, as my workout clothes now sit right next to bed. 

What I am saying is that the messages these wonderful people are passing along work. I could go on and on. My point is speakers make a difference in attendees’ lives even if it is not at the forefront of our thoughts. Even Event Professionals who have heard “everyone” can take something from their speaker’s message. Take it from me, I have heard “everyone.”

Written by Tim Mathy
Tim has been with SpeakInc since 1996 and was made Partner in 1999. He is actively involved with Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Meetings Professionals International (MPI), Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events (IMEX), and serves as the SpeakInc. liaison to the National Speakers Association (NSA). Tim is a graduate of the University of San Diego, but also studied abroad in Oxford, England. He and his wife Jennifer stay busy chasing around their three children, Kyle, Daniel and Sarah. Tim can often be seen on the weekends coaching his kids in one of their many sporting activities. In his spare time he enjoys playing sports, a good game of hold-em and diving into the latest bestseller. He currently operates our Denver office.

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