I have always been enthusiastic about sports. It began at an early age with Kong Fu, tennis, gymnastics, basketball, and soccer – I loved the physical and mental challenges involved in sports and engaging with people that share the same passion. 

In the last couple of years, my love of sports has transitioned in a love of CrossFit which is a strength and conditioning workout that is made up of functional movement performed at a high-intensity level and is usually done in groups. While the past year’s events made that difficult at times, I was committed to kicking it up a notch and trained up to six times a week. I even signed up for my first CrossFit competition (RFA) that will take place in Israel! 

So how do sports, or an activity like CrossFit compare to my work as a Software Engineer at Cisco? You might think there are no similarities between the two – the first includes lifting, running, and sweating while the second is sitting in my chair with a cup of coffee and programming.  

But when I took a deeper look, I realized my two passions are pretty similar – and I think my love of sports and CrossFit really make me a better Software Engineer too! 

1. Versatility: To be a good full stack software engineer you need to have knowledge in a variety of subjects – algorithms, data structures, databases, front end, back end, and the list goes on. This is very similar to CrossFit where you need more than just strength – but you also need endurance, technique, pacing, flexibility, and knowledge in many movements. Having a specialty in one area is great, but having the versatility to take on more and grow in ways you never though you could – will always take you to new levels.

2. Learn to Fail Forward: You can never be perfect in all the fields, all the time. This is why it is important to always challenge yourself and be surrounded by supportive co-workers and gym friends that know how to push you forward. We learned the most when we fail forward, and that’s what makes us ready to take on future challenges.

3. Go the extra mile: It is not enough to only do the “regular” day-to-day work. For my day job, I participate in meetups and hackathons, read books and watch tutorials, and talk to other engineers so that I can expand my knowledge. For CrossFit, I attend seminars, competitions, and talk to other coaches so I can grow in my sport too. That is what I found drives me and makes me want to go out of bed each and every day – so I can learn and grow in all areas of my life.

So, what are you waiting for? Find an activity you are passionate about (both for work and outside of work) – and watch how it empowers you in all areas of your life.  

I strongly believe that these challenges have helped me to train not only my body, but also my mind to achieve success, overcome failure, listen to others, and teach others so I can accomplish both personal and career goals. 


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