Compete Every Day means to constantly be pushing yourself to be better than you were yesterday.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Megan Benzik. I am a CrossFit competitor and Lupus fighter, working to accomplish as much as I can in this life. I love inspiring people the way I have been inspired over the years. I am currently a full time CrossFit coach at Windy City CrossFit in Chicago. Prior to coaching CrossFit, I was a personal trainer so I have been active in the fitness industry for a long time.
2. What’s a typical day look like for you?
Wake up at 5am. Complete my 45=60min AM training session. Coach a class or 2 depending on the day. Go home to get through e-mails, spend time with my dog, eat, relax. Head back to the gym at noon for my PM session which takes 2.5-3 hours. Head home to let my dog out. Coach 2-3 classes depending on the day. Head home to eat dinner, write, read, and get ready for the next day.
3. How did your current fitness journey start?
I was diagnosed with Lupus when I was 12 years old. I knew I had 2 choices. I could give in and let it consume my life OR I could fight and do everything I could to beat it. Health and fitness became the foundation upon which I built my life. I started personal training right out of high school and loved it. I loved helping people reach their goals and proving to them that they are capable of accomplishing anything they set their minds to. If someone with lupus can do it, so can they.
I had tried CrossFit back in 2008 with a friend, but since we didn’t quite know what we were doing, I eventually stopped. I never played any sports growing up so I never really felt like I fit into any niche, so to speak. I worked out a lot, and had aesthetic goals, but never had anything else to work towards. I felt something was missing, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what. Then one day I was watching ESPN and the 2011 CrossFit Games were on. I remember watching and being amazed at what these athletes were able to accomplish. The challenge was very appealing to me. The next week I dropped in at a CrossFit box for a free trial and fell in love. I felt like I had finally found what I was missing. CrossFit was my calling.
4. What’s one life goal you’re currently pursuing outside of fitness?
Overall, maintaining my health. Living with a chronic disease is a lifelong battle that I can never give up on. I have pinpointed and accepted that I will forever have to make things like sleep, nutrition, and exercise a priority in my life or else I will not be able to enjoy my life. Besides that, I do plan to open a gym one day. This won’t be just the typical CrossFit gym. It will be something different than what’s already out there. For now, I am focused on my fitness goals, but as soon as I am done competing at an elite level, I will pursue my dream of owning a gym.
5. What does it mean to you to Compete Every Day?
To Compete Everyday means to constantly be pushing yourself to be better than you were yesterday. It’s obvious when you apply this to any kind of physical sport or activity, but this also applies to life. Everyday, I compete against the person I was yesterday to strive towards becoming the best version of myself I can. I listen to podcasts, read, reflect, and learn as much as I can everyday so I can apply that knowledge into the next day. Bad days will still happen, but I use those as a learning experience too. Competing every day means to keep pushing forward to discover your full potential.
6. What/who do you compete for?
I compete for myself. This seems like a selfish response, but I have learned that it is actually quite the opposite. I believe there are so many people out there that constantly try to please everyone else and find themselves unhappy or unsatisfied because they are stuck in the life they are “supposed to have” instead of the life they want to have. These people contribute to society, but they don’t contribute to what the world really needs. What the world really needs are people who follow their passion in life. The world needs people who do things that make themselves happy. These are the people who can spread happiness and inspiration to others.
In my experience, the more I follow my true passions and do things that make me happy, the more people I am able to help, inspire, and positively influence. I compete in CrossFit, in my job, and in life to become the best version of myself I can be. In doing that, I am able to inspire more people than I ever thought possible, which makes me happier and more full than I ever thought possible. It’s an amazing cycle to be caught up in.