A Lesson From CrossFit: Failure Is a Key to Success

Photo via Camille Leblanc-Bazinet

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet is one of the fittest people in the world and fiercely believes failure is good.

The 2014 CrossFit Games winner said she’s never had a fear of coming in last place as she progressed beyond her first competition.

“I don’t want people to think because some people are good at something it’s because it magically comes to them,” Leblanc-Bazinet said. “It’s people who fail more. You likely won’t succeed at first, and it’s OK.”

Sports are a great way to find oneself as it forces people to fail — a lot. Failure for Leblanc-Bazinet is a catalyst for growth. It’s when hard work and failure coexist that a person can truly find themselves and appreciate their own worth, she said.

Leblanc-Bazinet started CrossFit in 2009 and enjoys the challenges it constantly throws at her.

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“I like that you’re never good enough, and the beauty is the day you think you start being good, they start throwing something that brings you back down.”

Helping people is Leblanc-Bazinet’s main goal in life, as she’s realized healthier people are generally happier and contribute more to society.

Health is more than physical, but also emotional — and Leblanc-Bazinet wants to help everyone get over insecurities. The mission stems from her childhood insecurities about being naturally muscular; it’s those insecurities that make people the most wonderful, she said.

“Everyone has insecurities; they just change as we grow up,” she said. “We have insecurities because we see the world through a different lens and for whatever reason the world makes us think it’s not normal to have insecurities instead of giving people options to find why this insecurity makes you wonderful.”

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“I really hope something I can do with my kids is to just celebrate their difference,” she added. “We should, because some people are boring.”

She has an ebook, “Jumpstart to Health,” which provides readers with authentic information on eating healthier and becoming more fit. She also has another book coming out about shoulder rehabilitation, as she recently underwent surgery and struggled to find good information beyond her doctor.

“It’s hard to find things that aren’t all about marketing and real information that isn’t about selling something,” she said. “I’ve been teaching people for eight years and (my husband and I) started getting questions of, ‘Can you help us?’

“So we tell people what we do and what’s worked for us.”

Social media has been an important piece of her messaging, even though four or five years ago, she thought of the channels as invasive. Eventually, she realized it could be a valuable stream of communication with fans and a useful educational tool. Now, Leblanc-Bazinet has more than two million followers across her channels.

“My only plan behind it is to hopefully motivate, inspire and educate people,” she said. “I don’t sit down to plan out posts; it’s just genuine and I hope people know they’re not alone and we’re all trying to get better.”

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Despite being constantly busy, she doesn’t plan all that much. On top of all her training and coaching, she also recently graduated with a chemical engineering degree from Sherbrooke University in Quebec. She credits the energy and mental capacity to accomplish all she has to good habits and being healthy. Remember her goal of helping people? Her degree has a specialization in recycling so she can help the planet. 

Constantly staying busy is the best way for her to exert her best effort and remain in incredible health, which, in turn, helps amp up her effort.

“When you’re healthy, your brain feels more ‘on,’” she said. “For me, having school was a good way to not obsess on training, and having training was a good way not to obsess about school. Everything, though, is as hard as I can and as good as you can. Your effort is all that matters.”