First who is that lady on the far left, she is almost a different person now!
With the “Open” finished many Balboans have experienced a heightened awareness of what it means to try and compete in the sport of CrossFit. The “Open” was a series of tests designed to challenge each individual not just physically but mentally as well. Whether it was decreed that we all complete burpees, thrusters and deadlifts, we rose, we stood fast and we pushed ourselves to levels we maybe never knew we could get to. I recall watching Jeff, Pete, Case and Tom, to name a few, who managed to deadlift new Personal Bests during the heat of that infamous deadlfit/box-jump (step-up) workout. Not only did they pull new 1rms, they were able to do it for multiple reps. The common theme here was you all as athletes chose to push yourselves past what you felt comfortable doing. there was little fear, little hesitation, just a willingness to “Do”.
This leads me to beg the question, who’s ready to compete outside of our walls. Not for glory but for personal challenge. On this note, our lovely Cali has written a great piece on her experience with both competition…. READ ON
One of the biggest misconceptions about CrossFit is that competitions are for competitors. It reminds me of when I was in high school and people would say “Oh, you’re a gymnast..” and I would respond “No, no, no. I’m on the gymnastics team.” I fully understand why people would be inclined to shy away from the pressure that comes with that kind of competitive label. In CrossFit, I am starting to find that this issue is somewhat regional.
Probably one of my most annoying qualities is that I compare everything to the east coast. I can’t help it…it’s what I knew for most of my life and you have to admit, there are a lot of differences. When it comes to CrossFit, it is different things to different people and athletes compartmentalize it within their life in a way that best suits them. That concept is not regional.
However ,there is something that differentiates the crossfitters of the east coast from that of the west coast. For various reasons, there is a real reluctance to compete by your average gym-goer out here. This observation does not come from my own anecdotal research but also from many conversations with gym owners, managers, and athletes around the area.
I spent countless hours visiting over 20 gyms all around Southern California last week and after speaking with coaches it was clear to me that we were all baffled by the same thing: “Our members just aren’t that into competing.” On one hand, it comforted me knowing that my challenge getting Balboans to get more involved with the Power Athlete Team Series and Badges for Life wasn’t unique. On the other hand, it made me incredibly sad.
I came from an environment where people were clamoring to be a part of their crossfit community. The athletes I’m referring to were not “good” per se but for some reason didn’t feel inhibited by their lack of ability. What makes the difference? Is it that folks are so concerned with being perceived as perfect that they’d rather not take the risk of coming in last place? Is it that we as coaches have misrepresented the sport of crossfit and made it out to be too serious because we happen to very passionate about progress? Sometimes I wonder if it’s a chicken-egg scenario in which the environment shapes the athlete’s level of involvement. I feel that our staff has encouraged people to compete but to little or no avail.
The question is really…why compete? It’s actually really simple. No one has ever done a competition and then looked back on the experience saying “I really regret doing that”. We come in everyday and bust our ass to get better, our friends workout with us, we get together outside of the gym, we are a part of something special. You would be amazed at how fun these little throwdowns can be and just how they bring the already close community even closer. It’s about getting together and pushing towards a common goal and then looking back on it saying “I’m so glad I did that and I can’t wait for the next one”.
The TRUTH about competitions is that most teams are terrible. Absolutely terrible. From scaled to Rx, most these athletes are not there to win $10,000, stand on the podium, or make a name for themselves. They are simply there because it’s what we do. We exercise everyday with our friends and at events it’s even more fun when we get dressed up and do it in front of people. It’s as simple as that. Even still, people have excuse after excuse and hold reservations about something they know nothing about…particularly those who have never competed.
I get it. It feels foreign and you don’t know what to expect. You don’t want to let your teammates down, be embarrassed, or cave under the “pressure”. These are all things we deal with in our personal and professional life everyday. This is why you need to compete…we all do in some form or another. Sports psychologists have proven that the confidence you gain through sport translates to one’s ability to deal with stress in other facets of our life. This is why I say no one has ever regretting competing. It is one of the best things you can do for your confidence regardless of your ability. This is why it literally pains me that people seem to be so opposed to competing. As we get older, we chose to live life with minimal risk. It’s precisely that risk, attacking our fears head on, that allow us to grow as individuals.
15 Ball Slams
15 Box Jumps
-Rest 5 minutes-
400m run/500m row
40 Sit Ups
40 Back Extension