We see it every year.
Athletes all lined up in their colourful new Reebok gear, abs for days, quads that look like a tumor is growing from their knees. They have perseverance, focus, heart… all laid out on the line. It’s just the athlete, the equipment, and the years of hard dedicated training.
But what you don’t think about is that these athletes didn’t get there by waiting for the moment they hit “x” snatch, or got a muscle up, or perfected their handstand walk. Instead, they have been continuously putting their humility on the line for the chance that they come out on top of the podium, or die trying.
My experience with CrossFit competitions
When I was competitive in CrossFit, I rarely found myself on the podium, and I entered competitions knowing full well that I wouldn’t. “Why compete?” then you ask. Every time I left a competition, the emotions were always different. I would say it was an even split between humility, pride and defeat.
I have absolutely no regrets or no triumphs, but I do have a character and sense of pride that could be built no other way.
You have no idea the amount of times I have stood under the rings just looking at them (or logging some time attempting a muscle up), or chipping away at heavy barbell movements sometimes for the simple hope that I might budge it off the floor waiting for the clock to save me. There were tears… lots of them, but there were also many smiles and moments of amazement.
So why do them?
I could go on, but the point I want to drive home to you is that in life, sometimes we have to get uncomfortable. Dive into the unknowable, and ignore the little voice that’s telling you you’re not ready… just give it a whirl! You don’t know until you try it. That goes for the Games athlete to you.
“…sometimes we have to get uncomfortable.”
So, stop telling me you don’t want to compete until you hit “x” movement because you have to start somewhere, and if you wait for that day there’s a possibility it will never come, and no lessons will be learned. For the record, I’m talking individual competition, not the fun “let my team make up for my weaknesses” type. Not that those are bad at all, but there’s nothing like having scores and rankings beside just your name. I also love that I can still attend almost any local competition and say “hello” and share stories with athletes from all across the city. There is a mutual respect we all have knowing we all left our hearts on the competition floor that day.
So what are you waiting for? Be like the Games athletes and let yourself get uncomfortable. I bet you’ll even surprise yourself with the result.
Coach @ Tidal CrossFit Danforth