Comparison versus Competition
Compete with Yourself
Over the past few weeks I am pretty sure that I’ve referenced this idea more than twenty times and usually when something keeps popping up so much it’s worth talking about. I think this concept is relevant to anyone that has ever suffered an injury or felt the effect of time’s passage or been new to CrossFit. So basically this affects everyone at the gym at some level. One of the best things about the grassroots CrossFit origin story is in some ways its worst. CrossFit attracted competitive people who wanted to push themselves and who wanted to win. People gathered in garages and used new training methodologies to lift more and work harder than people had before, and sometimes safety was a distant afterthought. CrossFit has undergone a dramatic facelift since 2008, but that drive to win and that competitive nature has stayed although it has matured in most good gyms. And competition is what we are here to talk about.
Every person can be and should be competitive; not competitive in CrossFit and not competitive really in any sport (unless they want to), rather we should all compete within ourselves to become a better version of ourselves everyday. We do have a small group of people that compete in CrossFit and they know the dangers of the sport and they have signed up for those. That’s not what CrossFit is. CrossFit was created for health and wellness; a goal of CrossFit is to push yourself and not being pushed by those around you.
I tell a lot of our brand new members not to worry about how other people are doing in their class and I ask them to only compete with themselves. CrossFit creates athletes and I like to think that we are good at what we do. We have a lot of really amazing athletes here. If someone comes in off the street, goes through our onramp process, and then expects to be as good as people who have been here for four years they are going to be really disappointed. Always compete with yourself in CrossFit.
Don’t Compare Yourself
Where injury or self doubt occurs is when we start to compare ourselves to others. Comparison has a lot of faces and manifests itself even in the most unlikely hosts. “I just want to keep up with … X,” is one of the phrases I sometimes hear from discouraged athletes. No one needs to keep up with anyone else in CrossFit, it’s a place where all levels of athlete are welcome and all walks of life are welcome. We workout together, suffer through the same workout, and cheer for whoever is still working out when we are done. We don’t teach our athletes to keep up because that’s not the goal, the goal is to push yourself and work within your capabilities. CrossFit is hard and no one has the same set of skills or movement patterns. It’s just not realistic to expect to do the same as anyone else. And beyond that it doesn’t really matter what anyone else does on the workout. It’s all about you.
I have a lot of thoughts about the competition side of CrossFit and you can find those in our blog here. I run my competitive squads like a professional team, it is rigid, it is not for everyone and it is not designed to be. If anyone is interested in what we do you can always email me and I’ll tell you all about it.