Ooops…I let time slip away and missed our Wednesday special! I was pondering all week what I would talk about and my “partner in crime” (@osuelf) came up with the idea of entering a competition. Which is a GREAT idea; so here I am to try to convince you that you should enter a competition once in your CrossFit life.
I know, I know…not everyone has a desire to compete and I generally get that. But last year (about this time in fact), my blogging partner and another two athletes from our gym signed up for our very first ever competition. It was a women’s scaled division and it was outdoors, in 45 degree F weather in a day that rained more than it didn’t. So we were cold, wet and miserable anytime we weren’t competing. The WODs were tough, but doable and I left that day feeling like a million bucks for getting out there and competing.
Since you will ask … we came in last. I don’t know our scores compared to the other teams, but none of us had competed, one of us was barely 18, two of us would have been qualified for the Master’s category and one had a baby 3 months prior to the event. I’m not making excuses for our placement. Because honestly, I don’t even care about that.
Here’s why you should compete at some point. There is an adrenaline factor at a competition that is tough to duplicate on a daily basis in the box. You somehow find it in yourself to dig just a little deeper, move just a bit longer, just a bit faster. At least I did. One of the events involved a short sprint (maybe 50m) and one of my coaches said he’d never seen me run that fast before! So even the coaches and judges can learn things about their athlete’s abilities. I’ve read numerous stories about athletes getting their first toes-to-bar or first (insert movement) at a competition because adrenaline will enable you to dig just a bit deeper. Since you are already putting yourself out there just to compete, you might as well go ahead and TRY a move that you avoid at the box, simply because you’ve never done it before, or you get stuck in a comfort zone, or you get the phrase, “I can’t do that” stuck in your head.
I’m calling the year of 2016 the “Year of the Competitions” for me. I’ve done nearly one every month of the year (there wasn’t anything in May, but I did two in June) and I was signed up for one in September, but injured my shoulder, so my coach pulled me, reminding me that I was in this CrossFit game for the long haul. But I have to admit, I’m HOOKED on the anticipation, the adrenaline, the nerves and the cheering for EVERYONE that goes on at these competitions. One per month might have been too much for my 48-year old self. But I plan to contintue to compete, volunteer, or otherwise be involved in as many as I can from here on out.
Am I interested in competing at The CrossFit Games as a Master’s athlete? No. I know I’m not THAT good. But I do like the feelings that arise at a competition. You can’t get those feelings anywhere else. So get out there; compete with all your heart and care not about your final score!