Competition and CrossFit –
In high school and college, competition is what drove me to become a better athlete and basketball player. I wanted to be fast and I wanted to shoot, dribble and pass the ball well, play tough defense and everything else that it takes to win basketball games, because I wanted to WIN. Without the competition, without the wins and losses, I would not have pushed nearly as hard in practice and would therefore not have improved as much as I could.
As an adult, (and I use that word loosely) I stopped competing nearly as much and I later realized that was an element that was missing from my life. I was still active in hiking and other outdoor sports, but I lost some level of conditioning. Without competition, I became less fit. A few years later, I started playing basketball several times a week at the local YMCA and that competition helped motivate me to get in a little better shape. But when I found CrossFit in my mid 30’s, the competitive element of group classes really struck a chord with me… I wanted to be on top of the whiteboard!
One can definitely do CrossFit and never think about competing, but I have seen new members at CFCB, people new to fitness, who would never consider themselves competitive, get excited when they post a score that is not the bottom of the whiteboard. Even for people who wouldn’t say they care about “winning or losing” the feeling of passing someone else in a workout, or of posting a good score on the whiteboard is exhilarating! That daily dose of competition can help provide a little extra bit of motivation for many people, which in turn can help them get fitter, faster.
Some people want to exercise for fun and health, will never run a 10K much less a marathon and have no desire to learn muscle-ups. That’s perfectly ok! But simply being around high level athletes, training beside them on a regular basis and seeing them achieve new levels of fitness can inspire and motivate the average athlete to try a little harder and get a little fitter. Training at CFCB can help you shave a few seconds per mile off your next race while keeping you healthy and strong enough to keep up with your kids at the same time. The intentionally balanced strength work and focused mobility drills will lead to your best possible fitness – which means less chronic pain, higher sores on the whiteboard and better life outside the gym!
For myself, I not only appreciate the daily competition, but have used the occasional formal CrossFit style “functional fitness” competition as extra motivation. I have done several of these events over the last several years and even won my division last year. Previously, I’ve always competed as part of a team, so this weekend’s Reignited Games will be a first for me. I am registered as an individual in the Master’s 35-44 age bracket. I had always participated in team sports and outside of the Open each year, fitness competitions were always a team sport as well. And I have to admit that it makes me a little nervous. But I am sure it’s going to be fun and I am definitely glad that there will be several teams from CFCB at the event too. Wish us luck, or even better, come to cheer us on!