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Competition from a Non-Competitor’s Perspective

By May 13, 2016No Comments

I don’t like competition.

I quit running track in high school because the pressure to win ruined the fun for me (Yes, I enjoyed running… CrossFit oxymoron, right?). I stood at the starting line with a stomach full of worry, dreading every moment of the suffering and anxiety in the competition to come. “Suffering” partially because running is hard, but mostly because I was afraid. I didn’t want to lose. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself.

So I quit. I decided I’d still work to improve my running, but only for the sake of personal accomplishment.

Enter, CrossFit. I was introduced to barbells and burpees my sophomore year of high school when my parents started working out at a box in Lawton. It was the first type of “workout” I’d done that wasn’t running—and I loved it. The owner and everyone at the box made us feel welcomed and not at all like the “beginners” we were. I loved testing my limits to see how strong I was, and trying to be better than my last workout. I loved competing with myself. And I can’t deny the satisfaction I felt when I got to scrawl my name in Expo marker on the leaderboard for Bench Press.

Fast forward five years and I’m working in Norman at CrossFit 405 South, getting ready for my first CrossFit competition.

Based on my past experience, I didn’t think I would ever compete in CrossFit. The weightlifting and insane cardio was my daily workout, something I did for me to stay healthy. The pressure of competition would ruin that, right?

But it’s hard to see your WOD score compared to everyone else’s and not feel a little fire inside you. There’s something about seeing your name on a leaderboard (whether you’re on the bottom or the top) that makes you want to do better.

Plus, I know I don’t step out of my comfort zone as much as I should. I don’t like to do things I’m not good at. And it doesn’t matter if I’m at the top of 405 South’s leaderboard, I still doubt myself and stack ten pounds on the bar when I should add twenty.

So a few months ago I promised myself I would sign up for the next competition that came along—knowing I would be uncomfortable, knowing it would be scary. When a few members at 405 South said they needed another girl on their team for Bricktown Throwdown, I volunteered.

Bricktown Throwdown is a team CrossFit competition in Oklahoma City, so I’m taking baby steps (compete alone—no, thank you). But in a way, this adds more pressure. If I don’t do well, not only do I let myself down, but I’ll hurt my team. The athletes here at 405 South have become like my family, and I’d hate to drag them down because I didn’t try my hardest.

So here I am, less than two weeks before the competition, feeling woefully unprepared overwhelmingly excited. I’m excited to try something I’ve never done, to push my limits, and to support and hang out with the awesome people I’ve come to know at CrossFit 405 South.

Those are my goals at the Bricktown Throwdown competition. Not to win, or stress out over a score. I want to push my limits, to be uncomfortable and force myself to keep going. I want to be there for my teammates, and to make myself proud because I did something that terrifies me.

I’ve heard multiple people say they don’t think they’ll enjoy CrossFit because they’re not competitive. They don’t have that “grizzly bear” mentality or overwhelming desire to win. And that may be true—at first. But you don’t have to love competition to love CrossFit—I certainly didn’t. You can love it because it makes you healthier, or because it’s the only hour of your day you devote to yourself (moms, I’m looking at you). Then, maybe one day, one of your WOD buddies will talk you into doing The Open, and you love it. And then a competition rolls along, and who knows—you might sign up, full of doubts and fears—but glad because you’re stepping out of your comfort zone. You’re challenging yourself, and that alone is a win.

 

What scares you about CrossFit, or scared you before you started? What’s holding you back? Share in the comments!

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