For some the word incites a rush of excitement, while for others the mere thought of a competition might make them want to rush to a corner and barf. Sometimes it’s a mixture of both.
When I joined CFL I never, ever, thought I would sign up for a competition. I mean, I was barely making it through the workouts people! I remember watching a group of fellow members huddle around an iPad to watch something called the CrossFit Open announcement and questioning their sanity as they cheered and groaned for a workout that would be done by CrossFit athletes across the world.
In the years I have spent sweating with the awesome people at CFL I’ve learned some things about competition.
Most people aren’t there to win (though if you can, go for it!)
It is a way to see what you can do under pressure
Team events are super fun
Comps have an electric excitement to them
When “working out” can become “training”, it reignites your fire for pushing yourself in the day-to-day WODs.
Nobody will judge you for not being the strongest or best, they are proud that you were brave enough to try.
I talked to some of our members who have competed in events both local and out of state and asked them the simple question, “What do you love about competitions?”
Aside from the responses involving free beer, winning by default in your age bracket and creating ridiculous team names, I was able to get to the core of what makes someone just like you and me sign up for a CrossFit competition.
“Unfortunately, I'll never be a games athlete so competitions are all about fun for me. It's a great way to push yourself. Nothing we experience in our own box, in our comfort zone, will compare to a competition setting. We're all competitive on some level or we wouldn't be CrossFitters. Competitions just take it to the next level. For me the thrill (or terror) of warming up for an event that might have movements I haven't perfected, practiced or even attempted is indescribable, not to mention being surrounded by strangers watching the event and a judge watching my every movement ready with a "no rep" if I fall short of movement standards. I love the excited, scared, adrenaline fueled intensity that you can only experience in competition.”
“I like wanting to beat someone else while simultaneously cheering them on. Also cheering on the last place person louder than the first place person”
“I love that they always push me past what I think I can do!”
"I like the anticipation of the unknown and seeing how I stack up against other people and teams. Oh and it's fun when I can beat the 20year olds! ;) "
“I love the mixture of humbling moments competition brings and the community aspect. I like that even the last finishers are cheered on. Also so many people get new PRs (Personal Records) at competitions after completing multiple workouts, very fun to watch!”
Signing up for a competition does not mean you think you are perfect. It doesn't mean that you won't struggle or fail. I sure doesn't mean that it will be easy. What it does mean is that you were brave enough to say, “Why not me?”, “What if…”
Maybe you are new to CrossFit or are unsure of your abilities. That's ok and no one will ever FORCE you to join a competition. However, I will encourage you to think about it. Maybe not this month or even this year, but think about saying “yes” to the challenges and growth competition can give.