"Check your ego at the door"…

is a common saying in CrossFit. It applies universally to any CF box. The moment you walk through that door, leave the ego behind. Those of us who CrossFit, get it. You cannot come in day after day and have an ego. You won’t last. If you fear getting beat by someone who is older, younger, heavier, skinnier, male or female, you will not stick with this. Because simply put you will get beat. Often. It’s not about who you “lose” to. It’s also not about who you “beat”. The only person you are really competing against in here is yourself. 

Everyday we battle that inner voice, the one that tells you to take a break, drop the bar, slow down, quit or stop. The one that says “I can skip today because work was long, I had a bad day, I didn’t get enough sleep, I have too much to do”. During each WOD, you have enough to focus on rather than taking the time to worry about those around you. Is it fun to chase someone else or to win the day on the whiteboard? Sure it is. The bigger fun is seeing the results, setting a new PR, and doing things we never thought we could or would. That is what we really take pride in.

I got an email from one of our clients (Jim) the other day that really was great to read. The topic was “CrossFit doesn’t get easier”. Jim went on to say the following:

First of all, I just broke my recent personal best by more than 2 minutes in the 2 mile tonight. I ran 2 miles about 2 days before my 1st CrossFit lesson in May. So in 2 months, I have reduced my mile split by 1 full minute. 

But here is what I was thinking when I was running. Before, when I ran, I feared the pain. I ran just to increase the heart rate and get a small burn.  When I was finishing the run in the past, I was just barely crossing the “finish line”.  Now after CF, pain has a whole new meaning. My pain threshold is much higher now. At the end, I sprinted to beat the clock…missed it by a second. 

The thing that I find interesting is comparing CF to past lifting I did and sports I played. What I have to get used to the most is losing, it sucks. I have never been beaten physically like this regarding sports. You got me thinking last night after the WOD. If you remember, I made the comment “damn Tom when does this get easy?”. You replied, “this is CrossFit…it doesn’t get easy.”  

But that is contrary to every workout I have ever done before, as they progressively became easier as I did more reps. So I have to rethink my approach to working out a little. And what I have thought is that this won’t get easier as time goes on…but that is good.

CrossFit is hard. Why? Because we always are striving to do more than yesterday. More weight, better technique, faster time, more rounds or reps, more effort. That is the pathway to becoming fitter. It never gets easier, but we get better.

This video I shot at the Games illustrates this. It shows Josh Everett tackling the deadlift WOD. Is he competing against everyone at the Games? Yes. But as you see in the video he is really competing against himself. Maybe he makes the deadlifts look easy, but he is clearly battling that inner voice, telling himself he will lift them all. And that ego? It’s checked somewhere at the door…