Last weekend was difficult for me, personally. On Thursday, I had gone in to Crossfit Bolt to make my first, and hopefully only, attempt at Crossfit Games Open workout 13.3, which consisted of a 12 min. AMRAP of 150 Wall balls, 90 Double-Unders, and 30 MU. Rinse and repeat if you reached the end. When I went in, I just didn’t feel mentally or physically “right”, so I held off for Friday. The next day, I went in thinking I was ready to only have the same thing happen. My anxiety about this workout was through the roof. I was nervous, fearful – almost to the point of being sick. It may have been because I had such high expectations for myself, but who knows? I wanted to get through the first set of muscle ups and back to the wall. I knew I could do it.
Let me take a step back and explain how every time I go to compete, I get myself worked up over my performance, the outcome, my form, my placement, actually doing the work, etc. much like any athlete does. But usually, about 5-10 minutes before I start, I get very calm and collected. The fire, confidence and intensity start to build, peaking when the clock beeps to start. Then I’m just moving. *I’ll leave my inter-competition mindset for another post.
Back to Friday… I had been on the verge of starting the workout multiple times. But I just couldn’t shake the nerves and the fear. Something was wrong, and I couldn’t move on. I started the workout anyway. I felt pretty good up to the muscle-ups. I completed 3 sets of three. Then I had a miss. Strange… That shouldn’t have happened that early. Right ring strap slipped down. Crap… I spent the next 5 minutes muscling every single rep up, failing upwards of 6-8 of them. I dropped off with 10 seconds left and just walked away. I was disgusted; disgusted that I knew I had failed myself, failed my wife, failed my coach/training partners, failed my gym (CF Bolt), and failed my friends and family.
I checked out on Saturday and just got away from everything. I needed some time to myself. I resolved to retake the workout, something I’m almost always against. I needed to prove to everyone and myself that I’m better than that, especially for a Games hopeful. So I went in on Sunday, just as nervous and anxious as before and sore to the point that an air squat was a bit of a struggle. My goal was the same. I asked that I not have a big cheering section for this one. I wanted them there, just not out in the actual gym. And it happened again. I just couldn’t shake the pressure.
I was then pulled aside by a close friend of mine, Robyn. She looked me in the eyes, and told me this: “Court, we don’t care. We don’t care! We love you anyway, no matter what. I love you. Your wife loves you. Matt, your friends, your family, we all love you. And God loves you. You’ve done so much for all of us, more than anyone expects you to do. And we love you for that. That’s all the matters”. There were a few other things said, but this is the important stuff.
I was instantly calm and collected. My judge and coach yelled at me and asked, “you ready?” Yes. Game time. Though the soreness and knee pain never receded, the confidence had returned. I was able to succeed, bettering my score to the point that I now sit at #1 in the region overall.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own heads, with our high expectations not only of our own performance, but at how that performance is viewed by others, that we lose sight of what really matters in life. Thankfully, I’m surrounded by some of the best friends (whom I consider family) anyone could have. I hope everyone is so lucky. Compete for the things and people that really matter.
Thank you, Robyn.