I love competition. I thrive on competition. That’s why I love CrossFit. We’re all competitors. We compete against our neighbor. We compete against our waistline. We compete against the clock. We compete against our friend who consistently kicks our butt in the daily WOD. Each one of us fighting after the words “3..2..1…GO!” echo in the gym. The most amazing thing about this year’s CrossFit Games South Central Regionals was not the set of amazing athletes and teams that made it to the 2011 Games. All credit is due to them, for their performances were simply remarkable. And I hope the winner of the 2011 Games comes out of South Central. But for me, the amazing thing was watching the rest of the field compete.
Like the competitor from Austin who struggled mightily with her individual deadlift/box jump WOD because the weight a heavy one for her. She could’ve walked away at any moment, but she fought. All alone on that concrete battlefield she fought damn hard until time expired. She competed with everything she had. And every one of us watching cheered when it was over because we could relate. We’ve all known what it’s like when everyone else is done and it’s just us still working on our “goats.” We know what it’s like to keep going when there’s not much left in the tank. And it takes guts and a whole lot of heart.
But we all keep working – because that’s what CrossFitters do.
Or how about the girl Becca from the box in Dallas who’s hands literally burned off (second degree) during the individual 100s WOD. Heck, how about any of the competitors that second day who lost skin and received 2nd degree burns from the bars and kettlebells. Becca literally had nothing on her hands, yet she kept jumping up and grabbing that pull-up bar and kettlebell, determined to keep going until time expired. If you saw her hands, no one would’ve blamed her for quitting. But she didn’t. She kept fighting, kept competing. Still gives me goosebumps to think about. CrossFitters compete. And we compete with class. There were moments of joy and screaming when someone won their respected heat. There was screams from fans when their friends finished a workout.
But you know what you didn’t see? Showboating. Taunting. You didn’t see anything from competitors that would bring shame to the CrossFit community as a whole. Doesn’t matter if you CrossFit in Lafayette, Louisiana, or El Paso, Texas – we are all one big family because we all can relate to what another is going through. One competitor’s struggles are never just theirs. My consistent fight with overhead squats is the same as another person in a box somewhere. And we realize that. So we fight. And compete. And lay it all on the line during the daily WOD. But when it’s over? When it’s over, we hug, we fist bump, we encourage each other – win, lose, or draw. Because we know what’s it like.
We each know what it’s like to struggle with a lift on certain days. We know what’s it’s like to compete with everything we’ve got and it not being enough that day. We each know what it’s like to win too. Like when we hit that PR we once thought impossible. Like when those 10 pounds we never thought we’d lose finally disappear.
That’s what makes CrossFit great. It’s what makes it special. And it’s only going to get better because it’s only going to make us as a community better.
Compete during your daily WOD. Compete for the love of your life. Compete for your dream job. Compete to heal a broken friendship. When we keep competing, refusing to put down the bar and walk away, we are only getting better at doing the same thing in other aspects of our lives. Faith. Work. Dreams. Relationships. Health. You name it – if you desire it, you’ll find a way to compete for it. That’s why I love competition. And that’s why I love CrossFit. Because it’s made me a better competitor.