This may be an easier question for some of you to answer than for others, but after our CrossFit New Years (the day after the CrossFit Games is always the start of the next CrossFit year for me) hopefully things have been brought into perspective for you.
As part of my role with the Media Dept. during the Games I was assigned to interview a couple dozen of the individual competitors and one of the questions I was told to ask was “why do you compete?”
It was interesting to hear the different responses people gave. Some do it for the thrill, others do it because it’s all they know and they’ve been competing in some way for their entire life. There are athletes that are competing on behalf of family members who can’t or simply because they have fun doing it. Whatever the reason, these athletes spent their entire year training to compete – they better know why they do it.
CrossFit competitions are consuming our community right now. The Sport of Fitness has found it’s niche group and is milking it with a different invitational, challenge, throwdown, showdown, shakedown, smash-, crush-, clash every weekend!
Whether it is because CrossFit has helped people everywhere find their inner athlete, or because CrossFitters feel the need to put their training to the test, competing in CrossFit has become the new standard. There is even a website dedicated to posting ALL local CrossFit competitions by region: http://www.crossfit-competitions.com/
This is fine. Great even. I believe in empowering people. I am passionate about helping people to achieve their goals and to show people that they have the fire inside themselves to do anything. The problem I’m having is seeing a CrossFit generation full of athletes competing without always knowing why.
As for me, training year round for the CrossFit Games can be exhausting. I routinely have to slap myself and refocus my mind on what I want and what I care about. I can’t live my life for only one weekend out of the year and sometimes it feels like that’s what I’m doing.
CrossFit is so much more than competition. CrossFit is the program that is going to help you win at life. CrossFit is the way you get stronger so you can live longer and live better. CrossFit is bringing people together in a common suffering that shows you that no matter what you can always finish what you started.
Competing in CrossFit, as with sports, is one way to add intensity to what would otherwise just be considered exercise. Ultimately, you should be competing against yourself everyday you step into the gym to train.
Amongst my friends at the gym and the clients I train I have repeatedly run into the athletes who compete on the local level because they feel obligated, or guilt-ridden, or left out if they don’t. What?! These athletes are killing themselves to train, learn new skills, and ignore injuries so they can make it to the next stage in the series or whatever happens to be going on that weekend. And they have no real answer as to why they’re doing it.
It has become the thing to do, so they do it. Not good enough anymore. If you sign up, you better have a good reason as to why. You better enjoy what you’re doing otherwise what is the point? I don’t know if some people have lost track of why they CrossFit and I don’t know if they know for certain why they compete.
But I know why I compete. I do it because I love it. I love the rush I get before and the adrenaline that carries me into the event. I love performing in front of spectators and having crowds of people watching what I’m doing. I love challenging others to be their best because I’m not letting down. I love seeing what I am capable of when the stakes are high. I do it because it’s more fun than anything and I will keep doing it until it isn’t anymore.