Can I get fitter if I scale?
With competition growing bigger and gaining popularity amongst the CrossFit world; we continue to put more pressure on ourselves about hitting the RX button at the end of our workout and less pressure on our personal goals and journey to being a better person. We start putting more importance on the leaderboard standings than the results on our personal health. The leaderboard can be both our best friend or worst enemy; it can be a tool to build us up or a distraction that tears away from our ultimate goals. I have seen the leaderboard make good people cheat, make the strong willed give up, and the competitive lose heart. I have seen strong athletes and leaders buckle under the pressure and give into self-absorption; they miss out on being a strong leader and start having a false sense of self.
The leaderboard and what you are ranked means nothing about who you are as a person. It in no way defines who we are. It is simply a tool that is meant to push us towards excellence and unify us as a group and community. It is meant to keep track of our progress and create friendly competition amongst our peers. It is not meant for us to gloat about being “better” than others; it is not meant to show who is superior to another.
I received my Level 1 to coach CrossFit in 2009 and since I have watched endless hours of people working out. I have watched people that are “good” at cheating and people who are “good” at doing half reps. I have seen people that continue to do 19 reps a round when there is 20 written on the board; I have seen people not lock out on top of their jerk to save time and energy to continue to the next movement. Squats continue to not hit depth in hopes to claw away at the daily leaderboard. I have seen people at the top, middle, and bottom of the standings who continue to lay aside their standards to feed their own pride.
People are getting discouraged. We wake up in the morning and look at the daily WOD that reads 135 lbs clean & jerk coupled with chest to bar pullups. The insulin starts pumping in our blood. “I just got my C2B last week” we think in our heads. “I did 135 for 10 reps last month” we continue to contemplate the WOD. However, the WOD consist of 75 C2B pullups and 30 clean & jerks. The discouragement already starts to kick in, sitting at breakfast, we notice the morning class is finished with multiple sub 8 min scores. “Crap!!! How in the world am I going to mount up to that?” After feeling sick all day, we finally show up to meet our fate. Then the head coach says load up those bars…. This is where it gets important and this is where we determine how much we are truly going to get out of today’s workout. You don’t have to do RX. That’s right, you do not have to do RX. Just because we can hit movements RX does not mean we have to complete the WOD that way. CrossFit by design is meant to be intense and without intensity in our workouts we are truly missing out on the biggest benefits CrossFit has to offer. We are doing ourselves a disservice when we decide that it is more important to hit RX. It can be way more beneficial to scale and reap the rewards of the high intensity. Remember, if you are staring at your bar, kettlebell, dumbbell, jump rope, etc. more than you are working, you are not going to get the full benefits of your workout. In other words it is going to take longer for you to hit your personal goals.
In conclusion, quit letting your standing for the day determine who you are as an individual and take a step back, whether it be in time or in weight. Sometimes the person that works the hardest and gets the best benefits from a workout is not the person who wins. It matters how much you put in not how much attention you get for your spot on the podium. We all must become less and put our maker, Jesus Christ, first. Let’s remember that our WOD does not define who we are. I love working my butt off with you guys! Please let us take our integrity to higher levels and focus more on making each other better rather than trying to prove how good we are. I am truly blessed to do life with all you guys. Thanks again for making RSCF what it is today.