As we enter adulthood, physical fitness competition tends to go down as sports become less common for adults than they are for children and young adults. Competition itself is not gone though. We experience competition daily and we probably notice it in the form of stress at work, with our family life, even in trying to be the best parent or friend we can be.
Competition is a common place in the animal kingdom including humans. It is a part of our biology and we crave it. If we crave it, then why do we either try to avoid it or let it become an unnecessary item of pain? Recently, in the Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday describes competition as an obstacle driving each person to be the best version of themselves. It allows you to win and see a path to success. It allows you to lose and see a path to success. Either one allows you to progress forward, to lean into your weaknesses, and become the best versions of ourselves.
Even still, I hear athletes report they are not going to do the Crossfit Open this year. Common quotes include: “It is very stressful” OR “I do not want to feel pain like that and struggle to recover” AND “It just feels less fun.” Here are my top reasons why you should do the Crossfit Open this year and every year moving forward because under trial we become better leaders, thinkers, and athletes.
THIS IS WHY
Giving yourself the opportunity to train NEUTRALITY
Do not run away from criticism, do not run towards praise. The Open is a great time to start practicing your internal gauge, when the environment is busy can you quiet your mind and stay focused on your goals and your best?
A judge allows you to deal face to face, moment to moment with a path of judgement.
Judgement happens all around us everyday and sometimes we feel judgement even where none exists. This gives you the chance to have a judge and to be able to practice your mindset as someone counts your reps. It holds you accountable. It also helps you realize if there are movement patterns that you did not realize you struggle to hit standards on. This is great knowledge for future training.
Get a PR
Psychological experiments have demonstrated that competition improves reaction times and physical effort during tasks thus improving your outcome! AKA competition is the best time to get a new PR!
A standard each year allows you to objectively see how you have improved.
The Crossfit Open continues to be structured with different tests, but a similar basis of movements and cardiovascular concepts are consistently challenged. This allows you to see from year to year where you fall in your gym, your region, your country, and the world. Data is one of your most valuable resources. Especially if you want to celebrate non-scale victories.
Become happier and more motivated.
Competition can improve your mood and even more crazy… if you enjoy competition and have a positive mood about it, you are more likely to have an improved performance
How cool is it that across the world over those 3 days everyone in every box is performing the same workout? It allows others to share ideas, videos, strategy, love, and support on a whole new level.
As with the community, your own box is filled with elation, celebrations, and support. Gyms are full of Thursday announcement fun, head to head competitions that are light hearted and humorous, Friday night lights, and more.
Embracing the sport at all levels
The scaled athletes, the Games athletes, adaptive athletes, the new to the sport, the veterans, coaches, athletes, RX athletes: everyone gets to celebrate wins. It allows you to see across the boards that the wins are not in our likeness but in our differences and there is a reason for all of us to celebrate each others journey and be proud of our own.
Never stop training your weaknesses
Crossfit is the one sport that if you avoid your weaknesses, you will pay. It makes you face yourself each time with your limitations and improve. If you choose to avoid training your weaknesses head on you will never improve as an athlete in this sport. Review the top, start training neutrality. Weaknesses occur everywhere for everyone. Therefore, come at them with neutrality, do not hate them. Lean into them and learn!
Now go sign up for the Crossfit Open! (Link listed below)
If you are nervous about injury, pain, or want to improve your mobility limitations throughout the Open now is the time to become a Mobility Athlete!