This past August I competed in my first “real” individuals competition. Judges, standards, prizes… the whole deal. Lucky for me I had just started coaching, and also had a flexible schedule with other work, so I was able to spend hours a day in the gym building strength and chipping away at my weaknesses. My training was strong, individualized, and all about numbers, time, and reps. I completely surprised myself with my performance and left the competition even more excited about training. We lined up 2 more competitions for the fall time and hit the ground running.
The next month came and my training partner went back to work full time, and I picked up another job. And pretty quickly my training time got sliced in half. I was still getting in work but not nearly the same amount, and mostly on my own. The anxiety built as my competitions got closer.
The next competition came and a combo of a surprise addition to one of the workouts (but isn’t that CrossFit) and some really talented competitors left me feeling completely defeated and holding back tears. Very different from the last competition, I went into the next week of training feeling mentally exhausted. It felt like the weeks that followed I had to pep talk myself everyday to do some basic strength work, and metcons were few and far between without anyone there pushing me.
Several sessions I would hold back tears after missing a lift. I started watching other women in my gym continue to build strength as mine seemed to stay static. The whole idea of CrossFit was feeling more like a chore than ever, despite it being my job and passion.
Then a few weeks back I read a great article about the difference between training CrossFit and CrossFit as a sport. And at the end was this quote…
“The goal is just to get fit, make it the best hour of your day, stay safe, turn up the music, high five some people, and blow off some steam. So remember that. RELAX. HAVE FUN. WORKOUT.”- Pat Sherwood
I’ve started getting back into training with the classes at my gym instead of on my own. I’ve also been repeating “make it the best hour of your day” to myself when I’m there. It’s helping.
Competing is a great thing for a lot of reasons. You test yourself. You give every ounce of yourself into something. And it can also be a huge source of motivation and sense of accomplishment. I don’t plan on stopping.
But sometimes taking a step back and keeping it all about just making it the best hour of your day is really the most important thing.