“White (wo)men can’t jump!” or at least this white woman can’t jump. I missed the box again today, I’m thinking about entering a competition for world’s most bruised shins! This got me thinking though, why do I keep trying to jump on top of a box that clearly seems too high for me? What am I trying to prove? And really, what’s the rush? I think it’s quite a common thing in CrossFit (and in life) that we get ahead of ourselves too much, especially when there is some form of competition involved.
Competition is an amazing thing, it pushes us beyond our limits, we keep working far beyond the point where we’d normally quit. It also makes us accountable and gives us something to strive toward for next time. But it’s not without its drawbacks, injury, lack of progression and mental and physical exhaustion are some of the possible outcomes.
When you step into the gym on a daily basis, it’s important to ask yourself, who is it you’re competing against? I believe that true competition should always be with yourself, it’s about improving on yesterday (although some days you might not and that’s ok too). Compromising correct movement mechanics for the sake of a few extra reps or a couple of extra kilos on the bar just so you can be that little bit better than the guy/or girl next to you isn’t helping you in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t challenge yourself, challenging yourself is important for growth, but perhaps just be more sensible about when and how. Sometimes you just have to slow down and be realistic with where you are at right now.
Listen to your coach when they tell you to rest or scale back your movement. Even more importantly though, is to listen to your body. Pushing yourself when you’re clearly not physically and/or mentally up for the challenge only results in a second-rate performance and a poor recovery – it’s not helping you reach your goals any faster. It’s time to leave the ego behind, it doesn’t belong here!