The 2015 CrossFit Open is upon us, and we just finished WOD 15.2, and I find myself in the exact same spot as last year…And the year before…And the year before that…And the year before that…
I’ve always placed top 100…Every year…Never moving up that damn Leaderboard…Never making Regionals…
I could type up my entire sob story for you right now, but I’ll spare you the dramatics and just get right to the point…
I don’t think I really care to quality for Regionals, or ever to make it to the Games…At least, not as an individual, and not at this point in my life.
Say what, coach?!!
Well…Here’s the thing…
I’ve always done fairly well, and thoroughly enjoy team competitions. Always! But, time and time again, I give individual a shot, and I find myself miserable and frustrated every single time.
Team competitions, I get excited and always have fun and treasure for a lifetime.
Individual competitions, I want to throw up, and secretly, I don’t get pleasure out of it at all.
I actually hate individual competitions! And, I’ve never been able to admit that out loud until now.
I think Regionals has just been this meaningless goal that I placed on myself right from the start, just because. It’s the same as how we just always have had “Rx” in our WODs…Because that’s just always how it’s been done…But, then when we finally questioned it, we realized there was a better way for us, and now it’s actually more awesome at the workouts!
Regionals was always this goal that was just assumed on me from the start…I progressed rapidly in CrossFit and showed a lot of potential, and so instantly, I was pegged for competition.
It’s all I’ve ever known in CrossFit —> Competition.
It’s never been a true hobby or lifestyle for me.
I’ve never experienced it the way 99% of you have and currently are.
I think I’ve always wanted Regionals because it’s always been expected of me by others. I’ve allowed this label to define me and control my CrossFit training, when in reality, it’s not important enough to me.
And I know it’s not important enough to me, because when I got pregnant in November, my first thought was, “Hooray! We’re having a baby, AND I don’t have to worry about the Open this year!”
And then, when the pregnancy didn’t work out, my first thought was, “Damn…Now I have to actually do the Open and try for Regionals again…F***!”
Not the words of a champion…And, definitely not the words of a Regionals-hopeful.
These are the words of someone who needs to re-evaluate her goals, and then be honest about them – With herself, and everyone else.
These are the words of someone who’s been suffering from “competition depression” for too many years, and needs to remedy the situation.
Regionals Team? YES! That actually excites me! Thinking about my team in 2016, and the thought of hopefully competing with my “family” out in that stadium gets me pumped and ecstatic!
Regionals Individual? No…Nope…Not really. It doesn’t excite me the way Team does. And, it actually stresses me out and makes me turn away.
So, what’s the deal, coach?!
Let me make some confessions here, and lay it all out for you in black and white…
Back when I first started competing in CrossFit, I participated at Sectionals, which is similar to Regionals now, except that you didn’t have to qualify for Sectionals (CF wasn’t that big, yet), you just signed up for it and competed with every other hopeful.
That was by far one of the worst experiences for me personally, because after every workout, I ran to the women’s bathroom and cried my heart out in disappointment at my performance.
In hindsight, I really wasn’t ready for that competition, both physically and mentally. I was thrown in to it, and I went in with complete naivety and lack of experience. I chased waterfalls, when I should have been sticking to the lakes and rivers. 😉
From there, it set the stage for all the years to come in my CrossFit career.
I should have stepped back from competition after Sectionals, and re-started my training with fitness in the forefront, and a break from competing.
But, I didn’t. And, I never have since then. And, I think I’ve been battling with “competition depression,” as I call it, since that day.
I say I want it, I mostly train like I’m going for it, BUT, really I do and say just enough to play the part well, when really, I am constantly fighting and struggling inside.
After every team competition, I am left elated and grateful.
After every individual competition, I am left defeated and deflated.
Today, after completing 15.2, I walked outside to be alone for a few minutes, and I ended up sitting on the curb crying my heart again…I was back inside that bathroom stall at Sectionals so many years ago.
I had to really think for a moment, and answer some hard questions as honest as possible with myself.
Why aren’t you climbing that Leaderboard each year? Why is everyone else passing you by, and you’re still exactly where you started?
Because, I haven’t been training hard enough to really earn it. I’ve been allowing everything else in my life to be more important than this. I’ve neglected my weaknesses time and time again. And, I’ve even let some of my strengths plateau. I’ve self-sabotaged this entire thing.
Why aren’t you doing more? Why aren’t you training harder and hitting your weaknesses? You know what you have to do to get there, so why aren’t you doing it?!
Because, I like the idea of it more than the actual work of it. Because, I don’t like individual competition. Because, I’m just not wired to be an individual, I’m designed to kick ass with a team, but I haven’t been able to really see that and admit it until now. Because, I’ve been trying so long to force myself into this mold, but it’s not my mold to fill. And, because it just hasn’t been important enough to me to make it a #1 priority like other things in my life.
So, what is really important to you, then?! Why are you doing the Open? Who are you doing it for?!
It’s important to have fun and enjoy the ride! I keep doing the Open the way I’ve always known it to be, and the way I think everyone expects me to be, but really, I don’t know anymore why I do the Open, because every year, it makes me miserable and unhappy, and I always end up burning out and taking about 2 to 3 weeks off from CrossFit by the end of it. I’ve been doing the Open for everyone else, and NOT myself. It’s never been for me. Never.
So, what do you want?! What will make you happy in CrossFit?
I want to walk away from individual competition, at least, for this point in my life, and focus on just having fun in my CrossFit workouts, and enjoy more team competitions, and put more effort and focus on Team Regionals with my friends. I’m always happy with my teammates. Always. That is my home. That is where I belong. That is where I want to be.
So, what about the rest of the Open?!
I’ll still do my absolute best, however, it’s not for everyone else, anymore. It’s not for Regionals (And, honestly, it never was), it’s not to prove anything to anyone, and it’s not even for the sake of competition anymore.
It’s learning to let go of this heavy false pressure I’ve been putting on myself, thinking that everyone expects this of me, when really, those who love me and support me just want to see me happy and successful in whatever route I choose, and whether or not I ever qualify for Regionals, they will be proud of me regardless of my placement on the Leaderboard.
It’s time to finally do what I should have done over 5 years ago.
Take a step back and re-prioritize my goals and aspirations for ME, and not the world. Admit that I’m not an individual competitor, but I AM an awesome teammate!
Stop the vicious cycle that I torture myself through every year during the Open.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
I’ve been driving myself insane for far too long.
I need closure from Sectionals.
I need a new outlook on CrossFit and competition.
I need inner peace.
And, that is what I’m going to do!