Some might argue that the 2014 CrossFit Games Open is really all inclusive when the scores of the elite athletes are often double, triple or more than the rest of the competitors. But all inclusive doesn’t mean the scores are going to be close, but rather we all have the same workouts, the same scoring mechanism and the same opportunity to surprise ourselves. How cool is it that your name, however far down, is on the same list as people like Ben Smith, Talayna Fortunato or Sam Briggs?
The last two weeks at Modig Fitness have been nothing short of inspiring and exciting, which in large part can be attributed to the Open. How many of you have surprised yourself? Gotten your first double-under? Your first chest to bar pull up? Or have you reignited your competitive spirit? The one that occasionally comes out during a daily WOD, but as of late harkens back to those days playing basketball, volleyball (insert your sport of preference!) when you were just dying to get back in the game? 14.3 is just two days a way…and I’ll bet you’re dying for another crack at it, aren’t you? While you’re readying your game face, chalking your hands and incessantly watching CrossFit YouTube videos, take a minute and read the following article. Written by fellow CrossFitter, Lisbeth Darsh, and posted on the CrossFit Games website on March 7th titled “I Only Got 306 Fewer Reps than Talayna Fortunato,” its a great read.
Talayna Fortunato scored 320 reps on 14.2.
I scored 14. And we both posted our scores.
Some people might argue it takes courage to sign up for the Open and do the Open workouts. But it also takes courage to get a low score on an Open workout and submit it anyhow.
Now, before you jump on the “I don’t have to tell anyone my score” bandwagon, or the “You’re picking on everyday athletes” parade float, hear me out. I’m not judging, nor am I encouraging mediocrity. I am saying that mediocrity exists and that sometimes you’re looking at it in the mirror. At least I was on 14.1.
My double-unders sucked and I did the workout anyway. I got what I consider mediocre results (117 reps, good enough for 148th place among 245 Masters Women 45-49 in Northern California), but it was the best I could do at that time on that day with the body and mind I possess. And 14 was all I had in me on 14.2 on Friday morning.
But here’s the salient point: I submitted both scores.
Why is that important? Because it’s the CrossFit thing to do. Part of CrossFit is admitting where we are, not just where we would like to be. The road to better starts with the truth. Better doesn’t come out of your bar or your wrist wraps or where you did your workouts. The road to better comes out of you, and you first have to admit the truth to yourself.
And the truth is that I’m not always the athlete I want to be.
I don’t have a problem admitting my weaknesses and showing them to the world. Heck, I showed my scores to 20,000 people right away. In the social media world, I have a rule: go big or go home. I don’t have the same rule in the gym.
Now, maybe some people can’t handle the spotlight of failure. Maybe they can’t handle the truth. Sometimes the truth is too much. Sometimes a person has a tipping point—just an ounce over on the scale and BOOM—human eruption. Or meltdown. A dissembling of spirit. And so they don’t want to submit their low scores.
But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Life is what you make it, so stop judging yourself so harshly. Stop expecting that others will judge you. Easy to say, I know, but try it.
George Sheehan, in his classic tome Running and Being wrote: “I do my best. I remain patient and enjoy. And most of all I make no judgments except about effort. There I demand the most and more.”
If you’ve demanded the most and more of yourself, there is no reason to hang your head. So you are not as good as others on a workout. Fine. They are not as good as you in other ways. Celebrate their success and move on. Celebrate your commitment to effort and move on. Your score is not you. It’s a reflection of who you are at this one moment in time. That’s all it ever was.
If we truly leave our egos at the door of our CrossFit gyms, then we should post our scores—good, bad or mediocre. Don’t be afraid to tell the world, “This is me.”
And then go jump into the next workout.
As George Sheehan reminds us, “Courage, then, has nothing to do with a single act of bravery. Courage is how one lives.”