When I started CrossFit 3 ½ years ago I was looking for a way to get back into a healthy lifestyle. I quickly fell in love with the principles and community attending my Level 1 in 2008 and competing in 2009. My first brush with competition left me feeling less than worthy of calling myself an elite athlete. I DNF'ed a WOD at the 2009 regional.
This year, I focused on improving on my weaknesses, with no intention of competing. And a crazy thing happened, I got better! Going into the 2010 CrossFit season, I felt comfortable with the progress I made. Going into sectionals, I knew that as far as my performance, I'd keep a 'good enough or not’ attitude.
Again, the strangest thing happened, I qualified for Regionals! I trained hard, worked my weaknesses, ate right, and went into Regionals calm and collected. I was satisfied that knew I prepared as best as I could. This year, it was good enough to put me in third place at the Central East Regional. I was going to the 2010 CrossFit Games!
I realized through the process that the only person I was competing with was myself. I couldn’t control what anyone else is going to do on game day. All I could do was know that I had done my best to prepare and worked my weaknesses. It's either going to be good enough or it’s not. By focusing on bettering myself, I made it to the 2010 Games. My success was much greater than I had ever expected.
Sadly, I've come across individuals that take CrossFit and competing to an unnecessary and unhealthy level. Their egos get in the way of their progress. Instead of those athletes focusing on bettering themselves each day, they focus on being on the top of the board, no matter the sacrifice. To them I say…"Check Yourself!
Literally, check yourself. Look in the mirror and figure out who you’re competing with and why. Egos don’t make you a top competitor and they don't earn you any respect; bettering yourself mentally, emotionally and physically are the ways that you'll set yourself apart.
Theodore Roosevelt said it best, "speak softly and carry a big stick."