This weekend our gym had almost twenty athletes compete in a local fitness competition put on by Vintage CrossFit. A few had done competitions like this before, but for many, it was their first time doing a full day fitness competition.
Competing in a competition like this is unlike anything else. Fitness as a sport is unique in that if someone is more fit than you, they are going to win. There isn’t magic (that I have found yet) when 3-2-1 go happens, you obtain abilities and fitness that you didn’t have before. This creates different challenges that most sports do not have. Even in individual sports there other external factors that could play against your opponent that may not factor into your game. In a fitness competition like this, it is only you and your fitness. Nothing else.
This makes for an unusual mental state. Most people think a strong person as someone who can lift the heavy weight but to me, a strong person is someone who can walk up to a barbell and attempt to lift it knowing that it is probably not going to happen. It takes a strong person to pick up a twelve-ounce jump rope and attempt to do double unders in front of dozens of spectators knowing that you are about to struggle for the majority of the next four minutes. Most people would never put themselves in a situation to fail, but we had a strong group of people representing BayWay CrossFit.
It was very cool to see everyone working to the best of his and her abilities. I believe that in each workout everyone gave their all. Whether they finished towards the top or the bottom, everyone pushed their limits and their capabilities.
Most of our competitors were competing on teams of four, and most of them, if not all, had never done a competition with a team of this size. Some had never done a competition at all. Team competitions are more fun because you do not have the individual stress of only relying on yourself, but it provides a different type of pressure because you do not want to let your teammates down. These teams had to learn to synchronize movements with four people, some had to fast-track the learning process to double unders, and some had to learn to step up as a leader. All the teams we had competing did great. Everyone stayed positive and encouraging to others, and everyone gave it their all, and there is not much more you can ask for as a coach.
We had three individual athletes from the gym competing as well, all in different divisions. Two had never competed before and jumped into competing head first. All of them approached each workout with a game plan and executed it better than they practiced. All faced some pretty impressive competition and showed up each event ready to give their all. I saw a lot of hard work and many smiles from them, and again, you cannot ask for more.
Since I started CrossFit in 2010, I have competed at almost every level available in the community. When we started the gym in 2012, I made it a focus not to push competition because I competed. CrossFit is not about competitions but about making people fitter and healthier through constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. If someone wanted to compete, it was going to be because they wanted to compete and not because I influenced them. However, I have to admit that seeing so many of our members competing this weekend made me very happy. Not just because they were representing our gym, and doing it well, but because everyone was enjoying competing just as I have for the last eight years.
Competing gives you something to train for, and shows you what you are good at and what you need to work on. It gives your training purpose. When we go as a community as we did, it also builds comradery and friendships. To me, there is no greater feeling than hearing your friends cheer you on in a workout.
I am very proud of everyone this weekend. Not only in the effort you gave but in how you all represented yourself and our gym. I saw a number of us stay in your heats after you finished to cheer on others still working. You stayed after your heat or showed up early to cheer on our others teams and individuals from our gym, and when the last girl of the competition had to fight through one more round of that horrible interval workout alone, we stayed and cheered her on.
Thank you to everyone. Yall are awesome, and I love you guys!
Robert Wells – 3rd Place!
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