So you suck at CrossFit, what now? If your name doesn’t start with “Rich,” and doesn’t end in “Froning,” chances are you won’t always top the whiteboard scores at your box. Chances are, you’ll never win a medal at the Games, or even make Regionals. You’ll never have throngs of fans screaming your name, or have thousands of Twitter followers, or get a sponsorship from Reebok.
And that’s ok.
You’re a Crossfitter. Root word: CrossFit. Not: medal, trophy, or championship belt. You’re not good at getting all these awards or high praises. Big deal! You’re not here to get those things anyway. No one ever is. You’re here to do what you love, and that’s to work up a sweat, break your back (metaphorically, of course), and push your limits. Simply put: you’re here to be a better you. And that’s the greatest reward you can get from CrossFit.
Bragging rights? Have you ever thought that the very definition of success may not lie in whiteboard bragging rights but rather in just doing what you love? Don’t let the scores on the whiteboard dictate who you are. Don’t let the whiteboard become the validation for your being a Crossfitter.
Fame? Many elite athletes perform at an exceptionally high level in front of thousands of spectators cheering them on. They’ll haul ass, they’ll grind it out, they’ll do whatever it takes to win. But if you think their passion and dedication begins and ends under the bright lights of the arena, you’re wrong.
A US Olympic basketball team trainer once shared on Reddit that Kobe (ok, not a Crossfitter, but he’s really a good example to prove my point) called him up at 4:15 in the morning and asked him if he could help with some conditioning work. “It took me about twenty minutes to get my gear and out of the hotel,” recalled the anonymous trainer. “When I arrived and opened the room to the main practice floor I saw Kobe. Alone. He was drenched in sweat as if he had just taken a swim. It wasn’t even 5AM.”
They worked out for 75 minutes, before the trainer went back to the hotel to try and salvage some sleep for the 11AM scrimmage that same day. And then:
“This next part I remember very vividly. All the Team USA players were there, feeling good for the first scrimmage. LeBron was talking to Carmelo if I remember correctly and Coach Krzyzewski was trying to explain something to Kevin Durant. On the right side of the practice facility was Kobe by himself shooting jumpers. And this is how our next conversation went — I went over to him, patted him on the back and said, ‘Good work this morning.’”
‘Like, the conditioning. Good work.’
‘Oh. Yeah, thanks Rob. I really appreciate it.’
‘So when did you finish?’
‘Getting your shots up. What time did you leave the facility?’
‘Oh just now. I wanted 800 makes so yeah, just now.’
Kobe doesn’t need fans or awards or Facebook likes to validate his greatness. Kobe doesn’t care about the whiteboard or the crowd that will applaud his score. And so should you. The fame, the glory, the bragging rights – all of those are not what CrossFit is about. Hit your PR even when no one is looking, reach for that final rep even when the cameras aren’t rolling, turn on your beast mode even if you’re not qualifying. Stop thinking about the competition on the whiteboard and simply compete with yourself. Validation comes from you, and not from an inanimate object tied to a wall.