Competing in Crossfit: what’s your why?

Is it too much of a cliche to start this article telling you how I’ve always been competitive? Or how I never truly found myself in a sport until I started Crossfit? Well that’s exactly how this peice begins.

I suppose this isn’t as much a story as it is a personal reflection or observation of where I’m at in the sport. The one thing I like about this platform is being able to just write freely and put out content without restrictions or boundaries to adhere to.

When I started Crossfit as a sport, just under two years ago, my immediate goal was to be a competitive athlete.

As with most people new to the sport, the goal was make it to the Crossfit Games. At the time, I had no scale for how absurd this challenge actually is.

I was blinded by hype of the Froning IV documentary and watching Games athletes, who seemingly did nothing but train every hour of the day.

I thought to myself “if they can, why can’t I?”

I always backed my work ethic to achieve success in most sports I participated in. God knows I’m far from the greatest natural talent the world has ever seen, but I always put the work in. And it almost always payed off.

Without a strong “why” or any real reason for wanting to get to this level of fitness, burnout was inevitable. And I believe it is for most people without a strong “why”. It’s just not sustainable.

My first year in the sport was a steep learning curve, like most, I put volume over intensity. This was a recipe for injury and overtraining.

It also led to a great deal of envy when I saw others progress at a faster rate than me. Ultimately, intensity is the greatest method for garnering adaptation and building the training volume it requires to be a games athlete takes years, not a few weeks.

Somewhere along the way, training stopped being fun. I was spending hours in the gym forcing myself to do things I didn’t want to do, but felt like I had to do.

A friend recently asked me what my “why” is, and I didn’t know how to answer.

The closest or most honest answer I could come up with was when it was purely training for fun; throwing down with your friends, being with a like minded group of people and just going harder than the guy next to you.

This is when Crossfit was at its most pure, enjoyable aspect for me. When I had no intention to even compete really. And that’s what I have been trying to get back to.

Before the Celtic Series this weekend I felt indifferent towards competing at all. With the work I’ve put in over the last few months I felt an unnecessary amount of pressure to win or perform at my best.

The whole week leading up I was unsure whether I would compete again.

Again someone asked me why am I doing this?

I had to check my reality. Is this a journey to the Crossfit games or is this something I want to do because it’s fun?

I think your “why” should be in a constant state of evolution.

So for now, my primary goal is to be present and enjoy Crossfit, have fun and be nice to people.

Whether I compete again is superfluous to my training.

As long as I’m enjoying what I’m doing I’ll keep doing it. When it’s stops being fun that’s when it’s time to move on and find something new.

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