CrossFit or any kind of competitive environment can bring out the best and the worst in us! There is phrase in the CrossFit community, “Check your ego at the door” that we like to use freely and joke about it. There is nothing more humbling than thinking you are in the best shape of your life, only to then come into a CrossFit class and realize you aren’t ON THAT LEVEL (whatever level that is).
Here is some news….every person who is doing CrossFit feels that every day. Just like in life, there is always someone better than you. There is also someone worse than you or newer in the process than you. No matter where you are in your experience, you have to reconcile in your mind that you just want to be better than yesterday. You just want to improve in some area of fitness.
Now that we know that little bit about feelings of the athletes in the gym, we need to address those who want to conveniently “miscount” reps in class, otherwise known as shaving reps. As a coach, I don’t really care if you do or don’t post a score. There are many reasons to post your scores outside of comparing yourself to others, but that is a totally different topic. Most people just come to get fit, be a better mom or dad, and have some fun with cool people. THEN, that competitive edge starts to poke through. We all feel it happening to us.
There is typically a person in the gym who is around your age, started when you started, and you are low-key “chasing him or her” on the app scoreboard. It is what is so amazing about CrossFit but also the worst part of CrossFit. No one wants to care but they do. If you are someone who is consistently posting and getting in the top 3 at your gym, then you find out that the person posting who is #2 is shaving their reps each round, it gets under your skin.
Believe me when I say, no one wants to care. We don’t! Who wants to be that petty and immature to care if someone did all their reps or fudged a little on their time? It’s a terrible feeling but we all crave justice in the world now don’t we? Doing the mental dance in your head trying to make it ok is really impossible in the long run.
- “Well, they’re only cheating themselves.”
- “Does anyone else notice this? I don’t want to say anything, but damn!”
- “I’m just here to be better. It shouldn’t bother me, but why am I so irked?”
- “That person is just insecure and needs to win to feel important. What a shame. I’ll just let it go.” But you’ll secretly keep stewing about it.
- “I’ll ask the coach what the rules are. Maybe the coaches don’t know”
NEWSFLASH: The coaches knew before you told us.
So why does it matter? One reason…INTEGRITY.
Most members at any CrossFit gym are just average athletes that have other jobs and lives outside of their 60-minute workout time. We cross paths with each other in the gym knowing that outside the gym, in our daily routines, we may never have gotten to know one another. It’s a break from our daily grind and a way to connect with people from all walks of life.
What message are you sending about yourself?
In tough workouts, you learn a lot about character and how a person handles struggle. Every workout is a struggle on some level. Some days the workout is in your wheelhouse and other days it plays on your weaknesses. It parallels life in more ways than you can imagine. This is also why it has been life changing for so many. We learn and grow from overcoming weaknesses. When you do things you never thought you could do, you get stronger and you become more confident. Don’t cut corners on that process!
No one really cares if you cheat yourself out of getting the best workout and pushing yourself further than you thought you could go. That part is on you, and your coaches should be encouraging you to get out of your comfort zone. But if you post up your score comparing yourself to others and you are getting in the top 3 positions consistently, you better believe people will pay attention when you shave a few reps here and there.
At the end of the day, when it comes to getting fit and healthy, your scores don’t matter at all. If you find yourself too competitive and it’s causing issues, simply stop posting your score. Stop looking at others’ scores. Seriously, some people can’t handle it. Do our bootcamp instead, where we don’t take those scores so seriously. Just have some fun already! It’s a workout. Well done! Now go home, hug your kids and eat your veggies!