Should everyone compete or not?
Types of athletes
The first thing we should clarify is that in CrossFit we are all athletes from the first day we cross the door of a Box to make our first class. And the main goal of any athlete is always competition.
But before talking about the competition I would like to point out that when we talk about CrossFit athletes there are two categories for as long as I can remember: recreational athletes and elite or professional athletes.
The former would be those athletes who attend classes and occasionally and for the pure pleasure of having fun and measuring themselves participate in a competitive format. We all compete, although sometimes we are not aware of it.
The latter are those who accumulate hours and hours of training with planned seasons and whose objectives during the year are usually marked and clear.
Competition is nothing more than testing our fitness to see our level and compare it with previous levels.
And in this definition, the most important thing is that competing is against yourself, whether you are looking for your RM in class or in the Open against 300,000 athletes.
Perhaps the clearest difference between how a recreational athlete competes or should compete and how a professional athlete competes is fun.
Marcus Filly recently published a post about this. He said that when you’re an elite athlete you rarely have fun, and when you do it’s only for the result. You’ve improved your RM, you’ve dropped a few seconds off your Fran,… and you spend most of your time training, improving, in focus, concentrating. And in that dynamic, there’s usually not a lot of fun.
A recreational athlete has fun or should have fun all the time because his or her aim or objective is not linked to the result of a competition.
Competing is not for everyone
Competing at professional levels requires a lot of sacrifices and very little reward. It requires a lot of self-demand. Sometimes loneliness and misunderstanding. And above all, very high levels of physical and mental stress.
A CrossFit competition lasting 2 or 3 days, and 3 or 4 WODs a day at 95-100% of the body is a wear and tear that not everyone can afford. Either because we are not physically prepared for it or because we don’t have the tools to prepare, face and recover from such an effort.
And this is where I am clear: competing is not for everyone.
It is not healthy to push the body and mind to those levels and, personally, I don’t think everyone is ready for it.
Everyone should participate
What? Didn’t you just say that competing is not for everyone?
Competing professionally is not for everyone. Competing against yourself just for the fun of it and to test your fitness is ideal.
Doing the Open, improving your squat RM (technique always comes first), having fun with your friends doing a WOD, signing up for an obstacle course, improving your 5k run,… that’s competing and as long as it’s something fun and you don’t see it as the sole purpose of your training …. it’s perfect.
Wait, I insist, maybe it’s not clear: don’t see it as the only purpose of your training.
The purpose of training and taking care of yourself is health. Quality of life. Longevity.
No, not aesthetics either. Your health.
Test your fitness level
In the Crossfit pyramid, the base is nutrition, then metabolic conditioning, gymnastics, working with external weights and finally “sport”.
Well, there’s your answer: try other sports, go out into nature, hike, climb a hill…. use your training outside the box, play with your children or your nieces.
This is the best competition you can take part in: Realise how many things you can now do without effort that previously cost you many sacrifices and even pain.
From Virginia Finol.
The competition is nothing more than a test of our fitness, to recognise our level and compare it with previous levels.