Arbitrary Ideals

If you’re part of the CrossFit community, you’re no doubt inundated by the incessant posting of your social media friends talking about their predictions, opinion and performance on that dreaded thing called 14.1. It’s annoying, right?

Well, here’s one more.

I told myself at the beginning of the Open, that I would do each workout once, and be satisfied with whatever score I managed to get. After all, way back when I started CrossFit, that’s how this stage of competition operated. It was called Sectionals. It was a one-day event, just like Regionals used to be, and you had to bring your A-game.

And then, I did 14.1 yesterday, and didn’t even come close to the score I got on the same exact workout in 2011.

I was pissed. I double-checked the math and considered calling my previous judge and asking if they lied.

So I did it again today around 4 pm. And I still didn’t beat my old score.

So I did it again today about 20 minutes before the score submission deadline, just 3 hours later.

And then, even though I finally beat my 2011 score, I was disappointed that I didn’t break 200 reps.

Gasping for breath, frustrated over 4 missed reps, cursing the CrossFit website that crashed just after I withdrew my afternoon score but before I managed to submit my evening score, I asked myself, “what happened to ‘do it just once’ ?!?”

And I realized, “doing it just once” was an arbitrary ideal. It’s an idea that sounds righteous and committed and purist in my head, but doesn’t actually ring true with what was important to me. Which was seeing improvement over 3 years of training.  And feeling like I could finally string together double-unders. And finally, that happened. I beat my score by a mere 3 reps, and I did my first set of DUs unbroken in about 35 seconds.

But I didn’t realize any of that meant anything to me until it failed to happen twice.

So, now I know, be cautious of my own arbitrary ideals. Don’t try to stick to something because it sounds cool or because I think people will be like, “wow, I couldn’t do that! Better you than me!” Because really, there’s people who would say, “wow, I couldn’t do the workout three times in under 24 hours. Better you than me!” but that wasn’t ever my inspiration. Turns out, being better than the last version of myself is what’s really important to me in this bizarre worldwide experience.

And, it turns out, I am.


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