I was completely annoyed on the Letter of Intent Day comments how a lot of you posted numbers that you wanted to hit in training as opposed to posting competition goals. The whole point of Gant’s post was to commit to competing — and barely any of you did that! Well, now I’m going to piss a lot of you off, because I have to inform you that You Are A Coward. Some times the truth hurts. Coward.
The other day I was talking to a cute gal, and she said that she was skeptical of competing because she was afraid of losing. She was just being honest in our conversation (perhaps she was opening up to me like a flower?). In any case, I set her straight by informing her that competing isn’t only about winning, especially in your first try. She agreed, but it may have just been my charm.
In any case, avoiding competition makes you a yella-belly-coward. Gant, who has been in more competitions than Michael Jordan, gives great insight when he says that competing will help you learn about yourself. There is a reason that sport builds character, and this is probably the most enduring quality about competing.
A lack of competition is never a good thing. Our society likes to coddle people, and those people make it a habit to do very little for themselves. This concept becomes embedded deep in their primitive brain, and there is the expectancy of someone else to provide goods, services, and even money. This type of person becomes frightened into doing anything out of the ordinary and accomplishing things on their own. They get scared of taking risks.
Sport is an obnoxiously appropriate way to safely exercise your ability to put yourself out on the line and to risk something. Fearing failure is identical to being a failure.
Competing in sport forces you to experience things that you otherwise may not. In life, you may purposely place yourself in safe situations in which you can’t fail. People do this all of the time, but the most successful people in history didn’t become successful by being safe and conservative.
Sport and competition are not always rosy endeavors. I’ll remind you that I just bombed the piss out of my weightlifting meet on Saturday. I spent three months of hard training in preparation for that meet, and I failed in all of my goals. What, you think I’ll just give up because I don’t want to be embarrassed in front of a bunch of people at a meet again (and technically lots of people on the internet, since my life is sort of on display on this website)? I tell my trainees this all of the time: when shit goes wrong you figure out what variable is to blame, and fix it the next time it comes up.
And by the way, had I actually totaled at that meet, I would have been the 105 kg Texas State Champ…by default. I was the only open competitor. Stef held the distinction of being in first and last place in the women’s 53 kg class. Are you trying to tell me that there weren’t any 53 kg CrossFit girls living in Austin, TX that could have lifted in the meet?
People who like to call themselves CrossFitters are notoriously annoying for not competing in anything at all. They claim that they are competing while training, which is comical. Sure, there are some who actually compete — I mentioned yesterday that Dutch had brought some people to the meet, and this is good. However, plenty of “CrossFitters” love to claim the status of being an “elite athlete” while not even participating in any kind of sanctioned competition (even though the CF creed states something like “regularly learn and play new sports”). It just doesn’t sound intelligent to claim that you will beat everyone at their own sport when you don’t even partake, that’s all. It seems that the fear of risk and failure permeates us all.
And that is the point. Look, if you aren’t a collegiate or pro athlete, you already know you aren’t the best in the world. Especially if you are older than 30 years old — you aren’t suddenly gonna become awesome in something. Intuitively you know that you are, at best, mediocre in the grand scheme of things (unless you try and invent your own sport, which is silly). Suddenly you realize that the thing that you fear the most is taking a risk into the unknown.
I want you to compete, because you will be better off after doing it. Most of you will not do exceptionally well in your first time, and this is supposed to happen. A virgin ain’t no Casanova, okay? Think very carefully in what you want to compete in this year. If you are on 70’s Big, then you are strength training. This not only prepares you, but gives you direction in what you could try competing in first. Go ahead, click on the comments, and make yourself accountable to taking a risk. Or you could just be a coward.
You’ll thank me later.