Last Saturday I laced up my Reebok Nanos and took part in my first Crossfit competition. Even though it was a fun in-house comp, I was so nervous beforehand.I regularly take classes with some of those competing so I know how good they are…and how far behind them I am. Luckily this was a team competition, and I was put with two other more experienced Crossfitters, which helped to take the pressure off a little.
Although our team didn’t win (we didn’t come last though!) it was a really fun experienced and I’m glad I took part. It was also a massive learning experience for me and something that really pushed me out of my comfort zone. During the competition here are a few things I learnt:
It’s often mental not physical
One of my biggest challenges in Crossfit is getting over mental barriers, not physical ones. I have this with lifting weights – I know I’m strong enough to lift heavier, but mentally I just have a block. The pressure of the competition environment seemed to help get through this block, as I managed to do a barbell WOD at a weight that, if I was in a normal class, I probably would have gone lighter with. This has helped me realise that, especially when it comes to lifting, I can physically go heavier I just need the mental confidence to do so.
I can cope with a different competition environment
When it comes to competing I’m used to running long distances, which often means being on your own for long stretches of miles and time. I’ve gotten used to this and am able to push myself through on my own a lot of the time. A Crossfit competition is a completely different environment. The entire competition is done in front of people and although it is support, it was something I was really nervous about as I wasn’t sure how I would cope with the pressure of such a different competitive environment. In the end I was able to cope with the different environment and was able to stay focused throughout, which showed me that I am able to compete in a completely different atmosphere to what I am normally used to.
I need to get better at Crossfit
A great aspect of the competition was that it highlighted what I was better at than I thought…it also highlighted areas that I need to improve – and there are lots! I know I need to work hard to get better in many aspects of this sport, but this is also one reason why I enjoy it so much. If I was good at Crossfit I would probably have gotten bored by now and moved onto something new, but I like the fact that it is a challenge and that I know if I put in the hard work I can get better. Just as with running, where I know I constantly need to work hard to earn my PBs, with Crossfit I know I need to regularly turn up and put in 100 per cent of effort in order to improve.
Turning up and taking part is just as important as winning (almost)
OK, I’m competitive by nature so I like to win (or at least get a PB), but doing this Crossfit competition has also shown me that turning up and enjoying the experience of the competition is also important. Sometimes when it comes to racing I can get too caught up with wanting to get a good position and a PB that I forget the reason why I started running in the first place, which is because I love to run! Doing this Crossfit competition made me realise that while doing well is great, the experience of the day is something that should be enjoyed as well.