Back in 2011, I wrote a post for CrossFit Delaware Valley called 10 Tips For Success For the CrossFit Newbie. If you’re involved in the CrossFit community you may have read it at some point. But despite where you are in CrossFit years, I think it’s important to revisit these tips from time-to-time. Most importantly, number 5: CrossFit Isn’t Everything.
Before I give the 3-2-1 GO!, I’ll see a lot of people get a nauseous look on their face. A look of anticipation, dread, and fear. I try to calm them down by saying, “It’s just exercise.” And that’s all it really is, whether it’s for time or not. Exercise should be fun, not stressful. You’re working out to relieve stress, not add to it. You may look at a workout and think, “Wow, that looks really hard.” But you shouldn’t be crapping in your Huggies. It should be fun. If it’s not fun, why do it?
If you’re going to be active for the long haul, you need to find ways to get you moving that you enjoy (So much room for activities!). I think the time component in CrossFit is where the pre-workout fear stems from. Time creates a sense of urgency, which is what makes CrossFit effective. Time pushes the intensity, and the pre-workout perception of the impending pain and struggle you’re going to face gets the butterflies fluttering in your belly.
I’m no stranger to the pre-workout jitters, but over the years I’ve come to experience them less and less because I’m not that interested in the competition side of CrossFit. I think sometimes we lose sight of that and let the workout control us instead of the other way around. When you realize that it is just exercise it’s an empowering feeling.
For me, CrossFit has and always will be the thing I do to allow me to do other things. It is my training system. It is not my sport. And even if CrossFit is your sport, the day-to-day training is not the same, and should not be the same, as the sport of fitness that you compete in at the local level, or the CrossFit Open and Regionals. Those are two completely different things. Training and competing are not the same thing. You can’t compete every day and you shouldn’t freak out over every workout. It’s just exercise.