The last few weeks have been incredibly rewarding for me as a coach. Yes, I enjoy when top level athletes hit new PRs or perform well in their events, but I will never tire of the excitement when new CrossFitters get their first unassisted pull-ups or put the pieces together to hit a heavy snatch. There is an amazing transformation taking place among the athletes at Catacombs. You are getting stronger, more confident, and more comfortable sitting in when things get dark in the middle of a workout. You are willing to take a risk with a heavier barbell or a smaller band. These are all good things and they are certain marks of progress your hard work is delivering.
But there is an inherent risk in this progression that has caused many a CrossFitter to falter. That risk relates to the power of the group dynamic. It can take many forms, but here are a few examples:
- counting bad reps because you just realized that everyone else is ahead of you;
- feeling badly about yourself because the guy next to you just got his first pull-up and you've been working at it far longer;
- putting more (or less) weight on your bar because someone else did.
The group dynamic is a powerful force for making you go harder and dig deeper. Don't lose track of the fact that your workout is just that...YOUR WORKOUT. You are the one who loses when you sacrifice your standards and strategy to compete with someone else. Track you own results and compete against yourself. After all, that is what we are all here for...to be better versions of ourselves. Hold yourself to a high standard and don't get distracted by what's going on around you. Those are good words to live by in the gym as well as out.