We are in the thick of competition season. With the Tokyo Olympics taking place and The 2021 CrossFit Games just wrapping up, it’s been extremely inspiring to watch.
Looking at all of these incredible athletes competing, makes me get the itch to get out there again soon, too. There’s this state of flow that occurs when you’re in a competitive environment. The crowd, the loud music, the energy, it all causes time to stop for a split second.
I’ve always considered myself a competitive person. In fact, I still get slightly annoyed if I just-so-happen to lose in a board game. But in all seriousness, competitive sport for me has always been something I’ve truly enjoyed and I think has also led to a lot of self-growth.
I know a lot of times when competition is brought up at the gym or its that time of the year for The CrossFit Open, there’s a lot of self-doubt and hesitancy that arises. I’ve heard people say before that the reason they choose not to compete is because they don’t consider themselves an athlete. This is not true! Anyone can be an athlete. If you have a body, and you have a goal that you want to achieve using said body, then you are an athlete. Own it!
If anyone can be an athlete, then I’m here to remind you that anyone can also be a competitior.
Competitions are amazing for so many reasons. Not only are they super fun, but I think they serve as a great learning tool as well. You learn more about your strengths and weaknesses in the sport and the areas you need to improve on, but you also learn more about your character. Sometimes this can be how you are as a teammate, or other times maybe it’s how you interact with your judges, fellow competitors, how you handle it when things don’t go as planned on competition day (as this happens often),etc.
Competition can also help hold you accountable. If you have an upcoming event on the calendar, it forces you to be more dedicated to eating nutrient-dense foods, staying hydrated, prioritizing sleep, and doing your accessory/mobility work.
It isn’t even about the result of winning or losing and it doesn’t have to be extremely serious, either. Competing is about going out there and giving it everything you’ve got knowing all of the hard work, dedication, discipline, and sometimes sacrifice that led you to be out on the floor that day. It’s an opportunity to put all of the hard work you put in at the gym day in and day out to the test. You get to showcase your skills!
Now I will say, pre-competition jitters are totally normal. Even professional athletes at the top level experience this. Honestly, nerves are a good thing! It just shows that you really care and certainly shouldn’t be something to stand in your way of trying something new and seeing what you’re capable of.
Ultimately, you’ll never know if you like competing, unless you try. Show the world what you’re made of!