In the past few months my progress at the box has come to a slow halt. I can’t remember the last time I celebrated a PR or saw improvement in my double unders. My weight is starting to creep back up which doesn’t help my pull-ups or my self confidence. With the addition of Wodify’s public whiteboard, each day is now a competition – everyone clamoring for the top spots. The focus has shifted to rank over progress. And Wodify has confirmed something I’ve suspected for awhile: I am worse at CrossFit than I thought.
I finish every workout. Every rep. If I lose count, I do extra reps just to make sure I get them all in. I’m not afraid to lift heavier, jump higher or practice a new skill at the risk of ruining my WOD score. I am familiar with being the last person working, hearing the sound in the background of equipment being put away and the next class arriving. Sometimes I feel embarrassed when I know the crowd has gathered around me, counting every rep. But I don’t stop until I’m done…and I get there eventually.
I am noisy. I emit grunts, sounds of frustration and occasional swear words. I know I do this but I can’t help myself. At least I stop myself from slobbering, I think.
I can do pull ups. I struggle with them. And I can’t do many unbroken. But my chin clears the bar each time, and my days of goose-necking have long passed. When the WOD calls for high rep pull ups, I seize the bar and get to work. I am not a small person, and it’s astounding to me how I can propel my bulk up to the bar and experience a moment of weightlessness before I descend.
I can do handstand push ups. A few strict. Kipping ones in a WOD. Usually without scaling. And always with a reminder of the amount of weight I’m driving off the ground.
I can jerk. There’s a split second as the bar travels from my shoulders to above my head where I am certain I will stand tall beneath 145 lbs. And I hold it an extra second or two because it feels too good to let go.
I have good form. I lock out, reach full extension and get below parallel. Once in awhile during a lift I encounter the magic of muscles moving in harmony after months of discord – and I recognize progress. In times of frustration, I remind myself to work towards the magic. It’s there – just a little further down the road.
I can do pushups. Beautiful ones. At my last competition, a judge told me that my push ups were the best ones he’d seen (better than the guys, in fact). And that helped take the sting out of my low score.
So maybe…for now…
It’s time to disconnect from the daily competition.
It’s time to refocus on my progress and not my rank.
It’s time to reset and reaffirm.
It’s time to ignore the whiteboard.
Because not everything of value can be recorded, categorized or evaluated.
And just maybe – I’m better than I think.