Why I Am Competing- CrossFit Open

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Olympic lifting barbell

I just finished the CrossFit Open workout 17.4:

55 Deadlifts 255#

55 Wallballs

55 Cal Row

55 Handstand Puch Ups

When I say complete, I mean 8 handstand pushups. My wife and I went in Saturday morning and got it done with a few friends. There were people hanging out in the gym cheering each other on and it was a great atmosphere. I wish I could say that the CrossFit Open workouts before, 17.1, 2 and 3, went the same. Unfortunately not.

Why Am I Competing?

I do CrossFit because I like working out and it is one of the few workout styles that keeps my interest week after week after week.

I do the CrossFit Open because it is an easy way to compete with other athletes at my gym and I can compare my fitness year to year.

Nowhere in either of those explanations did I talk about going to regionals, the CrossFit Games, sponsorships or setting world records on the workouts. That is because I am not a professional athlete! It might be liberal to even call me an amateur athlete.

Poisoning the Well

Through the first three workouts of the CrossFit Open, I had a terrible attitude that soured the entire experience for me. I forgot what my motivation and goals were and I focused on beating everyone else in my gym. I came in with my “game face” on and took myself way too seriously. I didn’t enjoy the time with friends. I didn’t smile, and I didn’t cheer anyone else on. I am ashamed to say I even rooted against people not to beat my score.

All of this effort to “compete” left me right in the middle of the leaderboard at my gym. I was frustrated that despite my extra focus and effort, I was still not very good. I was mad at myself for mediocre performance and mad at others for their great performance. How crazy is that?

Once I realized that

A– I was not going to be very competitive in the CrossFit Open


B– I was making the entire experience miserable for myself (and my wife)

I decided to have fun with the last two workouts.

Having Fun and Taking Names

Back to 17.4. I got 8 handstand pushups by the end of the 13 minutes. This was a 5 rep increase on the handstand pushups over last year’s performance. I remember laying down by the wall thinking,” that was great”.

The workout was not great because of my performance. It was nothing to look at. I was slow. I took too long of rests. My sets were small and unimpressive. My face looked like I was being tortured.

The workout was great because I enjoyed the experience. I didn’t care what other people’s scores were on the workout. I didn’t try to workout alongside the best athletes to push me. I took time to smile at my son and wife as they cheered me on. I listened to the advice of my friend encouraging me. I participated in the CrossFit Open like I should have all along.

What am I here for?

I find it helpful to question myself at every opportunity. If I go with what feels right, I usually get it wrong. I have the wrong motivations, the wrong perceptions of others and my actions do not end up aligning with my beliefs.

Too often, I let my actions be what they may and then deal with the repercussions on the backend. But I forget my goal in life is to magnify Christ. No one will be affected in eternity by my performance in the CrossFit Open. But people will and have been affected my be mean comments to others and my over-inflated view of myself.

This week I am going to try this exercise to get out of the routine way I do things. I will ask myself

  1. Am I glorifying Christ with my actions?
  2. Am I building myself up or encouraging others?




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