We’ve all reached that point mid-WOD where we’ve forgotten exactly how many reps or rounds we’ve done. We’ve all accidentally missed a set of twelves in a 21-18-15-12-9-6-3, we’re humans and despite all our awesomeness we sometimes make mistakes – particularly when we’re fucked.
But sometimes people don’t forget, sometimes people don’t lose count, sometimes people cheat. They lie about their score, they miss some reps here and there, they shorten the range of motion of a movement to get it done faster or they just fuck off a whole round all together.
The reasons are varied: they want the top score on the whiteboard, they want the workout to be over because it’s hard or they don’t want people to be aware of their current fitness level. Whatever the reasons they might give, its bull shit. No one has a good reason to cheat, ever. If you want to win, work for it. If the workout is hard – it’s supposed to be. If your embarrassed by your current fitness level – don’t be. I guarantee no one will judge you if your score is lower than you want it to be. I guarantee everyone will judge you if you cheat.
But maybe no one will notice. We do. As coaches, we know roughly how long a workout should take, we know how many reps of a movement are possible in a certain time frame and most importantly we know all our athlete’s abilities. When you move on from the 30 burpees in 35 seconds we know you skimmed a few reps. When you beat Rich Fronings ‘Helen’ time but broke all the kettle-bell swings we know something went wrong with the maths.
So, what do we do about it? Shall we call out cheaters there and then, ‘Ummm I think you mean 3+2 dude, not 4+2’. This will probably cause some bad feelings.
Shall we politely speak to them one-on-one and risk a denial and argument? This will also likely cause some bad feelings.
Maybe we should just ignore it. They are only cheating themselves after all. Your body doesn’t care what work you say you do only what work you actually do. So if we let them crack on and post a 90 second Fran will anyone really care? You bet they will. All those other members, who work hard and with integrity, they notice cheaters too and believe me it infuriates them. Ignoring the issue will lead to bad feelings, but from everyone else in the box.
So, what do we do? We write a blog post, highlighting the issue, making people aware that we know who cheats, when they cheat and how they cheat. We appeal to their better nature to stop it, now. We ask them to remember that integrity is not negotiable and that being part of our awesome and supportive community requires them to be honest and work hard. So please, don’t cheat, don’t purposefully miscount, don’t miss reps and don’t shave rounds.
And for those of you who do obsess over other scores – we know it’s annoying, we know it can make your score seem inadequate. But just remember, stay in your lane, focus on what you can control and ignore all the other crap that you can’t. Life is too short to worry about pen on a whiteboard.