When I first got into CrossFit many years ago I found it from a YouTube video – one of very few that were about at the time. The CrossFit Games were a little known event with no media coverage, Games athletes were basically people who could be bothered to get to the where the event was and no one was on social media promoting products to do with any of it.
Fast forward to today and most people find CrossFit from social media, Netflix documentaries or through the CrossFit Games. And that is the key to this post – the Games.
Many people now watch the CrossFit Games or some other competitive fitness event and see that as the be all and end all of the CrossFit world which leads them to build up an idea of what they want to achieve that doesn’t necessarily compute.
There are two very different elements to the CrossFit brand:
The CrossFit Games and CrossFit the training methodology.
The Games, the sport of fitness, is for the 1%. It is designed to highlight and showcase the abilities and skills of the top tier athletes in the sport. It is, and should be, beyond the reach of the masses.
The training methodology, the foundation of CrossFit, is for any and everyone. It is designed to improve the fitness, abilities and general well being of anybody who embraces it and it is well within the reach of the masses.
The problem comes when people blur the two. When people come into a CrossFit gym with the expectation to learn kipping and handstand walking straight away we are getting a disconnect between methodology and sport. As members your primary goal should always be health and fitness. We will always have secondary goals and we encourage them – to loose weight, to compete, to learn a skill – great, but they should never come at the expense of the health and fitness.
We all see Games athletes doing insane workouts, displaying new skills and basically pushing the boundaries of what we thought humans could do and they are epic for it. But we shouldn’t try to emulate them. We should acknowledge how awesome they are and then get back to our own journeys.
My point: we shouldn’t define our fitness journey by comparing it to others and by others I mean anyone let alone Games athletes. If we are yet to master pull ups we shouldn’t be focusing on a muscle up workout someone posted on instagram. We can admire them for it, give them a like and then get back to our ring rows and negatives until we’ve mastered the pull up. Eventually your journey might lead you to the Games or competing on some level and that would be epic but the important thing, the success of the CrossFit methodology, remains in sticking to your lane and working your hardest at your goals.
Don’t get dismayed at the ability of others but revel in the successes you have had personally. You’ll feel a lot more positive for it.