Since starting the comeback process from my elbow injury, I have been working through some mental challenges. With the help of my amazing husband, some close friends, and a short podcast I listen to daily, my mental challenges do not seem as big anymore. One of my biggest mental battles has been comparison. Once I got back into the swing of things training wise, I turned to social media and went looking for what my fellow competitors were doing. I would look at what weights they were throwing up, what their nutrition was like, how many sessions per day they were training, etc. After weeks, maybe months, of this my mind took over and I went into a state of panic. I felt like I wasn’t ready for The Fittest Games and I started to dread the start of The Open. I would look at other CrossFit athlete’s posts and think to myself, “Oh crap, this girl is doing a 20 rep back squat 50lbs more than my current max?!” “How can this girl already snatch her max after dislocating her elbow and I can’t?!” “She does two, two-hour sessions per day?!” You get the gist… toxic thoughts.
Those moments, those thoughts, were leading me down a path of self-destruction. Why does someone else’s performance effect mine? It doesn’t… I am the one performing for me. I am the one putting in the best work that I can that day. I am running my own race! Yeah, in competition I’m obviously competing against the others but, CrossFit is more than that. CrossFit, to me, is putting in the work day in and day out and improving YOURSELF. That’s why I started CrossFit, I loved the thought of working towards a personal goal, achieving it, and moving on to more. Always staying hungry, always improving my best self.
A few short months ago, I got lost in comparison. I forgot one of the main reasons I started this beautiful CrossFit journey. It was time to get my act together. Now, I am choosing to not let comparison steal my joy and steal my love of CrossFit. This isn’t easy for me, I’m competitive, it takes effort day in and day out reminding myself that I will do the best that I can do that day. And I have to learn to be content with that! I am nowhere near perfect, I find myself falling back into the comparison trap from time to time. But, when I do, I remind myself of the journey. I look at how far I have come from March 13th (yes, I remember the date) and I find areas in my training or day-to-day activities where I can improve my current state. Yeah, some days I get mad when I can’t squat what my competitors are squatting, or I miss a snatch at a weight I shouldn’t miss. But, for that given moment, that was the best that I could have done. And knowing that brings peace to my mind and I end up coming back the next day hungry for doing the best that I can do in that moment, forgetting about what everyone else is doing.
I get it. Most of you came into CrossFit with a competitive background so naturally, we become competitive in the group class. We compare our scores, we put 95lbs on the bar because your friend or your competition put 95lbs on the bar. We get in a funk because we didn’t perform the way we wanted to. Or so and so beat you so you’re mad and will do everything in your power to beat them the next time. The comparison takes over and we lose the joy in the process of fitness. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for being competitive. That’s also a reason why I love CrossFit. But we cannot let it affect us in a negative way. Be where your feet are, do the best that you can do at that given moment. Instead of comparing yourself to others in the gym, on Instagram, Facebook, work, etc. expect to do the best that you can do at that given moment. Because ultimately, that’s all you can do.
Whenever you find yourself in the middle of a comparison battle, I encourage you to stop what you’re doing, remember why you started this journey, and refuse to be intimidated by the success of others. Focus on your own process, progress and purpose.
If you’re into podcasts, I encourage you to listen to Justin Su’a. They’re 4-7 minutes long and they motivate the heck out of me!