Maybe you’re doing the CrossFit Open this year. Or maybe you’re not.
Either choice is acceptable. In past years, I was a cheerleader for the Open, but things are different now. I don’t care so much if you do the Open workouts.
What do I care about? That you’re happy. That you’re working to better yourself. That you’re kind to the people in your life.
If that happiness includes the Open, then enjoy yourself! Go hard and go heavy!
But if you’d rather skip the Open, and hike or bike or heal, that’s cool too. Or even if you just do some of the workouts in your regular class time.
Life doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. Sometimes, it’s better if we stop piling demands and expectations on ourselves when we are close to (or beyond) a breaking point. Sometimes, it’s okay to say, “You know what? I’m going to sit this one out.”
We talk about compassion for others, but we also need to have compassion for ourselves. We have to learn to draw the line between worn and worn out, between elated and defeated. We have to learn our own limits. This can be hard in a group, but it’s crucial for long-term survival. Assess your own life factors right now — health, fitness, nutrition, sleep, stress, etc. — and determine what you need more of to be happy, and what you need less of to be happy. And then make changes based on those determinations.
Someone said this to me recently: “The Open is a great way to feel bad about yourself.” Why did he say that? Because the Open is an easy way to compare yourself to this person or that person and that athlete over there or this genetic freak over here. It’s a great way to realize you’re 14,001 in your age group. It’s a great way to tell yourself that you don’t measure up and you need to work harder, more, longer, forever.
But you don’t have to do that. You don’t have to compare yourself to everyone else, including thousands of strangers you’re never met, if this comparison is not useful to you and your goals. (If it is useful? Party on, Garth!) You get to pick and choose your battles. So do exactly that.
I would advise this: be kinder to yourself. Work on what you want and need to work on for yourself. You live in your skin and your mind, not somebody else.
Good luck. I’ll be rooting for you either way.
“Think about this for a moment. Is this what you truly want? If so, proceed. If you’re not so sure, think some more. Because my greatest fear for you is not that you fail, but that you succeed in hollow ways. And what good would it be to achieve your goals and lose your world?”
— “Perspective” (Essay #38 in “Live Like That”)