Please Don’t Give Me a Number

Lisbeth CrossFit, Essays, Fitness, Life, Mindset

lis 2005 Danskin tri bike face

2005: My first triathlon. I was so happy to survive the swim that I went a little nuts on the bike.

I have a dirty secret to share in the fitness world: I don’t want to compete.

I have no desire to enter any meets, lifts, competitions, or throwdowns. Although I used to sign up enthusiastically for the CrossFit Open, it’s not my thing anymore. I doubt I’ll pay much attention to it this year.

Over the years, I’ve done triathlons, mountain bike races, a handful of 5K runs, and even one extremely miserable, moderately hypothermic Tough Mudder. And I think I’m done.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’ve lost my competitive mindset. If we’re doing “as many reps as possible” on an overhead press and my training partner Adriana gets 8? You can bet your ass I’m trying for 10. And I’ll willingly break one arm to get 9. (This is a step back from years past, when I would have willingly broken both arms.)

My attitude now is more like this: if we’re doing something together and I win, great! If you win, that’s great too! I also seldom feel the need now to prove myself the smartest person in the room or the most worthy of someone’s attention. And I seriously don’t care if I get invited to the “cool kids” party or sit next to the big cheese at dinner.

I’m good at some things, great at others, and just downright sucky at another bunch of stuff. But I have an open mind and a kind heart.

More and more, I realize that’s pretty much all I’m looking for in other folks too. Especially in this season of anger in America, I try to push most things to the side and look at someone and ask, “Would they help my child if he was lost? Would they stop and usher a stray dog out of a busy intersection? If my car rolled over, would they run over to my vehicle, drop to their belly, and see if I was okay?” If I’m going to judge, I figure those are better tests of character than who anybody voted for, or what they do for exercise, or what clothes they like to wear.

I guess I have different priorities at this point in my life. Now, don’t get me wrong: I think competitions are great if that’s what you like to do, and I applaud your efforts! You do you. I’ll do me. That way, both of us have a shot at being happy.

The funny thing? I am signed up for a local deadlifting meet in a few weeks, but that’s all women and it only costs $5 and it’s in my own gym, so who would turn that down? Not me. I may not be as competitive as before, but I’m not missing out on that Saturday morning …


Lisbeth CrossFit, Essays, Fitness, Life, Mindset


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