Thought of the Day: 1/10/12

Posted: January 10, 2012 in CrossFit, Media, Training
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today’s thought:

“Is Competition a good thing?”

Most of you know my thoughts on this subject (yes, it absolutely is a good thing), but I am going to share a post from my friend Tommy Hackenbruck (owner of Ute CrossFit and #2 finisher in the 2009 CrossFit Games) on what he thinks.

My favorite part of the article is this:

We understand that each person is different, and some of you may even claim, “I don’t like competing with other people, I would rather them do well.” (That’s a direct quote from my wonderful sister Jenny). Well, even if you feel bad beating somebody, or claim you don’t like competing, the fact is that you should. It’s all about perspective. Competing doesn’t mean you want to see others fail. When you work extremely hard in a workout, or on your mountain bike, and you barely beat the person next to you, chances are both of you are better because of it.

I don’t like gyms that have this cut-throat, “Firebreathers Only” mentality. The reason for that is because I think CrossFit can, and should, be for everyone! So if a gym is filled with athletes out “just to beat someone else”, the purpose of the whole program is lost for me. CrossFit, in my mind, is about improving your health and wellness so you can be a happier person. The competition stuff just makes it FUN!

Anyways, check out what Tommy has to say in his post “Why do we compete?

Why Do We Compete?

~By Tommy Hackenbruck

As the weekend approaches and a few of us trainers prepare for a CrossFit competition in Orange County I wanted to share with everybody my reflections on why competition is not only an integral part of your development as an athlete, but also as a person. First of all, we make great efforts at our gym and within our community to keep the CrossFit Games competition in perspective. It is ONE competition that many of us get excited about, and train for, but it is not the only competition that our members take part in and certainly not the most important. The most important competition at Ute CrossFit is EVERY competition that is entered by any one of our athletes. The focus and goal of this gym is to help each person achieve and exceed their fitness goals, and to help create a culture that makes us all better in all aspects of life. We put tons of time and effort creating programs like kids camp and daycare classes so that you can be stronger families, just as we put effort into writing specialized programs so that you can be stronger athletes. Just as competing in CrossFit Games is an important part of some of our lives, we feel that each and every client needs to find a competitive outlet in some way. This can be a 5k run, the dirty dash, or simply competing against somebody else’s time on the whiteboard. The fact is, competition builds character, pushes us to do our best, helps us achieve higher goals, and teaches us more about ourselves (good or bad) than we could learn otherwise. In order to grow as a person or athlete, you need to compete at some level, it is healthy, it is what we were made to do.

“A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” ~William Shedd

We understand that each person is different, and some of you may even claim, “I don’t like competing with other people, I would rather them do well.” (That’s a direct quote from my wonderful sister Jenny). Well, even if you feel bad beating somebody, or claim you don’t like competing, the fact is that you should. It’s all about perspective. Competing doesn’t mean you want to see others fail. When you work extremely hard in a workout, or on your mountain bike, and you barely beat the person next to you, chances are both of you are better because of it. If you didn’t give your best effort, the other person wouldn’t have worked as hard to try to keep up with you. Now the person next to you on the mountain bike isn’t mad because you beat them, they are happily thinking “wow, that was the hardest and fastest I’ve every ridden on my bike!” By giving your best effort, both people will benefit. We strongly believe that good healthy competition, with the right mindset and perspective, will always leave us better than if we had sat out. It not only teaches us to push a little harder, give a little extra effort, but it pushes those next to us (our teammates), inspires those watching us (our kids), and rewards those pulling for us (our coaches).

“Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records.” ~William A. Ward

If you are a member at Ute CrossFit then you have goals. Hopefully those goals are achievable, measurable, and you have a timeline to accomplish them. By competing daily, with yourself or with others, you will get closer to those goals. At the University of Utah we had signs in the locker room that read: “compete every day”. When we lifted we were paired with other guys that were the same strength as us, so we could compete to get stronger than them. In warm-up and conditioning drills we were lined up with the other guys at our position so we could race them and compete in every single drill. Trying to give our best effort on EVERY SINGLE drill we did helped us grow and progress into elite athletes. Without the competition our progress would have slowed or stagnated. The fastest guy on the team constantly had someone right behind him about to catch him, therefore he gave his best effort to stay ahead. On that same token the second fastest guy on the team was motivated each and every day to take over the top spot, his goal was to be the fastest. Goals keep things in perspective, they remind us why we work hard, what’s important to us, and also let us know when we are making progress toward achieving success.

So remember to compete. Compete with yourself and beat your old PR, compete with a friend and make each other better, or sign up for a race or an event and start training with a little more fire and a little more purpose. Do it for yourself, you will be better for it!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

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