Thoughts on Competing
Held annually in St. Cloud, MN, the Granite Games is quickly becoming one of the largest CrossFit competitions in the country. We've sent numerous teams and individuals over the years to represent TwinTown, and are proud to be sending a total of four, 3-person teams to compete in the 2017 competition this coming weekend.
Last year I partnered with Matt and Josh for the team competition and not only had a damn good time throwing down with them, but also learned a lot from the experience. Our finishes were all over the map, but both the events we excelled at, and the ones where we got our butts kicked taught us a lot. Whether you're on one of the teams heading north this weekend or you're just reading this because you like working out, there's a lot to be learned from the competition experience. Here are a few lessons I walked away with last year:
Don't get so wrapped up in the competition that you forget to enjoy what you're a part of. One of our worst finishes in 2016 is a now a favorite memory of mine from last year's competition. One of the Saturday workouts was a series of sets of Clean & Jerks that each of us was required to complete before the next team member could begin. Josh went first for us, and within a few reps had ripped his hands so badly that he could barely hold on to the bar. He, like a true boss, kept a steady pace through the rest of his set despite the discomfort he was certainly in, and finished out his share. Even with the merciless effort he put forth, by the time our team was finishing the event, we were the last ones still working.
To our pleasant surprise, instead of being left to wallow in the agony of defeat at the end of the workout, we were surrounded by, and cheered to a finish by every other team in our heat. Was it fun to finish that event out in the last spot? Of course not. But the community that gathered to cheer us to a finish before the time cap did serve as a good reminder that there's more to be taken from competing than just placing well.
The competition adrenaline can make you feel like a super hero, but it's important to not get so riled up before your events that you end up blowing yourself up in the first 30 seconds. If the teams around you are moving more quickly than you out of the gate, let them. You know nothing of their abilities and it would be foolish to base your performance off of what they're doing. Want to sprint? Save it for the end. No one looks like a hero when they start off at an amazing pace but can't finish the workout because there's no gas left in the tank. Game day always seems to summon extra bursts of energy, but be smart in how you take advantage of it. Take a deep breath, use the technique you've worked hard to build, and get to work.
Your team has your back; you need to have theirs. Even teams with the most talented athletes in the field wouldn't be where they are if it weren't for the efforts of the group. Nervousness? Doubt? That feeling of being tired and ready for the weekend to be over? We all have these thoughts. It's whether you use them to fire you up or let them hold you down that's the difference between the teams that enjoy their time and do well, and those who leave with their tail between their legs. Be there to boost your team up when they need some encouragement and I promise they'll be there to do the same for you.
We work really hard in the gym to get stronger, to build new skills, and to expand our capacities. Competition is a chance to showcase what we've got, but regardless of ranking at the end of the weekend, I can guarantee this is an experience you'll be happy you stepped up to once it's over.
As uncomfortable as it is to compete, making yourself vulnerable to an experience like this is only something that you'll gain confidence from. Give each event everything you've got, be there to support your team, and enjoy the weekend ahead.
You've got this!
OH, keep an eye on our Instagram page/story for updates on what our teams are up to!