In big letters on a poster as you walk through the door is written “leave your ego at the door.”
Many of us have a bad association with the word ego without truly understanding it’s meaning.
CrossFit doesn’t usually inspire the one-upmanship and bravado on display in other gyms or even in other areas of life, but it can creep in in other ways.
Let me ask you a question, what is ego?
Ego is that nagging little voice in you saying “oh but…” You know the one, especially if you had siblings, the voice you’ve not been able to shake since you were entering your teens. The one that goes, but how come Johnny is lifting that weight? How come sandy’s getting all the attention. On top of this is the other side of Ego, the I don’t want to do x because I’m not good at it. “I can’t lift that weight…” This is the ego-self talking. The small self. The one that doesn’t want to be bruised emotionally or physically and yet feels that way all the time.
Your ego can be there to stop you doing stupid things, but it can also hold you back, or worse make you do stupid things. It can stop you from losing face in front of a potential mate or an adversary.
There is a time and place for ego, don’t shun it altogether because it is an integral part of who you are, just don’t bring it to the WOD.
Building strength, long lasting strength, both physical and emotional, takes time and consistent effort. A training program in which you build on each success is a program that builds long lasting strength.
So next time you get asked to do 5 reps for a % of a weight, do the 5 reps for a %, not 5 as heavy as you can or 5 as light as you can get away without coach noticing. Build your foundations first, build them broad and build them strong. At the end of the day we want you to progress, time and time again, not hit it hard, bust a gut and never lift again, we want you to be more than you were when you walked in. Not less.
Don’t sell yourself short because you might fail. Don’t try to lift as much as someone else just to appease your ego. Follow the process and enjoy the process, in the end the race is only against yourself and your ego wants to feel injured.