The Reebok CrossFit Games Open kicked off last Wednesday. For those who are unfamiliar with the Games, the Open is the first of three levels of competition. It consists of five workouts over the course of five weeks.
Anybody worldwide — from novice to serious competitor — can participate in the Open. Workouts can be done at an approved gym or submitted by video for online judging. The top Open athletes from each region go on to compete at Regionals, a weekend-long live competition from which the 50 male and 50 female Games competitors are selected.
This is the third year that the CrossFit Games has started with an Open competition instead of Regionals. This year in particular, there has been a push for every athlete at every CrossFit gym to compete, regardless of skill level.
There are a lot of really good reasons to participate in the Open, even if you don’t stand a chance of making it to Regionals, but that’s not what this blog post is about.
It’s about the fact that roughly 100 people at my gym have signed up, and I’m not among them.
If you’d asked me two seasons ago, when I was four months pregnant, I’d have told you that I would definitely be competing in 2013; more specifically, trying to secure a spot at Regionals. But here I am, now almost 19 months post-partum, and I have no desire to do so.
I’m not sure if it’s because I’m only a few months back into CrossFit after a long hiatus, and perceive myself to be barely half the athlete I used to be, or if motherhood has caused me to lose my competitive spirit. The gym is a totally different place for me now. Not better or worse; just different.
When I was pregnant, even in my final trimester, nothing delighted me more than topping the gym’s leader board. Now, I don’t even look at it. I just do the best I can, and I compete only with myself — my new self, that is; not my pre-baby self. I enjoy my CrossFit classes and I feel
beaten up and sore great after a workout. That is enough for me right now.
Sure, I still use my previous achievements as a gauge to help me set my long-term fitness goals, but I try very hard not to compare my current performance with the past. While I believe that it is physically possible for me to regain my pre-baby fitness level, I don’t think it’s a realistic expectation at this point in time. I have a family now, and I’m in the final stages of preparation to launch my new business (April 1st!). Time is at a premium. I get to the gym two days a week (on the days that Oliver is in daycare) and I’m aiming to add a third as soon as possible. I used to do CrossFit four or five times a week, plus one or two recreational fitness activities.
I don’t want to participate in the Open when I can’t give it my all. I want to be strong, fit and healthy, but I no longer have the drive to be the strongest, the fittest and the healthiest.
Maybe I’ll feel differently about it next year.
Are you participating in the CrossFit Open this year? Why or why not?