The whiteboard & your ego

The whiteboard & your ego

I was talking to one of our members the other day who will remain nameless, but for this blog post we’ll call her Stephanie since I don’t think we have any members named that.

It had been a little while since Stephanie had been to the gym and she was very nervous about coming back.

Not so much because she knew the first couple weeks were going to be difficult, but her honest answer was that she was worried about how she was going to do compared to all the other girls and compared to her former self when she was attending CrossFit 4+ times a week.

When she was telling me this, I had a deja vu moment of multiple conversations I’ve had with different people over the years that have either gotten injured outside of CrossFit and had to take some time off or have kind of just stopped going to their gym and are afraid of returning.

I then started thinking about my own experiences with injuries.

Since I started CrossFit 6+ years ago I have had two major injuries, I spiral fractured my right arm snowboarding and I tore my ACL playing soccer.

Both injuries required surgeries, more than 6 months of physical therapy and some serious down time that involved lots of video games, eating and minimal fitness activities with my upper or lower body, respectively.

Once I was capable of returning to full CrossFit action, I experienced very similar anxiety about how I would do compared to the other athletes that I used to compete with on a regular basis and if I would be able to obtain my previous level of fitness and eventually surpass it.

One day as I looked around class to see what good athletes were there and check out the whiteboard for times & weights that I wanted to use as a target for the day, I had an epiphany of sorts.

I thought to myself, who cares? Does any of this really matter in this moment? What’s going to happen today if you aren’t as good as you once were? Will anyone even notice except you?

I started to really realize that although my weight & time were going to go on the board, no one really cared what they were except for me.

And even though I wanted to be as good as I once was and I was going to give my best effort to “win the workout”, I needed to take a step back and realize that the end result didn’t really matter as long as the effort I gave during the workout was 100%.

The others may look at the whiteboard and see my name and notice that my time wasn’t the fastest that day, but they’re not going to take note of it and tell me that I suck or ask why I was slower.

They’ll probably forget about it less than 5 seconds later when the coach tells them to start warming up for the next class, or their phone rings and they start talking to their friend that they’re going to meet for dinner.

As I told Stephanie this story and we talked about how it doesn’t really matter what happens at the gym or the score for any give workout, it just matters if you give 100% effort and performed at the highest level of intensity possible, safely, I could see her relax and realize I was right.

So, with that, I say, if you’re feeling a little down or worried about your performance of late, or what others will think of how you did on any given day, don’t.

Check your ego at the door, don’t think about the whiteboard, find what weight and speed feels like a challenge for that day, give it all you’ve got, and accept the result for what it is.

Our gym is a place of support and encouragement. Don’t let your own negative thoughts turn that around and make it a place you don’t want to be.