8.31.2013

Training The Ego

The sign pictured is at the door of my gym, Crossfit Signal20. It's our creedo. And today, I had to use it. Today was a new kind of challenge for me. I went to a crossfit event and cheered for my teammates. The challenge came when I decided to not compete.

The event today centered around all of the aspects of Crossfit where I genuinely excel. It was a very "lift-heavy" event. Tons of workouts that focused on ground to overhead lifting, stability, power and some endurance.

In other words, they might as well have called it the Joe Peacock Invitational.

Had today been the day I trained for all this time, I would have done very well. I am confident about that. But it wasn't. Last week was. And last week, I poured EVERYTHING I had into the event. So when I went to the gym Monday, I found out very quickly I should have rested. My arms were throbbing from tendinitis, my knees were "crunchy" and my body was just plain tired.

I decided to not do the event today due to the fact that I really did need to listen to my body and rest. A week of rest this week means I can hit it hard and healthy next week and beyond. However had I done the competition today I would very likely injure myself. And even if I didn't I would put myself into a serious deficit for a few weeks at a minimum.

I didn't want to bail. The encouragement from my gym family and the drive of my teammate for the event really pushed me to try to go ahead even though I knew I needed rest. But a conversation with one of the most insightful women I've ever met gave me a perspective that, just a few months ago, I wouldn't have accepted.

I wasn't putting me first. I was putting everyone's possible disappointment first. I was putting my need to prove how strong I can be first. I was putting my ego first.

I needed to actually put me first. Otherwise, I could end up in a slump, injured and very likely depressed. I've worked too hard for that.

So today, I went and watched as people competed in events where I excel. And the whole time, I heard from folks "why aren't you out there? This is your kind of event!" I simply explained, I competed last week and put everything into it and am not fully recovered.

Of corse they accepted it. It's true and there's no shame in it... Except in my head. And that's silly. So today, I trained my ego a bit. I showed it who is actually in control. I did an event on my own out of town and did very well, and passed on a local event I could probably get first in.

Because it doesn't serve my greater purpose. It doesn't make me better. So I had to let it go.

It sucked. But then again, so does running, when you first get into it. Everything new has its learning curve and its time for acclimation. But if there's one thing I've learned after all this time, it's that anything that's good for you takes time to get used to... But once you get used to it, you never go back. And I'd like very much to never go back to hurting myself because of what anyone else might think or feel.

So I am treating today like another small victory. And I keep on celebrating these small victories, because when you do that, the defeats and slip ups don't seem as big compared to a huge pile of small victories. And you know what? I feel ready to hit the gym hard on Monday and get ready for the next big competition. Who knows if the same would be true had I competed today... But the odds are much much lower. That much I know is true. So I'm going to be happy that the odds are in my favor this time, because I made my own luck.