By: Danna Mazzola
Competition is in my opinion is one of the healthiest ways to challenge yourself, demonstrate leadership and teamwork, as well as gain some modesty.
I’m one of those people who always went to competitions to cheer on my friends and fellow athletes, but never really felt the need to sign up for one myself. I thought, “Hey, I can do most of these RX movements but there is NO WAY I’d do well compared to everyone else at these comps.” I grew up competitive and active in organized sports, so a little voice in my mind said, “Why play if there’s no chance in winning?”
Then I received a text message from a friend asking if I could fill in as her teammate in a competition 4 days away. Her partner had gotten hurt and she needed someone to save the day! I always love to swoop in and help as many people as I can, so I said SURE! (Without even reading the workouts, EEK!)
The day came and I found myself with that nervous excitement that I used to get before games in sports. I knew we were going into this comp with no expectation to win and to just work hard and have fun…so I must say…I was a little surprised to find myself with this feeling. The nervous took over up until the first workout started. Then it was like any other day working out…except now I had a crowd with awesome energy cheering me on. I’m not going to lie…the first workout was terrible and you couldn’t pay me to redo it again… Once we finished the pain that was WOD 1, we were able to attack WOD 2 & 3 with excitement! It was an awesome day and we didn’t come in last place…so in my opinion, it was a success for what we set out to do!
The following Saturday we had our in-house competition which was a blast! We had athletes who never thought they could compete, kicking butt! It was very exciting to tell my team we came in third at the end of the day as we hadn’t strategized at all past making a team name! It was a very proud coach moment to see all of the teams working together and pushing each other in such a positive way. One of my favorite parts about comps is the fact that people will go out of their way to cheer on a team other than their own and to truly be excited for them when they PR or finish a workout strong!
Then we came to the last of my 3 week competition stint. I was competing with a team of 3 in the Girls Gone RX comp in Boston. Talk about a fun and inclusive competition! All of the workouts left me with a feeling of pride and excitement not only for myself but for my team. As always we set out to not come in last…boy were we surprised to come in 9th out of 19 teams! We left that competition knowing we earned our after comp beer. =)
So what did I learn from 3 weeks of competing? I learned that you will definitely see where you stack up against others but you will most likely surprise yourself. You will push harder than you normally do and you will feel a high afterwards knowing you worked hard. If you go into a comp with the sole purpose of trying hard for your teammates and having fun…I promise you will walk away being happy and proud of yourself for signing up.
So what are you waiting for? Life is all about challenging yourself, having fun, and experiencing all that you can. Stop the excuses and live a little. =)
Get out there, push yourself - and be sure to have a damn good time testing your limits.