Reaching for Good

“I just wonder, when will I stop feeling like I’m bad at this,” I said, lamenting to that boy on the phone about my lack of confidence in all things CrossFit.

I noted that two years ago, I couldn’t do a single box jump, pull-up, rope climb, double-under, or wall ball, and I sure as heck couldn’t tell the difference between a clean, a jerk, and a snatch (no, not like that, come on). My work clothes didn’t fit, I thought pasta and low-fat dairy would solve all my problems, and yoga was my only tie to physical activity.

Nowadays, I complain about different things: that I can’t string 10 double-unders together, that my box jumps aren’t fast enough, that my unbroken sets of pull-ups are too small, that my wall ball shots aren’t high enough, that I should lift heavier. I can critique my errors in the full and power versions of the clean and the snatch, and my front squat has emerged as my best lift. My diet has evolved (although I did have ramen at Samurai Noodle today–worth it. And then I had some Seahawks game day brews. Whoops!), my workouts have evolved (although I still like the occasional yoga session as sharp contrast to my CrossFit training), and I definitely fit differently into my clothes.

But I still want more. I want bigger sets, more advanced skills, heavier weights, faster times. I want to “level up” and to catch up with some of the rabbits I’m chasing.

And still, I have it in my mind that I’m an imposter. Will I only believe I’m decent when I have 50+ unbroken double-unders, a muscle-up, and a heavier-than-bodyweight clean & jerk? Or will I get to that point and still think, “Still not good enough.”

Burpees over the bar. Yay.

Burpees over the bar. Yay.

I don’t believe this to a be a problem for everyone. This is a product of my own remnants of perfectionism. For example, I was good at piano–but in my mind, I was never that great because memorization didn’t come easy, I wasn’t winning local competitions, I never mastered the most difficult pieces. In my mind, I was never good at dance because my proficiency in ballet lagged behind my tap skills, I couldn’t turn and leap, my splits were never as far down as I wanted.

And maybe that’s just me. Always setting my definition of “good” just out of reach. I’m trying to break my self-deprecating mindset, to have confidence in growth and progression, to remember that developing skill takes hard work and dedication.

And that means pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

Come see for yourself. I’m competing on Sunday in the Elysian Games, which is my first time competing in an Open division as opposed to Scaled. The idea is that it’s an Rx division, but if you absolutely need to scale any of the movements, you can–great for a first competition, or the first time out of a Scaled competition! I’m nervous, of course, seeing that there aren’t many movements I consider to be “in my wheelhouse.” (If you’re wondering, right now, my wheelhouse consists of exactly two things: deadlifts and burpees. Lucky me.) However, it’s a good way to push myself out of my comfort zone and into a setting that will challenge me physically and mentally.

I didn’t come into CrossFit with a ton of talent. In fact, I’d say maybe the only thing I had were my flexible hips. But I’ve found something that keeps my attention, and it keeps me coming back day after day to tackle another weakness.

And that, I suppose, is good enough for now.

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