Was year 7 a lucky year? No. It was however the 7th consecutive year for me to participate in the CrossFit Open. I’m still fittish. I’m still fabulous. I’m still as competitive as I was when I was just 12 years old.
Year 7 was a defining year. A year I didn’t let fear hold me back. A year to redefine myself within my personal scope of CrossFit today. This year I am visiting the gym 3-4 days a week as compared to a solid 6 days a week a few years ago. I’m a little thicker. I’m a little less flexible. I’m a little more cautious vs. reckless.
I do other things now, whether I’m playing tennis a few days a week or just squeezing in a workout in my shred shed to stay active. With that being said I didn’t miss the chance to compete in the CrossFit Open. Why would I? I have a seven year streak going. I may even have a goal to see how many years I can do it.
I participated scaled which was okay for me as I wasn’t working on the advanced gymnastics movements all year, but I could garner the strength to participate scaled. I scaled like a boss and owned each workout the best I could. I had fun. I did better than expected in most cases. All in all I am happy to be continuing to compete each year.
The workouts are always different. The people around you may change but the competitive edge really lies within you. I’ve been an athlete all my life. I have competed at high levels across many sports over the years. The common denominator is competition for me. I like to compete. I like to compete in many areas of life and sports allows me to hone my skills and discipline myself.
As you can see below I test my brain each morning with Wordle. I compete with friends near and far. A digital challenge each morning. A competition bright and early in the day to spark the competitive edge we all have. Some days it’s easy. Some days it’s frustrating. Some days I lose. Today I was a little lucky. Some friends start with the same word. I choose a new word daily. I guess I like change and that simple word change is something I control each morning. Instead of being cautious I’m risking change thus competing with myself.
I compete with myself on the daily however having national leaderboards is a great way to see how you stack up to others around the world. I’m not the elite athlete by any means and I don’t care to be. I care to be me, an athlete. A masters athlete. A scaled athlete. A long-term competitor. I’m an endurance athlete. I’m enduring the test of time. How long can I stay fit enough to compete at whatever level my body and mind wants to. I adapt. I adjust. I realign my expectations now and again.
Some days I may be in the masters age class for CrossFit while other days I’m in the muck of it all with an 18 year old. On the tennis courts I may play in the senior league but then the next day play in 18 and older league. Each scenario may be different with players and abilities but it’s still competitive. Your mind still needs to react to the environment. One must persevere against whatever the odds are. Being an athlete also has highs and lows. Winning days and losing days. The point is I still compete and give my all in whatever level competition I am in and whether or not I win a prize.
I don’t register for the local 5k to be #1 in my age group. I do it to say I competed. I do it to be amongst other like-minded people who chose fitness. Environment matters. Getting out with others can be key for many who many suffer in their own silent ways. Remember that you don’t have to be #1 to be an athlete. You need to train to be an athlete. Training is a repetitive action.
Today at my gym I worked out along side a young guy in a wheelchair. He adapts every movement for him even though we do the same class. Next to me is a teenager. She is getting her conditioning in for her high school off season. Different levels, same focus on fitness. Making time to work at our levels.
My body gets stiffer these days. My body needs extra time stretching. Once I make my adjustments I can still work just as hard as others. I’m just adjusting to the newer version of me which is actually the older version of me. Tweaking what needs adjusting along the way.
When I look back at these seven years in the Open, I can see how far I have come. I can see where I could go. I can see how many people quit while I stayed on the path. I can see how much my fit life has impacted others around me. My mental strength has grown from all the moments I spent on the gym floor in near tears for making another rep. My emotional strength has skyrocketed as it goes hand and hand with my mental prowess. Physically I have hit ups and downs but I am super strong in comparison to many my age and for that I am hopeful for the future. The future of me. How long I endure. How I forge ahead.
If you have never competed on a national level, try it. Maybe your sport is chess. Maybe it’s pickle ball. Whatever the sport see how you fare. Competition is a strength in all parts of life. We all compete for tomorrow when it’s never guaranteed. Staying competitive in life or competing helps one prepare for those days that you need the physical, mental and emotional strength to see tomorrow.
I am an athlete.
An athlete in mind, body and spirit.
I have trained for years.
I did the work.
I continue to work each day. This is what an athlete does. They train continuously. It’s my opinion that athletes make great leaders. They understand sacrifice. They know how to work hard. They appreciate mental toughness. They can balance when needed in life. They are built to endure.
The photo above showing me upside down is fascinating to those who don’t workout. It takes a lot to go upside down. Confidence. Strength. Determination. Power more than finesse. Practice. Failures. Courage. So much behind the scenes of this photo, yet I am proud to say that at 51 years old I can go upside down. Maybe that’s another goal to see how many more years I can go upside down.
What kind of athlete are you?