I recently finished the 2011 CrossFit Games Open competition. I didn't win. I wasn't even close. Out of the 8616 men who completed all six WODs I finished 8220. I knew going in that I didn't have a shot at making it to the regional competition but I signed up anyway. Why would I spend all the time and effort over seven weeks if I wasn't going to win? It’s FUN and competition teaches you about yourself. Lots. I learned I am stronger than I give myself credit. I also learned that I talk myself out of doing things because I’ve convinced myself I am unable to do them or they scare me.
One workout required me to lift 165 first to my shoulders then front squat it and finally put it over my head.... as many times as possible in 5 minutes.The idea of cleaning and jerking 165 pounds multiple times scared the crap out of me. I stressed about it for 4 days before I did the WOD. I was pretty sure I could get it to my shoulders once (that would keep me in the competition) but overhead was asking a lot. I decided I would shoot for 5 Clean and Jerks and I completed  7 cleans and 6 jerks.
The competition forced me to face my demons and I won. I won in two ways actually. I won simply because I got out on the floor and attempted to do something I wasn’t really sure I was capable. I risked failing in front of my friends in this attempt. The second win was reaching my goal and going past it. When it was over I realized that my goal was,perhaps, a bit too low.

But what bad things would happen if I had failed to reach my goal? What if I couldn’t get the weight up?
Absolutely nothing. The sun would continue to rise and set, my wife and daughter would still love me and my friends would pat me on the back and say “good try” or “you’ll get it next time.” I would be a stronger person for the attempt knowing that I faced my fears.

What are you competing in? How are you pushing yourself to get better? 
Set a goal, tell everyone what you are going to do and then do it.

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