Every July the Reebok CrossFit Games occur, testing the 40 fittest women and men and teams to determine who the fittest on Earth is. They are put through a grueling five days of unknown events testing their fitness capacity in every form. If you are like me, you have no clue how the Royals are doing in their season, who the Chiefs’ quarterback is or if Sporting KC is still in fact, in KC, but you’re glued to your phone or computer watching each heat of every event of the CrossFit Games and then getting on social media to watch replays and recaps. It can be intoxicating to watch. However, it can also be intimidating. The good news is that CrossFit as a training program and the CrossFit games are different things; namely, one is geared towards improving the quality of life through fitness and the other is a competition.

There is absolutely no need to do a competitive CrossFit event to be in amazing shape and work towards our fitness goals, but, if watching the Games, or if friendly competition during class workouts has you pondering about the potential of doing a local competition, let me give you two reasons why doing a competition can be a good thing. Better yet, let your fellow CFNer’s give you the reasons.

The People

It’s an opportunity to do what we love with your friends and represent the gym we all love so much. I don’t go to win the whole thing, but I love the challenge. Watching your gym-mates conquer workouts among all kinds of athletes just gives you a sense of pride… like, they are MY people and they just kicked a**! -Halie T.

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CrossFit is a community-driven experience. Competitions give you the ability to interact with your fellow gym-mates, develop closer bonds, as well as encounter other CrossFitters from different gyms and establish new relationships.

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The crowd was really exciting, once you finish an event the crowd is cheering and carrying on giving you the feeling that you did great no matter where you finished in the heat. What I didn’t expect was how fun doing something challenging with a partner would be. You can run a marathon or do triathlon, both very challenging but you are alone. These events are a great way to learn about team building, making quick decisions on the fly, and how to deal with unforeseen challenges (I forgot my jump rope and realized I can’t really do single-unders). There is a lot of downtime between events so you have a great opportunity to get to know your fellow CFN members better. -Nick A.

Personal Podium Moments

I wanted to do a competition because I wanted to put the fitness and skills that I’ve learned in class to the test. It was cool to be training in class towards a goal with a deadline. I knew specifically what I needed and wanted to work on to be the best competitor that I could be.-Brian O.

Knowing you have a competition on your calendar can increase your intensity during class workouts, inspire you to address weaknesses, and learn new skills. This is especially true if you are doing a partner competition or a team competition, since we don’t want to let our teammates down by a lack of prepared effort. All of this can lead to some pretty incredible personal growth, either physically, mentally or emotionally!

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Amazing things can happen on the competition floor. This is true in the CrossFit Open, and is true in weekend competitions. We are able to challenge ourselves in new ways, push our pace harder, and do movements we may otherwise avoid.

“Reasons why I loved competition: It always amazes me how much stronger or faster I am when I let my body do its thing. Yes, I push hard in workouts, but competition is amazing. The adrenaline gives you so many endorphins, not only are you on fire, but you are also genuinely excited to do it. Doing CrossFit is preparing as an athlete; without competitions you never get to test and showcase all your hard work. Yes, sometimes you fail at stuff or you are not the best, but so is everyone else. You just come, leave it all on the table and walk away satisfied and achieved. Alexis A.

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My favorite part of doing the competition last year was being part of a group of people pushing themselves into new physical and mental spaces as a function of caring for their teammates. It’s amazing to find out what you are capable of doing in both of those arenas when you look to your left and right and there are teammates putting their hearts on the line for you, for each other, and the team. -David P.

Well if you aren’t convinced yet, let me offer one final reason for doing a competition, and to keep the “P” theme going (People, Personal Podium Moments), I’ll make it a P.

Pizza

Plus, you get to eat hella pizza afterwards.-Alexis A