‘Your only competition is yourself’ – in it’s simplicity it’s a great quote. I see the meaning behind it, comparison is the thief of joy right? Comparing yourself to others is a fucking KILLER!
‘I knew I should do better than XYZ person in my class today’ is comparing yourself as is checking Wodify/Beyond the Whiteboard/Your Gym’s Score System to see where you ‘came’ for that workout – but you just want to see how you got on right? How you COMPARE to those you train with??
I know exactly how it feels to look around the class and decide ‘ok Im gonna pace Myself off the girl that’s stronger than me but her gymnastics aren’t as good’ ‘oh I’m not competing I’m just making sure I push myself’ – this was my reasoning and my self talk.
BORING – COMPARING – NEGATIVE – BULLSHIT
I bought into ‘Your only competition is Yourself’ a long time ago. FULLY immersed myself in it. I have a dozen spreadsheets with all my numbers, metcon times, dated, graphs everything! It worked for Me.
Yeah you know what’s coming…a huge BUT…
Well what happens when you compare yourself with yourself and you’re not better, you’re not progressing as fast as you think you should or maybe you’ve even got worse?? I’ll tell you what happens, you start to doubt yourself, you beat yourself up and you get all of those awful negative feelings that come with comparing yourself to others…..
You see comparison is comparison no matter what and if you are in any way predisposed to insecurity, negative self talk, negative thought patterns and behaviors this is going to go bad and FAST…
I got quite badly injured a while ago and I’m only back training the last 3 weeks and I’ve learnt ALOT about Myself and my comparative thought process in that time. The first week I wanted to be lifting the same weights I was previously, performing the same movements, I was bored, frustrated and felt like Id ‘gone back 3 years’ as I painfully (and secretly) tried banging out pull ups at the back of the room – to no avail.
So then what did I do? Well I took the ‘no comparison, best effort, not yet’ approach spoken about by awesome Coaches like Ben Bergeron and Carol Dweck and I’d like to share some of my immediate thoughts on it:
1- Giving my best effort on the day is not the same as PR’ing. Understanding and listening to my body and choosing a scale that will allow me to move properly and get the response meant from the workout is number one priority – FOREVER MORE
2- Actually choosing the correct scale for myself on that day gives me an amazing sense of achievement after each workout as I’m left a sweaty mess but having completed all the movements with great technique and good volume of reps – no misses, no pain, no frustration
3- Busting out heavy singles in a metcon every day coz you want to go RX is not always the best way to do things
4- Good movement (technique) leads to faster metcon times!
5- ZERO comparison has me bouncing out of the gym feeling amazing every day! This is a big one! Not worrying about what I used to do, lift, PR etc has me fully immersed in the moment and allows me to enjoy the metcon – because after all training is supposed to be fun!!!
6 – Coach knows best – listen! Im blessed to have amazing Coaches in my life and listening to them – working on my movement, reading their blogs, advice and experience has made everything SO much easier.
To finish, I’d just like to say that all of this sounds pretty easy, honestly I used to think I wasn’t comparing Myself, then I used to think that I was only comparing Myself with Myself so it was all good – it wasn’t.
I actually had to take a long, hard, look and listen to my self talk to fully understand that I was in fact performing negative comparisons – even though they were with Myself. It’s quite hard to be that honest with yourself but I feel like now I have, a whole new world has been opened up to Me.
As always, if something helps me then I’ll do my best to pass it on, thanks for reading!
Coach – D12 CrossFit
PT – Just Strong.org
Blogger – Kettlebelle.ie