“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” -Ayn Rand
Let’s take some time to talk about ego in the gym.
From an outsider perspective, ego, or rather egoism aka arrogance, and CrossFit go hand in hand. CrossFit gyms around the world are stereotyped as “bro-ish” – so much so that magazines like Men’s Health have taken the time to lay out a list of “Guys You’ll Meet doing CrossFit”. Yup, it’s bad and it’s no secret that CrossFit is commonly associated with . . .
These BAD Behaviors
- Heavy lifting with terrible form,
- Hyper competitive timed workouts,
- Obnoxiously loud music,
- Members’ explosive use of profanity,
- The high probability that an athlete is taking their shirt off about one minute into a METCON.
All this blends to create a somewhat douchey (just gonna say it) vibe which has turned many away from the sport.
At CrossFit Salt de Terre (CFSDT), we are fighting hard to combat this egoism stereotype because we believe their is a better way! We encourage our coaches and members to check all chest thumping behaviors at the door using these strategies . . .
CFSDT Encourages Athletes to . . .
- Lift what’s appropriate for their frame while maintaining proper technique,
- Track workout times and beating their last lift or time not someone else’s,
- Choose workout jams appropriate for all,
- Keep their language classy,
- Celebrate the accomplishments of the strongest and newest members,
- Hang around in their sweaty post workout tees because, well, we know what’s underneath and we don’t need to show it off.
Through these practices, we directly and intentionally refute those stereotypical CrossFit behaviors. Our method bolsters the other thing (the BEST thing) CrossFit is known for – a strong sense of community. We end each class exhausted, a little fitter, feeling better and more confident in ourselves and most likely with a few new friends.
Our way is not the easy way. Maintaining a healthy level of ego – without falling into that douchey brand of arrogance – and still managing to feel motivated/inspired – is a daily struggle. And we admit, we don’t have a perfect solution. BUT we try.
What We Tell Our Athletes Regarding Ego
- Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to everyone else in the gym today.
- Remember that you are a human being and it’s ok to have an off day.
- Push yourself, don’t destroy yourself. There’s always tomorrow.
- Take note of your achievements, literally record them, through an app or just simply write them down.
- Take note of your failures. This is a tough one but when you grow, as an athlete, you’ll begin to see those “failures” opportunities for growth and motivation to do better.
- Cheer for those around you because encouragement is contagious, and we all need a little bit sometimes.
So, next time you’re feeling down about a workout, try running through this list and see if you can’t turn things around. “Check yo self before you wreck yo self” (thanks Ice Cube) and we’d venture to guess your workout experience will become far more enjoyable.