I still remember the first day I walked into a CrossFit gym. It was a Thursday, a gymnastics day, and they were practicing handstand walking. Until that day I always thought of myself as a bit of a weirdo at the gym; a little extreme, competitive and in love with working out, for the sake of working out.
Walking into the Crossfit Gym that day, changed my life forever. I found my people. That was 5 years ago almost to the day. I am so grateful for that day.
One year later I was representing my gym on a team at the Canada East regionals. I was really the last pick, and only because of my gymnastic skills, but I was picked none the less. I love being the best, or at least amongst the best.
Fast forward another two years. In 2016, I turned 40 and decided to go for it. I turned it up a notch in my game and it paid off. First in Canada East, and 37th in the world in the Open. Although I didn't make it to the games, this catapulted me into action. I wanted it so bad I could taste it.
And then... Everything changed. In 2017, I had a baby. I had surgery 12 weeks later. Almost a year went by without consistent training. I gained 45 lbs (and another 5 AFTER I had the baby). Every time, I went to the gym I hated it. I wanted to quit. It was hard not being the best.
For every workout, I compared myself to "the old me" pre-baby, pre-surgery, 3 hours a day training me. I kept thinking of all the strength I had lost. I felt like I was starting over every day. Did I mention how much I hated it? I hated it because it was so damn hard.
Quitting seemed to be the only thing left to do.
I thought about quitting every day. It was too hard. I wasn't having fun. Winning and being the best is fun for me, and not being "there" anymore hurt my ego. Not only that but it was just hard to get to the gym with a newborn baby with me 24/7. I loved him and was so grateful but at the same time so resentful of everything I had lost. I watched my old training partners hit PRs and kill workouts while I struggled to do the simplest of movements. I almost quit 1000 times. But I didn't.
I didn't quit because I knew that this struggle was going to make me stronger. Quitting was the easy road to take. In that case, my ego wins. No one sees me struggle. No one sees me fail, because I fail to try.
Instead I saw it as an opportunity. An opportunity to work and improve my game. An opportunity to rebuild, to struggle, to fail and to become a better stronger more resilient version of myself.
I know this year I will not be the best, or even close. My ego is not going to like it. I could easily not sign up for the open to save my ego.
But I'm not.
Even though I won't be the best this year, I know I will be MY BEST if I sign up.
I am putting my ego aside and going for it. I know if I sign up I will work harder and be more accountable. I will not quit. No matter where I place, I know that I have put in the work and will continue to put in the work in the gym. I have stopped comparing myself to the "old pre-baby" me and have started fresh.
I am not the same person I was before. I have a baby. I am more resilient than ever. And every time I think about quitting I think about that day I walked into the Crossfit gym and thought "I found my people".
So every day I go in, I put my ego aside, and I do the work. I do it, and will continue doing it for the love of the sport. I truly love it. You can shit all over it if you want, but it changed my life for the better.
So if you are hesitating in signing up for the Open, just do it. Try your best. Have fun with it. In the end, it doesn't matter if you are first or ten-thousandth as long as you have fun or lay on the floor flailing your legs because you gave it everything you got.