By Hannah Christmas
January 2021 was my first CrossFit competition. I had been doing CrossFit for just over a year and was absolutely terrified in the weeks leading up to the competition. Luckily my partner Ashley Williamson had a few competitions under her belt so I knew I could lean on her to calm my nerves.
The first event began, and I immediately regretted my decision! I thought to myself, “What the heck was I thinking? I am already wrecked after one workout! I don’t want to let my partner down. How in the world am I going to be able to complete four more events?!”
But then all those thoughts of fear and regret faded when I saw how amazing and encouraging the community at the competition was! Nobody cared if you failed a lift or weren’t able to complete the event. The competitors cheered each other on every second of the day! The room was loud. High-fives and “Great Jobs!” were passed out all around. The energy and liveliness of the community was tangible.
Fast forward to the end of the day.
We survived all of the events and only finished a few points away from the podium. What a blast of a first experience! I met new people. Pushed my body past what I thought would be its limits and walked away with new goals that I wanted to work towards. Did I feel like I got hit by an 18-wheeler truck the next day? Absolutely! But it was worth it… I was still on a high from the energy of the day before.
We move into February and I have convinced my sweet husband, Justin Christmas, to do a Valentine’s day competition with me. This was a humbling day for sure. The events had much more advanced skill and heavier weights than either of us were expecting.
The feeling of regret sunk in again. I thought, “Oh crap. What did I get us into?” The competition day begins and ends and we get stomped.
Like, second to last place stomped. And, although I had low moments of feeling embarrassed and thoughts that I let my husband and partner down, the community came through again and saved the day. Even while struggling, our competitors and gym family cheered us on through each rep. When we were watching the other partners compete, we got to be their audience and pep squad. Each of us walked away from the competition with a personal win. Mine being that I did ninety double unders unbroken when I couldn’t even do three a few months prior. And my husband’s being that he snatched 135 lbs twice when he had only been doing CrossFit for 4 months.
I recap my first two competitions for the following reasons:
Because of those events, I was able to experience the love and excitement that the greater CrossFit community embodies. We were all complete strangers in the room, yet the encouragement and camaraderie was genuine.
We are all striving to get better, healthier, and fitter… and that will come with failures. But guess what? That is okay! Experiencing failure, whether it is in the comfortability of your home gym with your friends or in a room of strangers competing against each other is okay. This is where you discover your weaknesses and what your next goals can be. For me, competition plainly revealed where I needed to improve as an athlete. It is now September and I have had the pleasure of taking part in two additional competitions, both with more amazing people! Each experience leaves me with an appreciation of this beautiful CrossFit community we are part of. Can competitions be exhausting and intimidating? Yes. But are they also invigorating? YES!!!
At the top of the pyramid of fitness is “sport”. We all do CrossFit for different reasons, but if you have thought about participating in a competition, imagine it as a “sport”. It is like a bunch of adults getting together, playing on the playground, enjoying some recreational fun and lifting heavy shit. If it is too far out of your comfort zone and you decide that it’s not your jam, that is completely fine! We all have different goals and vibes and that is what makes our CrossFit community so unique! But…You also might surprise yourself! 😉