I (STILL) *Get* to Compete: An Update

by DCCF Member, EA Duncan

Article originally posted 9/23/13:

Lorne Michael is known to have said about his TV program Saturday Night Live “The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; the show goes on because it’s 11:30.” I am competing in Kentuckiana’s Fittest this weekend, because though I may never be ready, it’s time.

Around the time I turned 1, I wrote Case at 4BCF an email that said, in slightly different wording, “I am basically terrified but I’m still thinking about signing up for Kentuckiana’s Fittest anyway… is that stupid?” Case wrote back an extremely soothing version of “You will be just fine. Come on out.” In my defense, and his, I am capable of doing everything on the event’s standards list. However, those of us familiar with soul crushing benchmark WODs know that it is one thing to look at the words “unassisted pull ups” and “65# thrusters” and think “Yeah, got that.” and QUITE another to be able to do Fran. I am more than a little nervous. I will likely be having second thoughts until the moment I am finished with my last workout. (I might have written this article in part so that I really cannot back out…) So you’re thinking “E.A., you are anxious and concerned about your ability and yet you’re going to pay someone to do Fran and some other workouts on a Saturday? WHY?!”

  • I am going to compete because I am able. There are people who want to be as healthy and capable as I am. There are people who wish they had the time and dedication I do. I choose to look at this way: I get to compete. Some people aren’t as lucky. I am competing for me and for them.
  • I am going to compete because I am proud of how much more I can do now than I could three months ago/six months ago/a year ago. And because hopefully next year I’m going to look back and think “Remember when I was scared of seeing X in a competition workout?!” (Ok, ok: X is Double-Unders. If you are DUs guru please email me immediately.)
  • I am going to compete because so much of what I love about this cult is that my inner athlete is no longer screaming to be let out. Admittedly, I’m dragging her to this level of competition somewhat unwillingly, but I’m hopeful she will surprise me once she’s there. I do a lot of preaching about this community, and competitions are such an important piece of the camaraderie building. Putting yourself side by side with athletes of all levels earns respect. In addition to your own personal breakthroughs, it gives you a chance to be part of other people’s big moments.
  • I am going to compete because then I’ve totally justified buying yet another CrossFit shirt. Oh, and I’m going to get a shirt for competing. I need more t-shirts like I need a hole in the head, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting and acquiring them. Same goes for the various CrossFit toys/accessories I have purchased and will continue to purchase. It all seems a little less ridiculous when it’s done in preparation for a competition.
  • I am going to compete because, as trite as it may be, the journey truly is the destination. When I officially signed up for this competition it may have seemed like a looming, harrowing event, but in reality it will just be another day, another stepping stone, another memory made.
  • Prior to now I have done two Friday Night Throwdowns and two WODs for charity in friendly but competitive atmospheres. I’ve also gone to watch/cheer at an additional handful of comps of varying levels. I have some idea what I’m in for. Come out Saturday and watch so that next time, you’ll be ready to compete. Well, like me, you might not feel *ready*. But it’s 11:30. Showtime.
  • Update!
    As I head into the final month before Kentuckiana’s Fittest 15 I decided to call up this old article I wrote about competing for the first time in 2013. I love what I found for many reasons. First, I love it because I did it. I was out of my league, but I did it all and I did it RXed. This was before the days of a beginners division even though that’s likely what I needed. Guess what? I didn’t die. I don’t think I even cried? We are capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for sometimes.

    Additionally, I love that even the name of the article gave credit to competing because I am able, because it turns out one year later I would have to forgo participating in the same competition to recover from surgery. I continue to work out, train and compete for those who can’t and wish they could. We able bodied people owe that to ourselves and to each other.

    Finally, I want to say that I still never feel ‘ready’ to compete. I always wish I were better at [X]. (I STILL wish I were better at double unders, although I am happy to say I’ve come a long way from the utter dread I felt towards them when I wrote in 13.) It saddens me when people say “I will try that [level of competition] next time/month/year.” because I think it takes away from how far you’ve come, and puts too much pressure on where you hope to be someday. If you’re still on the fence and there are spots open in your division, join me. Admit that “ready” isn’t a prerequisite, and come out anyway. It’s almost showtime…

    Elizabeth Ann Duncan (“E.A.”) is an attorney by trade and an amateur CrossFit nerd by choice. She can’t believe time is flying by and she’s now 3 CrossFit years old. She still can’t resist buying CrossFit tshirts.

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