14.4: BEHIND THE NUMBERS
The leaderboard is one of the more fascinating elements of the CrossFit Games Open. An obsession for many, the leaderboard can have dramatic effects on self-esteem.
In the blink of any eye, a feeling of accomplishment and self-satisfaction can vanish when a rival posts a score but one rep better. Conversely, a one-rep victory suddenly makes a score seem so much better.
All that is actually completely irrational. If you’re satisfied with your score as a representation of your current fitness, and if you know it represented an honest effort, then its spot of the leaderboard is really irrelevant. It’s not logical to feel good about something and then hate it because you compared it to something else, but it’s very human.
Does the apple you have become less delicious because someone else has an orange? In absolute terms, it does not. But in the mind, it somehow does.
Comparison is a good thing at times. The leaderboard is a great way to motivate yourself and push beyond perceived limits by seeing what others can do and trying to beat them. But there’s also a time to ignore the leaderboard. That time is when you’ve given your best effort. If you gave all you had, your score is tremendously valuable no matter where it sits on the leaderboard.
There’s honor in effort, and it isn’t diminished because someone else did one extra rep.
When I announce the scores at the end of every heat, I really place no extra value on the high ones. I look at each one and compare it to the athlete responsible for it. Does that score represent that athlete’s best effort? If so, that’s a beautiful thing.
Workout 14.4 was tough due to the many skills required. You needed conditioning, strength, gymnastics skills, endurance and more, and many of us confronted a weakness somewhere along the way. But as I said, there’s honor in the fight even if you didn’t win.
I wish there was a way to assign additional value to a 14.4 score of 60 that included 10 minutes making impressive progress on toes-to-bars. It would be great if you could put an asterisk beside a score of 150 and a truly great attempt at a PR clean. What if you could highlight a score of 180 that represents an athlete bouncing back with a great performance after being disappointed in 14.3?
But really, the leaderboard isn’t the place to tell those stories. You have to be there in the gym to understand what really happened. And if you were, you’ll apprehend the true value of each number on the leaderboard.
If you ever look at the leaderboard and see only simple digits beside your name, you’d do well to recall the story behind those digits.
Partner “Angie”For Time:
*Complete all reps of each exercise before moving to the next
*Break up work as needed