The private stage of competition.

There was a time this summer when I thought I might want to compete in the Master’s Division of the Crossfit Open. I wrote this whole post about Goals and going after what you want and how if you really want something and work hard enough it can be yours. And what do you know but the 2013 Crossfit Open stats have just been posted, registration beginning on Jan. 30, 2013. With a new Master’s Division. The time is nigh!

But since that initial inkling that competing in the Open ‘might be fun’ I’ve had the opportunity to compete in minor competitions and watch fellow athletes do so too. The result: I’m not so sure competing is for me. While I am still a competitive person which is part of the attraction to Crossfit (competing against your personal best) the feelings I get before and during a competition are beginning to overshadow my competitive spirit.

Yesterday’s novice Strongman competition is a good example. It wasn’t sanctioned and lightly attended by only a small circle of fellow athletes and friends. It felt at ease, warm, supportive, light hearted, yet organized, encouraging athletes to succeed.

In the days leading up to more stringent competitions where the feeling is much more intense and we are all in it for the Gold, I am gripped with what can only be described as acute nausea. I feel sick. My nerves settle deep into my stomach and all I want to do is run screaming with fright from the building.

Now is probably a good time to roll out the chalk board and highlight all the arguments of how it is important to face one’s fears, power through these hurdles, the only way out is through, etc. etc.

But what’s wrong with just wanting to do your best and competing against yourself on a personal level, on a private stage, as opposed to doing so in front a group of cheering enthusiastic peers? It’s not the enthusiastic spectators at issue, it’s my own need to to feel at ease. I’m happy to cheer the next guy, as long as that next guy is not me.

This is a new development and something that needs to be tossed about further but settling on the side of not-competing feels much more peaceful than the opposing side of competing.

Of course all of this could be mere bollox and chalked up to pre-competition jitters, as the Strongman Competition on Saturday, December, 8, looms on the horizon.

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