Most of us work out for ourselves. Most of us are in the gym with the sole purpose of getting/staying healthy, improving our fitness and aesthetic, and getting a good sweat on. And then as our fitness improves, sometimes we want to compete with one another. This is one of the most important aspects in CrossFit. Competition makes us better! It’s important to compete. Whether you are competing against your friend or you’re competing against yourself to better your previous time/score/weight, it’s important to make it happen in order to increase the intensity.
However, integrity on this competing level is what I’m writing about today. Integrity is defined as, “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” This is a life quality that carries over into more than just your fitness. Completing something that you started is the best feeling in the world. How many of you reading this graduated from high school? Was it one of the most satisfying feelings in the world to know you made it through that 13-year suck-fest? That accomplishment of seeing tasks, projects, workouts, and problems through to completion will carry over into every aspect of your life. Starting something and then finishing it makes you a man/woman of your word. You’re seen as more reliable and more trustworthy.
On the other hand, cutting corners can have the opposite effect. If the workout calls for 30 reps, and you consistently do only 24 of those reps, people notice. It doesn’t fly under the radar like you think it might. It may not seem like a big deal: what’s so bad about skipping 6 reps in a workout? But it matters. For one, you’re not getting the same benefit of the workout as everyone else, and also PEOPLE LEARN TO TRUST YOU LESS. Don’t let your ego to finish a workout quicker cloud people’s perception of you!
The subject of integrity also carries over into range of motion standards. If you are cutting your movements short of the game rules, you’re cheating! If you came to me asking for my professional help, and I put in my time, education, effort and ability to give you the best information available to help you improve your fitness, and you turn around and neglect what I said to you just so you can make it easier on yourself or not finish last or beat your friend’s time…it’s a massive insult to me and my efforts. Not only that, but it looks bad on myself and my staff who have also put in time and energy on your form.
But the worst part is, you’re cheating yourself! You’re doing yourself an injustice. At the end of the day, the person this will affect most is you. As life goes on, it’s your strength, your flexibility, your balance, your control, your speed, and your integrity that is affected.
Traveling to another gym is also something that involves integrity. Growing up in a martial arts world, I remember I would show up to a sister martial arts school for a seminar, and students/instructors would ask me, “What school do you come from?” I would answer them, “Austin Kung-fu Exchange, under Sifu Hughes,” and I was amazed when they were shocked! They would say, “Sifu Hughes?!?! That guy is amazing!” Or, “That guy is so ruthless!” and automatically I would have to live up to the standard that he had which preceded his name.
This is what I want from my own gym!
When my clients move the best and are some of the fittest creatures on the planet, it’s going to make me and my coaches look amazing! It’s a win-win for both of us. You get in shape and overall fitter and healthier, and I get a reputation of integrity and of upholding standards and good form. This brings me more business and is looked upon in the CrossFit community as a very admirable quality.
So as you travel or compete with your fellow athletes or yourself, just keep your integrity in mind! Do your best, complete the workout to the best of your ability. Take longer if you need to! Lower the weight to work on form! Just don’t cut yourself or your coaches short by cheating. Make it a good thing to say, “I’m a member of CrossFit Hollywood!”