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Integrity as an Athlete

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Integrity as an Athlete

Bad Form and Rep Shaving

by  | Oct 27, 2015 | Bull Run CrossFit

Bad Form and Rep Shaving

Nothing is more rewarding as a CrossFit athlete than pouring your heart and soul into a workout, reveling in your accomplishments and seeing yourself climbing the whiteboard ladder. You’ve heard it before that you’re only in competition with yourself and who you were yesterday. In reality, we’re always looking around to see who we stack up against. We yearn to establish our place in the hierarchy and work hard to improve our position with every rep, breath, and bottle of fish oil.

Which is why we have to have the integrity discussion. This post is meant to initiate an otherwise difficult discussion and address the elephant in the room.

Hopefully you’ve had mentors in your life that have personified integrity. They were the people that likely called you out on your BS on one or more occasion. For me it was an old boss that stood a moral and professional line like I’ve never seen.

To have integrity is to have an unwavering moral code and an unyielding honesty in everything you do. Or, to put it another way, to have integrity means that you are who you say you are even when nobody is around to know otherwise.

The close cousin to integrity is character. Character is to demonstrate courage, to be of good repute, and to exhibit an ethical quality. Integrity and character cannot exist without each other.

What does this have to do with CrossFit? The very nature of CrossFit and the CrossFit community stands upon the shoulders of character and integrity. Without them, our beloved sport is shallow, aimless, and without meaning.

How then do we co-exist in proximity to those CrossFit’ers that are lacking in both character and integrity? Particularly when it comes to posting WOD times, lifts, and benchmarks? We all know one or two of these folks that always seem to have a counting disorder once the clock starts. Or is it you?

For the longest time I believed the only injured party would be the offending individual. The “truth” would come out during a formal or informal competition right? But what if s/he never competes? Are they still only hurting themselves? The act of shaving and misrepresenting capabilities is actually depriving progress from those  individual(s) that are working hard each day to improve their standing.

Imagine playing a game of tag with someone that you can never catch. No matter how hard you train or how hard you try, you’re always just a little short of the prize.

Demonstrating integrity is to accept your shortcomings as they are instead of falsifying capabilities you have yet to achieve. To have character is to accept those shortcomings with good sportsmanship and grace in defeat.

The ardent rep-shaver creates an inequity within their CrossFit community. And once an individual is tagged as a fraudster, they’ll struggle to regain the respect of their peers. Don’t be that guy (or gal) that would rather be on top of the whiteboard than be righteous.

Lastly are those that, while accurate in their accounting, do not follow through on proper biomechanics or full range of motion. Worse than shaving these individuals sacrifice form for time. I’m not talking about those that have a genuine dysfunction that prevents them from meeting standards. This is geared towards those that have the range of motion but forgo standards. These folks can also contribute to an atmosphere of angst amongst those that are true to form and strive for improvement.

Take inventory of yourself and lead by example. Be virtuous in all you do and you’ll experience greatness in your sport, your relationships, and your life.

Coach.

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