I enter each workout with a certain expectation. The expectation that I should be able to do as much, or a little more, than I previously did. A little more weight, a slightly faster time, better form, etc. I compete with myself, trying to outdo myself.
I have never thought of tying to do better than those I workout with. I’ve never thought of my workout as a competition between me and those I workout with. I have always competed against myself. And because I am highly motivated, I have been a good competitor for myself. But could I have been a better competitor?
What if, instead of competing against myself, I competed against the big dog during the workout. The one person who is pushing max reps, or big weight, or has spectacular form. What if that big dog was right next to me, and instead of thinking that I could never do what they are doing -- that all I need to do is better than I did previously… What if I thought that I needed to do better than the big dog? That I needed to do more weight, I needed a faster time, I needed better form, because the big dog next to me was going to kick some CrossFit ass, and I needed to beat them to it. Would that light my competitive fire and push my abilities through the “better-than-my-previous-time” ceiling? My guess is that my competitive fire would become a firestorm, and I could do more than I ever would have expected, and blow my PRs out of the water.
So the big dogs better watch out. Because I am not going after my previous weights or times – I’m going after them. And I am going to fight for every pound, every rep and every second.
Patrick Cummings talks about this in After the Gun, a post on Again Faster. Read it and get some fire.