Going into a CrossFit class where most of the people in there are in their 20s can put a lot 40-year-olds at a competitive disadvantage. If this was an ’80s trivia night, I would feel like I was just about to teach these kids how it’s done. However, when it comes to box jumps, kettlebell swings, heavy barbells and gymnastics, sometimes the younger generation has the advantage.
For me, and a lot of us who fall into the “Masters” group, the “winning” is in the journey. The fact that I didn’t start CrossFit training until my mid-30s and now, in my early 40s, I’m still training four to six days a week and hitting PRs is primarily what I concern myself with when it comes to competing with the class. Additionally, it helps to find a group within your CrossFit community that has similar skill sets and age, making it fun to compare your results to theirs.
Obviously, events like the Team Series and the CrossFit Open allow people like me to see what the amazing top athletes who are in my age division can do when the human body is at its maximum level of fitness. In addition, I get to post my times, scores and results on a virtual leader board and directly compare my measurable fitness level with all of theirs.
I think we can all admit that on a day-to-day basis, it can be a struggle to put ego aside. If you have been an athlete — especially a competitive one (is there really another kind?) your entire life — it can be difficult to realize that beating everyone’s times and scores isn’t very likely. But that should never deter you from getting in there and knocking out the WOD as best you can. CrossFit affords itself to such a wide array of athletes because it allows people of all shapes, sizes, ages and ability levels to compete with others and compete with themselves. Infinitely scalable is the part of CrossFit training that most people outside the community don’t understand, especially if their only real exposure is either watching the broadcast of the CrossFit Games on ESPN or hearing about it from someone they know.
This is why it is so important for everyone in the community to be a positive ambassador of the methodology. This is why it is important to continue your training, not only for yourself but so that you can show other people the benefits of the work and lifestyle to help point them from the sickness to the wellness side of the continuum.
No matter what age you are.
What drives you to compete? Do you let the fact that younger people sometimes beat your scores and times, or do you just go in and train against yourself?
Stay on the grind.