As naturally egotistical creatures, we have a tendency to enter into endeavors with expectations relative to our rank, standing, or status. No where can this be seen as such as in a CrossFit gym where competitive behavior is unleashed. For that reason, you will find many people who have their eyes on the wrong prize, not realizing that true success is not always finishing first.

Chasing true fitness is a humbling and exposing task. Everyone has a weakness, deficiency, or chink in their armor so to speak. Protecting or hiding from a weakness, results in no progress. In addition to that, chasing the kind of intensity that causes any type of real change requires all athletes young, old, athletic (or not) to push to the limits of the physical and psychological thresholds. Whether you are the CEO or the janitor, this means you have to check your ego at the door and realize that this is an equal playing field, however when you are outside the gym it doesn’t matter.Let me tell you two stories that are typical scenarios of athletes in the gym.

Paul is a successful CEO who likes to finish first in life as well as in his CrossFit workouts. Therefore, he shies away from weights or movements that challenge him so he is always the first one done and can feel good about his time on the board relative to the other members.

Melody wants be a CrossFit Games Champion. A former D-1 college athlete, she is used to always being the best and getting lots of attention for it. But when she works out with the other competitors, she cuts reps and range of motion so people believe she is a phenom. And shockingly she feels let down when she doesn’t meet her expectation in competitions.

The problem here is that both of these examples highlight individuals who are too distracted by the end state to recognize that the real value is in the process. We have discussed goal setting previously– Goal Setting for New Athletes Part I—and obtaining success is not always in getting to the top of the proverbial mountain. It is in each step of the climb. For every breath where you think you cannot, and then through perseverance you go one step farther. Without these steps we are in the same place no matter how you disguise it.