By Kristin Steinmetz
I have two young daughters. The younger one always wants to do what the older one is doing. She wants the same shoes, she wants to go to Kindergarten and be a Daisy. In the same way, the both of them want to do what the adults do. Why can’t we wear makeup? Why do adults get to stay up late?
Comparing ourselves to others can help us set goals and maybe even motivate us, but it is a very slippery slope. It seems we always want to do what other people are doing. Even if we have no business doing them…maybe ever.
We look at the CrossFitters who have been coming longer than us and lament, “I’ve got three inches on her, why can’t I do box jumps that high?!”
Or “I’m five years younger than him; I can’t believe he has muscle-ups!!”
Or sometimes we really get crazy and look at the Games athletes wondering why we can’t be as fit and as fast as they are.
Time for a reality check. You are only as good as TIME will allow. Have you been training as many years as those people you’re comparing yourself to? Are you working out as many hours, or spending your time watching training videos and preparing protein-packed meals? Or is this your full-time job? Unless you are eating, sleeping, and breathing CrossFit on a daily basis with a rigorous schedule consisting of several workouts a day, PLEASE don’t put yourself in the same sentence as Rich Froning or Samantha Briggs.
For some of us, comparing ourselves to others is almost inevitable. Personally, my struggle is with the barbell. It always seems to me that everyone- new or experienced, younger or older, smaller or bigger- is lifting more weight than I am.
But my mantra HAS to be: Am I better than yesterday? The only person I should be comparing myself to is the person I was the last time I stepped into the box. Am I making small improvements? And more importantly, am I putting in the work necessary to get better? There is no magic potion (not even Spark, sorry) or secret formula to getting up to speed with the athlete next to you. It’s simply time and hard work. So I’ll tell you the same thing I tell my 4 year old when she asks, “Can I do it one day, when I’m bigger?” Yes. If you want it bad enough.