Bit of a short day today, missing the top 10 cut to make it into the finals.  A weird feeling, the brain was gutted about falling short over the previous workouts, and would have loved to have had a crack at the muscle ups and snatches in the last event.  The body was relieved that it didn't have to go through anymore torture, particularly the shoulder (of which muscle ups and snatches are the most painful movements for it.....).  And the competitor in me just wanted to be throwing down against the best, in front of a supportive crowd.

Competition is a funny animal.  It can sometimes crush your ability, and other times spur you on to performances you didn't know were possible.

Playing around with the Double Hanger workout last week, I was doing single rep clean and jerks by the second round, and tripping on the jump rope every 30 reps.  But on the day, I was able to push through with 2's and 3's, and only 2 trips over 300 double unders.

Likewise, a practice on the row, overhead, deadlift event, had me almost immediately down to sets of 3 deadlifts, and this was just on 40% of the total event volume.  But today I managed 3 sets of 10, and then fast 5's all the way to the end.

Now, does this mean we need competition to be able to truly work at our best?

As we've seen in the CrossFit Journal, "We’ve learned that harnessing the natural camaraderie, competition and fun of sport or game yields an intensity that cannot be matched by other means. The late Col. Jeff Cooper observed, “the fear of sporting failure is worse than the fear of death.” It is our observation that men will die for points. Using whiteboards as scoreboards, keeping accurate scores and records, running a clock, and precisely defining the rules and standards for performance, we not only motivate unprecedented output, but derive both relative and absolute metrics at every workout. "

So yes, it certainly helps 

But that quote was not suggesting, and I can also vouch (with a body so stiff I can barely walk straight) that daily competition is the answer.  It's a dose we must dole out in manageable amounts.  It's ok to have days where the clock isn't running, where you aren't trying to beat anyone.  You can focus on other things - movement quality, mobility, better stability in the bottom of your squat, smoother transitions from clean to jerk, etc, etc.... all things that will allow you to bring it harder when you next compete.

Because 'dying for points' is great sometimes.

Darren Ellis