The longer I do CrossFit, the smaller my ego gets. I still believe in myself as an athlete, but I am realistic about what I can do and don’t feel badly about it.
Losing the ego comes with scaling WODs. As I do CrossFit, I learn that sometimes the best thing to do is scale. The workouts are programmed for the elite, not me. If the workout was designed to be a 10-12 minute workout with relatively light weight and done without taking breaks for the elite, then I should be striving to get the same metabolic response to the workout as the elite would- since that is who it is designed for.
For example, if I know elite times for Fran are from 3-6 minutes, that is what I should scale to in order to get close to that time. I would not use a weight or pull-up option that would make the workout last 12-15 minutes. The WOD was designed to tax your body’s specific system that day. Trying to be too macho can ruin the point of the programming, slowing down your overall progress.
It may not be fun or look cool to use an empty barbell on a WOD that I know I can do as RXd, BUT I want to get as good as possible at this sport of CrossFit. That means I need to scale to try to chase after an elite athlete, so the purpose of the WOD can do it’s thing and make me fitter.
Scaling correctly lets you learn about pacing. When you don’t scale enough (or scale too much) your tempo is off and you wind up using too much (or too little) energy. Scaling also avoids over taxing the body, which can lead to overtraining and injuries. That being said, I do not mean you shouldn’t push yourself. The scaled WOD should be pushing you to your limit, the same as it does the elite. Usually scaling make the WOD harder because it is easier to do things right (efficienct) which actually leads to less rest and more work being done.
Lose your ego. Scale your WODs when you need to. Don’t be the one who scaled wrong and always hits the wrong time domains.
CrossFit isn’t just a workout, it is a sport. Sometimes you need a little strategy to get to the next level!