There is an old adage in the triathlete training community about the racehorse and the bumblebee. In short, a great athlete has to be both characteristics to be successful. As a bumblebee (that defies physics by flying) just keep doing what others may perceive as impossible and achieve it anyway. As a racehorse – you shouldn’t second guess your training program, just do it as prescribed.
When we cheat in training (we’ve all done it) by counting that pull-up that wasn’t quite above the bar or that press where the elbows weren’t quite extended, what harm is done, really? A lot actually. The bumblebee in us learns that maybe others are right and we can’t quite reach those heights and the racehorse is taught to cut corners.
In both CrossFit and Life we have the illusion that we are competing against others and not ourselves. If that were true we might as well exit the game because it is unwinnable: there will always be someone faster, stronger, smarter or luckier than us. Even olympic runners will lose to high school gymnasts in muscle-ups or to college powerlifters in pretty much every lift.
We cheat to get a slight, meaningless edge that actually does not improve us at all. In fact it breaks down our resolve, commitment and desire to fight for that extra rep, mile or customer call.
The opposite is magic though. Keeping a CF training log and knowing I beat my best from 90-days ago by 30% is much better than losing to Joe by 1 second. I will forget Joe beating me by tomorrow but I will remember every day how much better I’m getting.