You have overcome all of the barriers, you have persevered in the face of overwhelming odds, you have finally decided to try CrossFit. Congratulations! You are embarking on a lifelong adventure that will improve your physical and your mental well being. Your strength will go up and your mile run time will go down. You will realize that you are capable of so much more than you have ever thought possible!
There is only one problem: your ego (too much or not enough!)
Your ego has the potential to crash your CrossFit adventure into a tree. It can grind this whole amazing trip to a teeth shattering, bone splintering, white knuckled halt. If you don't learn how to check your ego at the door you are in for a world of hurt. Not only in potential injuries but also by stalling or slowing (or even worse, regressing) your progress.
We write workouts for specific purposes. Many people think of CrossFit as random, but it isn’t (or at least it shouldn't be). It is constantly varied, but it is never random!
We have deliberately planned the weights and movements to illicit a very specific response in your body. If you don’t believe me, ask me sometime, I will wax poetically about metabolic responses, lactate thresholds, intensity, and potential strength gains. Seriously, I love this stuff. The problem comes in when you decide you would rather go heavy instead of sticking to the plan of relative intensity. (Or you don't go heavy enough or push hard enough.)
CrossFit is an overall, long term, lifestyle plan. It isn’t meant to get you ripped quickly. We want to see you continually make gains - not make fast gains and then plateau. We also want to make sure you stay healthy so that you CAN continue to workout and see progress.
Doing heavier weights or overly technical movements instead of scaling is worthless if you are well outside the time domain we wanted for you. There are no accolades if you did the workout as prescribed and your time was double that of the next slowest person. Your ego robbed you of the adaptations we planned for your body.
On the flip side, some people want the fastest time regardless of the intention of the workout. If you routinely come in 2 or 3 minutes (or more) faster than everyone else but you use lower weights your ego might be standing between you and increased strength (as well as a faster metabolism and increased bone density that comes with being stronger). This doesn't help you at all either!
The last point I would like to cover is potential for injury. If we strip weight or modify movements before (or mid-workout), don't let your ego flair up! We are doing it because we see an unsafe situation and we don't want you to end up injured because your form breaks down. Our job is to make you the best you can be! Help us by having enough confidence to push yourself, but not too much where you lose the purpose and intensity of the workouts.