Brandi Kalafat, along side Aimee and Deana in the shoulder press ladder, competed in her first competition in January 2012. Brandi finished 3rd in the first event, the 5k run.

The fall in Arizona is a busy time for Crossfitters. This is the time of year when we get a chance to test our progress and see where we stack up against the community in any one of a number of competitions scheduled for the next 5 months. These competitions range in size and format, but almost all of them are open registration and welcome a variety of skill levels. All year long we put ourselves through grueling workouts, long strength cycles and punishing track sessions to make progress on our physical capabilities. These competitions are a chance to get out and use those skills that you have been honing.

I encourage you to sign up for at least one of the competitions coming up this season. Stepping outside the comfort zone of your favorite class with all of your friends will make you grow and you will learn that you are capable of more than you realize. Try to sign up for a competition at a different gym as well. Force yourself to become comfortable with the unfamiliar. When you do sign up for one of these competitions, however, I have some pointers to help make the most out of your experience.

Kelly has competed in three competitions so far and is already signed up for the Garage Games on October 6th.

This is not the time to try new things. You will see people with different foods, energy drinks, shoes, wraps, techniques for hand stand pushups, jump ropes… you name it. Stick with what you know. There may be a better way out there, but the intensity and craziness of a competition is not the time to change what works for you.

Be willing to fail. When you try something new there are no promises that it will go well. The bar may be heavier than you think you can lift or the double unders may jump up and bite you, but if you never try you can’t exceed. You might hit a PR on a deadlift, or you might get stuck on strict hand stands for 10 minutes. Regardless, the possibility of failure makes success and the learning experience that much more rewarding.

Pete Pagulico was one 8 Fury members to compete in CrossFit Now’s Remember Tucson event in January 2012.

Respect the volunteers. These events are run entirely by volunteers and they work hard to make it as successful as possible. If your judge stinks, get over it. Ask for clarity, do your best, but do not be a jerk and take it out on them. Being a judge is hard work and a thankless job. Remember, you are not Rich Froning and you do not have $250,000 riding in your score. If your judge costs you time or reps, life will be okay.

Be safe. The efficient mover is usually the faster mover. Remember all of those cues your coaches give you and strive for efficient and safe movements. We all want to push the envelope, especially in a competition, but you don’t want to be injured for 2 months because you abandoned all form for a few extra seconds.

At the 2012 Winter Open, Fury was well represented with over 14 trainers/members competing!

Enjoy the day. Whether you are a strategist or you fly by the seat of your pants in a workout, try to enjoy the experience. These events are made to be fun and 99% of the people that sign up won’t win. Don’t let some struggles or less than perfect performances ruin your day. Go into it with the goals of challenging yourself, having fun doing the best you can.
If you have ever been to a crossfit competition then you know how electric it can be. People are capable of so much more during these events because of the adrenaline, the support and the excitement. It is fun to be a spectator, but it is definitely worth it to step out on that limb and register as a competitor. If you need help picking a competition, or finding a team for one of the team competitions, talk to your trainer. You won’t regret it.