Rx INTEGRITY – CHARACTER WOD
You all know each WOD has a prescribed performance standard, a Rx for a reason. As a coach I may scale it to match the ability level of the athlete or encourage an athlete to go heavier to meet a goal, but the standard is there for a reason. How else will you know how far you have come if you don’t measure from a fixed standard? For this WOD however there is no scaled version – there are no compromises when it comes to integrity.
We all joined CrossFit because reaching our fitness goals required something more than we could do on our own. We needed and wanted the community, needed to be coached, or encouraged, supported, and challenged but ultimately (since we are being honest) we needed accountability. As a coach, if I did not hold athletes accountable to reaching your goals, I would be failing you. As an athlete if you don’t honestly put in the work, you will fail yourself by never reach your goals. I’ll assume that since you signed up, you actually want to reach your goals.
Rx Integrity: doing the right thing even when no one else is looking
I think this is probably the most common definition, and is a fundamental concept in CrossFit (and life). But I think demonstrating integrity goes much deeper. Complete integrity is absolute consistency displayed in a person’s character, a resolute refusal to compromise ever, no matter what. Webster’s uses the word “Incorruptible.” Now, that is a person you can depend on! – Achieving this gold standard requires brutal honesty, self-reflection, and hard work.
Ultimately, your health and fitness is on you. I can coach, instruct, and provide the environment for you to succeed but you have to actually do the work, and do it honestly, I can’t do it for you, and no matter how much you self-identify as a CrossFit Games competitor, unless you can actually Rx the WOD alongside Rich Froning – well, you’re not there yet. Or if your goal is to simply be healthier, the object is to reach your goal, to get there, all the way there, completely, and not compromise along the way.
As a coach and community we help each other reach our goals by holding each other accountable to the standard. There is no shame in missing the mark! It happens, we all miss sometime. And when one of us misses the mark, the rest of us are here to help get back on track. Accepting your shortcomings and committing to the necessary work to improve is how to demonstrate integrity.
You’ve heard it said, “cheating at CrossFit only cheats yourself.” But it’s worse than that, shaving reps for time, or blatantly misrepresenting performance on the whiteboard is a poison. I admit, the whiteboard can be a double edge sword – for some the competition encourages effort and hard work, but for others the temptation to “win” may be a negative. So it takes a high degree of honesty and integrity to make it work well. And the whiteboard only works If it is an honest representation by all the athletes. Shaving reps for time or misrepresenting capability negates the effort and hard work of the other athletes. Is sacrificing the respect of the community really worth being on the top of the whiteboard? That is not what we are about.
So what does integrity look like at the box?
Call yourself Out – Be your own worst critic, learn the standard and strive for it, if you don’t make the movement, don’t count the rep.
Penalize Yourself – Would it really hurt you to do 5 extra wall balls with perfect form and bust the time cap vs. beating the time cap and failing to do it correctly. There is no benefit to doing something wrong fast.
Ask a Coach – if you are struggling with a movement ask a coach to help you, that’s why we are here – there are scaled options and exercises to train the movements correctly and safely– don’t fake it till you make it.
Don’t Game the System – I’m not talking about a performance strategy to maximize your work out. I mean if you know you can do the Rx weight, then use it – don’t go light just to do more reps. Likewise, if your form breaks down with the Rx weight, go lighter, don’t just go heavy so you can push the little blue Rx button.
Don’t be Late – If you show up late do 10 burpees – Oh wait that’s for another blog. But it should be a law!
Lost Count? Do an Extra round! – its happened to me more than a few times, I get lost in the reps or rounds and end up losing count. Just do an extra round or set to make up for it. The object is your fitness not the whiteboard.
Go to the Buzzer – Don’t stop early, If you can do one more rep in the last 10 seconds, do it. Fully commit to the WOD. Your health and fitness is worth every second of your effort.
Be Coachable – If the coach recommends going up in weight, trust her. If he recommends scaling down, trust him. If it’s a recovery WOD or de-load week, there is a reason. The coaches are there to help you reach your goals with safe, correct form and movement, so trust us.
Don’t Cheat – For the last time, just be honest with yourself and with the community. There are really only two types of athletes – those with integrity and those without, which one are you?