By: Megan Schrader |

We all have egos.

What affects our ego, how our ego presents itself and when it rears its ugly head will, however, vary from person to person. In the gym, our egos can either result in displays of confidence or cockiness. What often differentiates the two is simply the outward reaction of a person either to their own performance or the performance of a competitor. (Note: I’m using the term competitor loosely, as I’m not necessarily talking about competitive athletes. While it may be a competitive athlete, it’s more likely to be as basic as the person next to us in the gym who we feel we stack up against.) A cocky CrossFitter is going to be that guy or girl walking around needing to outwardly prove themselves for their own self-assurance. Does everyone recognize how well he or she did? If not, they’ll boast about it and circle the conversation back to their own performance seeking out praise.

They will make comments about edging out their competition, or off-handedly remark that "it really wasn't that hard" ... knowing full well it was hard—in fact, it sucked.

Maybe their performance isn’t what they expected and they didn’t get the fastest time or the most reps, now the opposite will be true. They’ll get upset, they’ll sulk in the corner, and they’ll usually stay quiet when it comes to conversations regarding performance. They don’t have anything to talk about because in their eyes, they failed. At the root of our cocky person are deeply rooted insecurities regarding their self worth and value.

What about confidence? Confidence is essentially the opposite of cockiness. The confident CrossFitter doesn’t need to outwardly prove themselves via their performance. This man or woman understands this one key fact:

Self worth isn’t attached to the scores, times or weights posted after a workout.

After all, it is just a workout. If they win, it will feel good, there’s not denying that. But if they don’t top the leaderboard it’s not the end of the world,
and they won’t try to offer up excuses for why they didn’t perform at the top. If the confident CrossFitter gets edged out, they won’t necessarily feel threatened by whoever beat them. It might sting a little to be beat, CrossFit is inherently competitive and nobody enjoys losing, but they won’t take this to heart or let it raise questions about their worth.

We will all have moments of cockiness because we all have egos that enjoy having the spotlight shining on them. In a CrossFit setting, we bring out everyone’s competitive spirit, whether it be little or massive. The way we harness that spirit and how it shapes the way we view ourselves will be difference between falling victim to perpetual cocky moments or the rare, occasional cockiness. At the end of the day, 99% of us are not professional CrossFitters. We don’t have endorsement deals or sponsorships, and our performance doesn’t dictate how much money we bring in annually. We’re doing this for fun and because regular gym workouts “didn’t do it” for us.

So if your workout makes or breaks your day, start asking yourself why?

Why is it so important to you? The answer may just surprise you, help you reassess your training priorities and create new goals.


Live well!