The Courage to Compete

Posted: May 15, 2012 by Admin in Uncategorized

The Infragilis Team at the Pound for Pound competition

What is Courage?

Many people smarter than me have offered various definitions of “courage.” As I watched our trio of Infragilis athletes compete at Pound for Pound this past weekend, I was reminded of two quotes I love about courage.

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Allow me a moment to brag on the courage of these athletes.
For all intents and purposes, Carly McKenzie is a rock star. Pound for Pound,

Carly during the “Viking Snatch” WOD

however, marked Carly’s first attempt at competing in CrossFit. During Fran the Tuesday before, Carly tweaked her shoulder. She also was anxious about the snatch WOD because the snatch is still a very new movement for her. Plus, Carly had never done multiple workouts like this in one day. Nevertheless, she showed up in a BIG WAY. During her last workout, with surprises thrown at her from all directions and a rainstorm adding to the already incredible difficulty of the workout, Carly charged forward with the courage of an Unbreakable athlete. She now professes to be “addicted” to competing. The best moment for me was the end of her snatch WOD as she ran down the sideline of spectators giving high fives to everyone who cheered for her. Watching the pride her dad took in watching her compete was very special as well.

Brad during the “Viking Snatch” WOD

From his first day in CrossFit, Brad refused to make excuses. At 58, he was the oldest competitor at Pound for Pound. He was also the first Infragilis athlete to register, signing up literally minutes after I announced the competition to his class. Brad attacks workouts full out and never allows fear to dictate his effort. My favorite moment with Brad this weekend was watching him finish the run on “Murphin” with his son, John, running side-by-side with him and hearing John throughout the weekend yell, “Go Dad.” How awesome is that?



This wasn’t Ellen’s first dance at a CrossFit competition, having placed 3rd in the

Ellen during the “Red Bluff High” WOD

scaled division at Crossroads of the South earlier this year. This was, however, Ellen’s first attempt in the Advanced division. Despite clouds of doubts, Ellen attacked every workout with the tenacity we all expect from her. The competition was fierce, with two of the best athletes in the region – Sarah Beth Philips and Leah Polaski – among the competitors. There were movements that still give Ellen some trouble, and yet, she endured and flourished, beating Philips in one of the events. My favorite moment for Ellen during this weekend was watching her tackle some minor demons during the “Murphin'” WOD and showing that nothing will beat her.

Must you compete in CrossFit to have courage? NO!!!! But these three athletes demonstrated a key concept as we move toward our goal of becoming Unbreakable – the mastery of fear. Each of them had tangible reasons not to compete, and yet they did anyway. Our gym was well represented at Pound for Pound and we had courage to spare.

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