The Importance of Losing

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by TARYN HAGGERSTONE

Competition: Winning vs Losing

The Importance of Losing
Winning is fun, and so is hitting a PR or destroying a WOD, obviously.

But when it comes down to it,  the “best” competitions are the ones where the WODs don’t play to our strengths or we miss our lifts or we fall short of how we wanted to place — because those are the ones we can really learn from.

Now of course I am not using the word “best” in reference to “most fun” or “most memorable” (at least not in a good way); I’m talking about “best” as in what will help us become better athletes.

Having success is an important part of competition, because if we always failed/did poorly, it

a) wouldn’t be much fun;
b) would probably result in us quitting/giving up; and
c) we’d never reach a higher level (kinda hard to get to the next level of competition if you keep coming in last).

Raise your game: When we want to get better at something what do we do? We train with/go up against people who are stronger, faster, and/or more experienced…
However, there is often much more to be learned from the competitions where we are out of our league, under-prepared, or simply don’t perform as expected than there is from the ones where we killed it. When we want to get better at something, what do we do? We train with/go up against people who are stronger, faster, and/or more experienced because they raise the bar and can help us realize that almost anything is possible if we’re willing to work for it.

Part-way through WOD 1 at the Crossfit Squamish Fall Challenge, about when I started to realize my metcon needs some work

Part-way through WOD 1 at the Crossfit Squamish Fall Challenge, about when I started to realize my metcon needs some work

Lessons from Losing

This is something I needed to remind myself after last weekend (I competed on a team with my older sister Sally in the CrossFit Squamish Fall Challenge, and I did a lot worse than I’d hoped), and I figured the best way would be to put into words the ideas that were bouncing around in my head.

Going into the competition, I knew there were going to be some REALLY strong competitors… and knowing Jesse Bifano and Chris Schaalo (the competition organizers), I was pretty sure the WODs were going to be rough. But after training hard all summer and really focusing on my strength, I was feeling… well… strong.

And as it turns out, I was/am as strong as I expected. Sally and I came in 3rd on WOD 2 Part 1 (a 2-min AMRAP of 135# back squats), which is by far the best I’ve ever placed in competition and it felt awesome (we high-fived when the results/rankings were posted). However, I didn’t really learn anything from this workout because I already knew my squats were good — I’d been squatting all summer.

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