Integrity: Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
There are really only 2 types of athletes when it comes to integrity, those who have it and those who don’t. Yes, I believe that you fit in to 1 of 2 categories. But remember, you can always change. The first step is admitting you have a problem.
There will be CrossFitters who cut corners, go through the motions, and are okay with not fully completing a task. There will be those that might lie just a little and only some of the time. Big cheating, small cheating, big lies, little lies, cutting some corners or just one, missing a lot of reps or a few reps, IT IS ALL THE SAME.
This topic has been discussed lots of times throughout the CrossFit community and people often say “who really cares, because that person is just cheating themselves and their results.” But maybe, just maybe, this article will help some individuals recognize what type of athlete they are, and the type of athlete they want to become.
When I am watching athletes or coaching it is VERY easy to tell what type of person I would want to surround myself with, who I would trust, and which athlete I would want on my team. What type of athlete are you? Are you okay with it?
Type I Athletes: Fully commit to whatever the WOD is for them for that day, whether it is on-ramp, rx’d, rx’d+, foundations or a warm-up.
Type II “Athletes”: Complain about a movement or two in a WOD, try to modify the on-ramp or tone-up/tone-down their WOD and quickly identify movements that “suck.”
Type I Athletes: Complete an extra couple of double unders, pull-ups or wall balls when they have lost count or think they may have missed a couple of full reps.
Type II “Athletes”: Think that when they mess up at 48 double unders, it is “good enough” and move to the next exercise before finishing the last 2 reps, or are okay with not getting their chin over the bar on the final hard rep.
Type I Athletes: Work up to the buzzer, even if it means they will only get 20 meters of the next 200m run because there are only 10 seconds left.
Type II “Athletes”: Finish the round they are currently on and lay down with a little time remaining on the clock.
Type I Athletes: Never ever would consider lying, not even 1 single rep when the coach asks “how many did you get” before writing the score on the whiteboard.
Type II “Athletes”: Justify lying that they got an extra rep, an extra round or lifted a few more pounds because they think “they could have, or should have” or don’t want to look bad.
Type I Athletes: Ask their coach to closely judge them, give them pointers and makes necessary adjustments when given a “no rep” call for not getting full depth on a squat.
Type II “Athletes”: Roll their eyes at a coach for correctly judging them, scoring them, or giving pointers on how to get full reps. They try to ignore the coach, hide from the view of a coach and continue to “sneak” through bad reps.
Okay, okay, you get the point. It is easy to cheat… we all get tired. Someone is beating you, the class is waiting for you to finish, you are sick of doing burpees, your elbows got close enough to full extension, or you forgot what number you were on.
THE LIST GOES ON AND ON PEOPLE. It is plain and simple: it takes a great deal of INTEGRITY to be a Type I Athlete. The reward is also plain and simple, deeply fulfilling, gratifying, humbling and satisfying. Not to mention the physical reward of becoming a faster, stronger, more dominating badass.
I remember in 2005, when I did my first CrossFit WOD on my own with no one watching. I felt like I was going to die and I remember very distinctly how easy it would have been to cheat, stop or do a few less box jumps. Right then and there, I had my first “aha moment” about this sport. It was always going to be easy to cut the corners. Upon that realization, I said a personal promise to myself right then and there.
“I will never cheat reps, cut corners or finish early no matter how bad I may want to – I deserve better than that.” Commit today to your coach, your workout buddies, your box and yourself. Those of you who are already Type I Athletes, keep rocking on.