Working at the Redline

About 2 years ago, I was getting ready for my first CrossFit competition ever and I was terribly nervous. I had about 30,099 questions running through my head and all of them centered around doubting my abilities. 

I had expressed some of my nervousness to some of my fellow crossfitters and, of course, they all told me not to worry; I would be fine and it would be over before I knew it.
I talked to my friend (who owns his own box), Josh, about my worries. What if I’m weaker than everyone else? What if I’m not fast enough? What if…blahhhhh blah blah?

And then he hit me with some shit I’ll never forget.
“Well, none of that really matters. It’s really not important who’s fastest or strongest. It matters about who can red line and still be functional. Who can be about to pass out and still  get in the mindset to do what the hell you have to do to finish. It’s really about if you can work at your red line or not.”

CrossFit or not, we all have gotten to our red line before. It’s that place where you feel like you can’t do one more thing. Your heart is pounding, you can’t breathe and you’re overwhelmed. It’s the “wall” in our workout where we feel like we HAVE to rest or we HAVE to go get water. It’s the place where we break down. 

Since that conversation two years ago, I’ve thought a lot about what Josh said. He was right. Competition is not about who is the best. It’s about who can hit the f*ck out of that wall and push past it. Reach your absolute breaking point and say, “I’m finished when I’m done, not when I’m tired”. It’s about who can hit that wall and not break down and let the whole plan go to shit.

In these two years, I’ve found that life is about working at your redline. There are a million times that you feel overwhelmed. Nothing is going right. You can’t breathe. And in that moment you have a choice: go batshit crazy and lose it or put your head down and push through that wall. 

Everyone’s tired. Everyone’s working. Everyone’s breathing hard, waiting for the clock to hit zero.

The difference is, when it comes down to the wire, it’s not about who can be great when they’re comfortable. It’s about who has their shit together to be great when the circumstances are against them. 

At the redline. 


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