One of the strengths of CrossFit is its competitive rich environment. Workouts are often designed in a way where it is easy to compare your level of fitness to other class mates by comparing “scores” on the white board. It can also be a great indicator of which type of workout or movements you are better or worse at than others. But is what you’re writing on the board a “score”.
In no way do I want to dampen the competitive drive of members, a major differentiator from other styles of facilities. It is often the spark that lights the fire for many members to KEEP pushing themselves and not becoming stagnant in their fitness efforts.
So we often use the term “score” to indicate what to write on the board. But is it really a “score”? We associate “scores” with games and events. A “score” is often how you compare, separate, and claim a winner amongst teams or individuals, but is that what we are doing in class?
Let’s give some perspective to this. “Class” is not an event or a sport. While CrossFit is the “Sport of Fitness” CrossFit class is just that, a class. Class is the place you develop fitness. An event or sport is where you TEST fitness. A good CrossFit Facility and community recognizes that. Imagine, if in school, each day was a quiz and you were suppose to become smarter from that.
So if it’s not a “score”, what is it? Well whether it doubles as a score or not the values (weight, reps, time, rounds, etc) that you write on the board are simply a record of your workout. You are simply placing a quantitative value on your effort. There is a lot of value in that; accountability, ownership, and comparison or your hard work from past efforts.
This “score” does lack one thing, quality. Below is how Wikipedia defines the two forms of data.
“The term quantitative refers to a type of information based ins quantitative or else quantifiable data (objective properties) —as opposed to qualitative information which deals with apparent qualities (subjective properties). It may also refer to mass, time, or productivity.”
SO, we are in danger of chasing superior quantitative values (scores) from our workout at the cost of quality (better technique, mechanics, consistency). Why don’t we use qualitative scores? Because they are subjective, therefor much more difficult to measure. Each form of data lacks the strength of the other.
Where does that leave us? Moving forward I just want you to gain this new perspective of “scoring” and what you write on the whiteboard. Realize that is just a record of your work on that given day. It has no indication that you performed each movement in an ideal fashion or that you even put more effort in to the workout than anyone else. Effort is all relative and the level of technique needs to be the highest form of measurement but both are difficult to quantify. What if a “worse” score now would actually help you score “better” months from now?
I”ll close with this. Your score is just a score. How you feel physically, emotionally and mentally means much more. Do you feel stronger and fitter each class or broken down? Does coming to class make you experience joy or does the pressure of performing stress you out? Do workouts make you feel mental exhaustion or focused? At the end of the day what seems to be an all-important score is really just a number that means more to you than it does to your classmates or coaches. We are all working together to develop and express our fitness as a community, scores be damned.