The 2010 CrossFit Games
The ultimate proving grounds of the world’s fittest athletes.
July 16-18, 2010 • Carson, CA
The Home Depot Center Sports Complex
Select a 2010 CrossFit Games event
United States Qualifiers
No Country For Old Men
Musings from a Master who didn't make it.
Hari Singh competed at the Northeast Regional Masters division in an attempt to qualify for the 2010 CrossFit Games at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles. Here are his thoughts from the process.
Every fall, newly arrived freshmen at the top universities of the world come to a sobering realization, they are no longer special. Being valedictorian of their high school class means nothing anymore. Everyone was valedictorian. The same phenomenon occurs within the training programs for elite military units.
Many new arrivals never adjust to the increased altitude. Some find their way; others do not. Some are inspired to work harder than ever before. And of course some really are special - even at that level.
For the most part, the stratification of the elite is finished by the time they reach their mid-to-late twenties. Competition continues, but it is more subtle. Rarely do those who have made it through the early hurdles ever again have to prove themselves from scratch.
To get into graduate school, you need to demonstrate academic competence. But twenty years later, if you want to run for public office, nobody will know or care about your undergraduate grades. All that will matter is that you graduated. None of us know what Law School Admissions Test percentile the future president fell into. The notion of being evaluated and ranked based on a test of any type is pretty much a distant memory by the time we reach midlife. It certainly was for me. But then I decided to enter the CrossFit Masters competition.
Until last month, I was pretty much the best middle-aged CrossFitter I knew. As an owner of CrossFit NYC, I see a fair number of athletes. Plenty are better than me, but they’re all younger. When the Masters competition was announced, I was pretty sure I would do well. I had the requisite twenty rounds of “Cindy” needed to convince myself that I was a contender. Sure, I had my weaknesses (double-unders, for one!) But hell, none of those things could really matter that much, if I was competing only against people my own age. Wrong!
CrossFit slapped me with something I had completely forgotten about. It ranked me, ruthlessly, precisely, and with zero sympathy. The test was fair and professionally administered. It told me the truth, and unlike my college grades or test scores, the results are available for the world to see. I finished 84th.
So now I need to decide. Do I really want to put up with this crap? I’m fifty two years old. I’ve graduated from top schools. I serve on corporate boards. I’ve made it as a CEO. There is no reason for me to put myself in a place where I can finish last. But this is exactly what I am going to do. I haven’t seen this sort of clarity or honesty in ages. Maybe I’ve never seen it. Academic admissions have a large political component. So does climbing the corporate ladder. But in CrossFit, nothing matters at game time but the results. There is only one way I’m moving on in this sport.
I’ll be back next year.