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Old 06-15-2006, 08:09 PM   #1
Chuck Pelowski
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I figured since I haven't seen a philosophy question on here lately, I'd throw one out.

Consider there are two ways to win:
- Winning by getting what you want
- Winning by beating someone else

Which context is more important in light of Crossfit's programming? Are both definitions relevant? Can one be achieved through the other, or are they mutually exclusive?

Post your thoughts, I'm off to get a drink.
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:26 PM   #2
Eugene R. Allen
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I don't see these as either/or conditions as I could get what I want without beathing someone else and I could beat someone and not get what I want. In my view of the Tao of CrossFit, it seems to me it is the victory of others, the success of each of us that leads to our own betterment. I have had some of my best races trying to chase down the guy in front of me and I have placed well with poor performances in a weaker age group field.

In answer to your question I think that getting what you want in more important and chasing someone who beats you might be what gets you there. I will not beat George Fish in Latch's Jacket O Pain, but my pursuit of him will give me better fitness, better times and greater success than I wouild get without his superior effort.

The chase is important, the victory incidental.
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:01 PM   #3
Andrew Cattermole
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I feel Win/Lose are inappropriate terms in regards to Crossfit, that are more to do with an Individual's Power Base then anything else(eg I'm better then you and I can prove it...).
I would prefer if Crossfit athletes saw their training as
Improving their Competence
as opposed to
Proving their Competence
This comes into
Learning vs Performace Goals

Considering Crossfit is not a sport or event, I would hope most see it as a Learning Goal, Oriented program.
Such Incremental Formats(Learning Goals being incremental in progression)don't require the Win/Lose dicotomy for motivation and attribute success to internal controllable causes such as strategy use and effort.The concern then becomes personal competence and mastery rather then dominance over other's performances.
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Old 06-16-2006, 01:45 AM   #4
Christian Lemburg
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For me, CrossFit is all about "winning by getting what you want". There will always be people that are stronger, faster, more flexible, more coordinated, more experienced - you name it - than I am. But I am now much stronger, faster, more flexible, and more coordinated than I was before I started, and it is still getting better. That is what counts to me.

Just my 2 cent,

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Old 06-16-2006, 07:12 PM   #5
Scott Kustes
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They are not mutually exclusive. However, winning by getting what you want trumps winning by beating someone else. As Christian said, there's always someone faster, stronger, more powerful, richer, better looking. Attaining your personal goals will make you far happier than beating people and falling short of your goals.

For example, say my goal is a 4-minute Fran. Now let's say that I beat Joe Blow CrossFit Firebreater by 10 seconds, but only get a 4:15. Would I be happy that I beat somebody great at this or unhappy that I fell short of my goal? Maybe his goal was a 4:30, he attained that and now has someone to chase to attain 4:15 or 4:00. In that sense, perhaps beating your goals ("getting what you want") but not always beating someone else is better as you still have someone to chase to help push "what you want" even higher.

Of course, maybe your goal is just to beat someone else. Then you can either attain or fail at both with the same action. Of course, just wanting to beat "somone" could be about as ambitious a goal as finishing Fran in under an hour. Set high goals...if you beat someone in the process, good job.

Reminds me of one of my favorite lines from Axl Rose. The song is Breakdown by GnR:
"Just because you're winning don't mean you're the lucky one."
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:35 PM   #6
Darrell E. White
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Makes me think of the book: "Non-Zero" in which the author attempts to explain the entirety of social evolution in terms of game theory.

It seems to me that CF at its core is the epitomy of non-zero sum games, the notion that all can win. Zero sum games are just that: someone wins only because someone loses. In CF the esprit de corps tends toward helping your fellow CF'er succeed, with the understanding that another CF'er will be there with help and support when it is you who needs it. There is a genuine joy expressed in the achievement of others. Is this "get what you want" winning? Perhaps. The phrasing seems to imply a zero sum game (although I may be reading too much in).

Scott, this reminds me of the Stones: You can't always get what you want; but if you try real hard, you just might find, you get what you need".
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Old 06-17-2006, 05:19 AM   #7
John Frazer
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It's great to see other people (especially friends) perform well. However, I suspect many of us have a competitive drive in which the desire to beat the other guy inspires each of us to a higher performance.

Personally, I am realistic, so my drive is usually limited to not coming in last in group workouts. Sometimes I even achieve this goal.
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Old 06-19-2006, 04:46 PM   #8
Mark Miller
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I say it depends.

Crossfit- Winning by getting what I want, better fitness.

Sport or Survival- Winning by beating the opposition.

There are just somethings that you are only going to get what you want by beating someone else. If a guy is trying to kill me I want to live, so I have to beat him.
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:48 AM   #9
Barry Cooper
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It seems to me the key qualifier is "in light of CrossFit's programming". Question: who here would cheat to improve their score? People cheat to win, they don't cheat to get what they want (unless winning is what they want, but I don't think that was the intent of the question).
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:31 AM   #10
Travis Loest
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I have to agree with John Frazer, it's the "being chased by a bear" thing, you don't have to be the fastest, you just don't want to be the slowest. that's the way i use to look at it. now i've changed quite a bit since i've started crossfit. it's only been a month but i think the kool aid is great. i can't get enough of it and i can't stop talking about it amongst my friends and coworkers. being in the military most of us are fitness minded so most people are at least interested. I still keep track of times and everything but i count my wins in how many people i can convince to at least try crossfit. i'm up to about 20 now that have tried it and about 15 of them wont go back to the "traditional" exercises again. i read as much as possible about everything to do with crossfit so i can help other people understand it. and because of crossfit the only person i'm in competition against is myself and my "old" score.
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