A great perspective from Coach Mike
Back in the day, believe it or not, many boxes used an actual whiteboard to keep track of the results for the day. CrossFitters started with a notebook or maybe even a fancypants smartphone app to keep track of their progress and PRs from day to day. Data wasn’t shared online or broadcast between members for others to ‘like.’ This was your way to track YOUR progress. It didn’t matter what others did, and it still doesn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I love how far we’ve come technologically, but sometimes we get caught up in the perceived competition with others. With a traditional whiteboard, you were listed by time of day, not time of WOD. You could stare in awe of the first names thinking, “how do they do this so early?!?”
We love the ability to track your own data and having a “digital notebook” of your OWN performance. We also love the ability to ‘like’ and acknowledge someone else’s hard work. However, Wodify’s “Whiteboard” feature, coincidentally ranks everyone based on their score. Worse yet, it even moves people who scaled to the bottom of the page. The amount of effort, time, or number of rounds of the person at the bottom is no different than the one at the top. We need to get out of the “yeah, but I scaled” mentality and be proud of where we are, how far we’ve come, and the work that has yet to be done. We, as coaches and owners, wish we could change it, as it’s not our culture to “rank” anyone. We hate that we can’t and we’ve even asked Wodify if we can randomize the board (or at least take off numerical rankings), but time and time again we get a solid “no.” In our minds, the benefit of tracking our progress outweighs the “we wish it wasn’t so” of how it’s presented.
Every time I’m traveling and drop-in to a box that still uses a whiteboard, I’m reminded of a simpler time. Walking in, seeing the WOD for the first time on the whiteboard (what, no blog post at 8PM?!?), finishing the WOD and proudly adding your name to the list of victims claimed by the WOD. This wasn’t a leaderboard. Sure, you quickly scanned the whiteboard for familiar names, but typically only to see what to expect from the WOD. You used their scores as a source of motivation, not competition. Besides, some people have terrible handwriting and you can’t read their results anyways.
The best part of the whiteboard: it gets erased every night.
How you thought you performed the day before doesn’t matter anymore. It’s a new day, a new WOD. Maybe you PR’d or maybe you got Coach Lyndsey’s infamous “smiley face” for just showing up and working out after a long day/night at work. Either way, someone is probably going to give you a high-five. That’s the non-digital version of a ‘like’ for all you techies out there.
Think of everyday as a whiteboard. Come in, work your butt off, enter your score proudly, wipe it off, repeat.