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Is the CrossFit Open fueling my mania?

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I’m on the Autobahn. I have all kinds of great, noble plans but I’m not so hot on following through. The upshot is that I feel guilty or stupid or both.

Photo by April Milner
Photo by April Milner

Take, for instance, my decision a few weeks ago to not do an international CrossFit competition for which I had been training for months. The closer the competition the more I realized it was stressing me out, making me anxious and fueling my mania. My life was out of whack. Mentally, I was a bubble off plumb.

I took a few days off from the gym – something rare for me – and when I went bank, I only did the programmed workout. No staying after and doing another workout or coming back in the evening for more punishment. CrossFit was really fun again.

Fast forward to last Thursday, when the first workout  in the competition was announced. Gee, it looked like so much fun! Why not give it a little try? Nothing serious – just have fun with it. Don’t take your life – and CrossFit – so seriously. It’s just one little workout, right?

That’s the same logic I used back in my drinking days to convince myself that I could handle just one more drink after vowing not to get drunk. Needless to say, that logic ended with a hangover.

You probably know where this is headed. I did the workout – but not before I talked about it with a few friends who know me and are aware I don’t have an off-switch. I asked them – and gave them permission – to reel me in if they found me hitting the refresh button on the CrossFit Open results page or talking incessantly about my performance or beating myself up for not doing better.

I have to say I’m not wigged out by the competition. I’m not thinking about it much. I can tell I’m not obsessed because I haven’t had any CrossFit dreams, in which I can effortlessly do dozens of pull-ups. I am making a conscious effort to hit the fast-forward button when I start thinking about the competition and change my thought.

I actually meditated the other night and slept like a baby. The CrossFit Open goes on for another four weeks. I’m taking it one week at a time – a slight variation of the one-day-at-a-time method I learned in my recovery from alcoholism. For now, it’s working.

To be continued…

Is the CrossFit Open fueling my mania?

Christine Stapleton

Christine Stapleton has been a journalist for 35 years. She is now an investigative reporter for The Palm Beach Post. In 2006, began writing a blog for PsychCentral called Depression on My Mind. Her latest blog, Addiction Matters, draws on her 19 years of sobriety and her coverage of the drug treatment industry in South Florida.

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APA Reference
Stapleton, C. (2015). Is the CrossFit Open fueling my mania?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Mar 2015
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