AS you think about and begin your career preparation, you must remember the competencies – essential and developmental – as they are critical to your success; how you articulate them and how you strive to achieve them. Integrity is key.

I was reminded again today by this amazing post from our friends at Crossfit for this one; I suggest you read it…also visit:

in·teg·ri·ty   [in-teg-ri-tee]
1. firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: INCORRUPTIBILITY
2. an unimpaired condition: SOUNDNESS
3. the quality or state of being complete or undivided: COMPLETENESS or WHOLENESS
What does Integrity have to do with CrossFit and where do we find integrity in CrossFit?

It’s built into the details and every part of what we stand for: community, comradely, the WODs, nutrition and the movements.
It takes skill to practice integrity which means we need to work at building integrity into our every action.
Consistently practicing integrity in our workouts over time will make us better, stronger and keep us on the straight and narrow.
On the other hand, if you shave reps off a workout, or cheat the integrity of a movement, what are you going to do when you’re faced with a really tough decision or moral dilemma? At CrossFit, integrity crosses a broad spectrum and we are constantly checking our integrity.

CrossFit is Integrity in Action:

calling yourself out when necessary; giving yourself a penalty for not fully completing an exercise correctly
realizing you didn’t go below your hip crease in that last wall ball squat, so you add an extra rep
doing chest to deck push-ups and failing on the last two, so you add a couple reps
doing the WOD instead of segregating yourself and making up your own WOD.
Integrity is NOT:
adding a few extra reps to your total score, maybe rounding up just to get a higher score on the white board and beat the athlete next to you.
choosing a lighter weight than prescribed and knowing you are fully able to do prescribed that day, but you’d rather get the best score on the board, or the opposite, choosing prescribed know your body should go lighter.
using a green band for pull-ups when you know you are 100% ready to move up to a blue
cutting out early at the bottom of the 400m sprint.
coming in injured, knowing your body needs rest but pushing yourself hard anyway.
In life, there are many ways that one can cheat.

You can cut corners at your job, often times in ways that no one by you will ever know.
You can complete a task, not really caring if it’s completed correctly, but just going through the motions to get it done.
There are also many shades of cheating – from BIG lies to tiny omissions of truth.
The entire spectrum makes up our personal integrity. Integrity is not just whether we will abstain from doing the one, big clearly wrong thing, but how we react to all the little problems life presents us. Integrity is built in the details. We may not really think cutting corners at CrossFit puts our integrity in question, but CrossFit gives us a chance to practice integrity daily on so many levels. I like this quote from a CrossFit board post: 
“Counting your reps accurately means judging yourself honestly – and moving forward from that point. Integrity is learning about a deeper gratification – a soul-leveled fulfillment, if you will. Integrity is doing what is in the highest good, not just what you might personally want. It’s calling a penalty on yourself when it’s warranted. It’s taking pride in your final score, no matter what it is.”

Integrity is a habit; it’s practice; and when you constantly build integrity into your WOD, you’d be surprised how it carries over into your daily life. CrossFit is sort a microcosm of the real world: we have community, friendships, relationships; we have days where our limits are tested, where our thresholds are met; we also have moments when the little voice in our head says, “do the right thing; push yourself harder; or pull back a little to protect yourself,” – all part the real world. It’s staying true to yourself and your body, even when you know your time on the board will be longer than most; but embracing that score knowing that you gave it your best and listened to your body.

Ask yourself what are the things that you value about CrossFit or about your bigger world?
If health and longevity are on that list, are your decisions and day-to-day actions consistent with those values?
If understanding the true mechanics behind a movement are important to you, are you maintaining the integrity of each movement during your WOD? i.e. do you always strive to squat below parallel on your squat?
If being injury-free is critical, do you listen to your body when it screams “lower back pain” or “needs shoulder mobility”? Do you choose to go lighter on those presses and focus rather on form than reaching your PR?
If reaching certain goals in CrossFit is important, such as pull-ups without a band, do you attempt to change the color from green to blue? Do you sacrifice a fast time on the board for perfect form on your pull-ups with a lighter band because you can?
If you answered NO to any of these questions, then ask yourself why? Likelihood is that ego is to blame. Put it aside and remember why you started CrossFit in the first place. It’s not that you can beat everyone at the workout, but rather that you can be the best YOU possible. Every day you come in, start making integrity part of your time you spend in our awesome box. Start with your warm-up, and again in the technique sections, and in the WOD make every rep count, make it as perfect as your body allows, and if you can’t perform an exercise quite like the athlete next to you, scale down or modify. Ask a coach.

We may be able to influence each other, keep each other straight, but we cannot make decisions for each other. I believe we have a pretty rockin’ box where integrity is at the core. But that white board can often be an ego crasher. You know many of us do it! We have one or two athletes that we secretly or not so secretly compete against every day. “What was their score at 9am? Oh, I think I can beat that,” or “I know I push press more than so-and-so did today.” This is the time when we have to check our egos at the door. We need to be less concerned about keeping up with everyone else and rather avoid sacrificing our integrity to make it happen.

“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.”Chinua Achebe, Nigerian Writer

“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man (or woman) who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.”
John D. MacDonald

thanks to Randy for the article suggestion & Southbay CrossFit for the details

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