Today we have something special for the blog: a reflection by Coach Ray on his experience at Battle of the Beast 3 last Sunday. Enjoy! It's been about seven or so hours since competed in the final event of Battle of the Beasts III. So I thought I'd reflect on the experience. Whenever I go into any sort of competition I try to visualize myself being successful, it sometimes creates unnecessary pressure. All coming from me of course, none of it being external. I think disappointment with ones performance is completely ok, it's always a tremendous learning experience. I believe if you try to control pressure it can be a negative. Going into something with the mindset of just doing ok can be just as toxic to ones performance. These are the experiences successful athletes (and people) need to learn from, it's what drives you to do better. Lately I've been doing some reading on the philosophy of bodybuilding legend Mike Mentzer. Mike was the only bodybuilder to EVER receive a perfect score at the Mr. Universe. He also changed the landscape of physical culture with his theories on training. Mike was also extremely intellectual, very well spoken, a philosopher of sorts and a man of great character. He believed that an athlete could only control his own performance, wether good or bad and it was all in the pursuit of knowledge of ones self (physical or mental). He was well known for his generosity and selflessness. He often tried to lift other athletes to greater levels than his own. Helping them to set the bar higher, and to give him new levels strive for. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the other hand was known for giving other athletes poor advice, regardless if they were a threat to him or not. He was famous for these types of mind games, illustrated in his book "The Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding" and "Pumping Iron". Even going as far as to throw backstage fits as way to get in the head of his competition. If you've been around CrossFit long enough you know that the crowd cheers loudest for the person in last place. This is just part of our community! Or is it? Are we really naive enough to think this sort of thing doesn't happen in other sport? I witnessed men and women (volunteers, and event promoters too) of great character and strength at the competition today not only lift up heavy shit, but lift up their competition. Generously sharing ideas, tactics and equipment. It got me thinking that there seems to be this community thing in all strength sports. Wether it be weightlifting, CrossFit, powerlifting or strongman, there's a strong sense of community. I firmly believe we are one whole community, or so I like to think. We are all in the pursuit of strength, and the wonderful by product of that is a community. It was only just less than a decade ago that all respective members of the strength community were slagging one another. Bodybuilders hated powerlifters, powerlifters hated weightlifters, weightlifters hated bodybuilders and everyone hated CrossFit (but it's ok because CrossFit had a hate on for most too). Today that trend is dying out, we've seen crossfitters shift gears into other strength sports such as powerlifting, weightlifting and strongman. The majority of these respective camps are now all sharing ideas and theories on strength. I feel pretty blessed to be a part of the STRENGTH community, because real strength is accessible to whomever today. Welcome to the strength community folks.