When jumping into CrossFit for the first time, you’re going to be doing a great deal of scaling. While CrossFit is notoriously intense for beginners and advanced athletes, keep in mind that you don’t need to win the workout to experience intensity.
As long as you’re scaling the workout — whether it’s the volume, load or some other technical element — shoot for the middle of the bell curve. Unless you’re doing the workout as prescribed, finishing first is a guarantee that the scaling was misappropriated. Of course, challenging yourself with weight or movement complexity to the point that the class is waiting around cheering you for several minutes after everyone is done is a failure in the opposite direction.
The point of scaling, after all, is to direct the intended stimulus of the workout to everyone in the room regardless of their fitness level. While there are no bonus points for finishing the workout, the best prescription to level up your fitness game is to continue to challenge (in a relative way) what you’re capable of. In that sense, there’s no use in finding ultimate comfort in scaling to the point of whiteboard domination over your classmates.