CrossFit is a community.
The CrossFit community is unique. We welcome all kinds; those who are new to fitness entirely, those who are making their way back after an extended break, or those who are looking for a bit more than their pre-existing routine. We talk to one another, encourage one another, and end up becoming friends with one another, which doesn’t happen as often in non-CrossFit communities or “globe-gyms”. In those types of gym environments, people rarely communicate, you don’t know each other’s names, high five, or cheer each other on. That may be odd in those types of fitness spaces, but it is a normal and daily occurrence in a CrossFit community.
The WOD, or workout of the day, is the same for everybody, no matter what their level of fitness or skill. The needs will differ by degree, not by kind, so when you do the same thing as the person next to you, you know how they feel. When someone finishes first in the workout, they know exactly how everyone else is feeling and what they are going through as they finish up the workout themselves and the kind of encouragement they will need to help get them through it. Being first or last in the workout doesn’t mean that either one of their workouts was better or different than the other.
The community of CrossFit provides support.
It provides support during, after, and all throughout your entire journey into becoming a happier and healthier human being. CrossFit is linked to intensity and the intensity at which someone should work is always and only relative to that individual. Your intensity will decrease in a workout as you get tired. Without people cheering you on while you finish up a workout, you are not likely to finish the workout as strongly as you started. After you finish a workout, having people give you a high five and a few encouraging words reinforces that extra push at the end, the intensity where you dug deep, and it was well worth it. Being someone that is kind, supportive, encouraging, and appreciative can make another person’s day and your day as well.
Felling like you are part of a community is important. Fitness shouldn’t just be something you find in just appearance, like 6 pack abs or a thigh gap, but a journey of changing habits to became as healthy as possible, and we all need a support system to help us through that.
I want to challenge you to walk into the gym and say hi to as many people as possible, especially someone who just finished on-boarding! We were all new at some point and a little scared of being in a class. Go share your CrossFit stories with someone you don’t know as well. I want to challenge you, if you are the first one to get done, to cheer everybody else on after you catch your breath. It’s best to keep the encouragement short and genuine, and you can take note of cheering cues from the coach. I want to challenge you to not put up your equipment until everyone is completely done. You may not realize it while you’re doing it, but it can be deflating to someone still trying to finish up the workout. I want to challenge you at the end of class to give high fives or words of encouragement, even coaches. Be the light in the gym for other people.
Written by Kayla Allen. Inspiration provided by CrossFit Plainfield.