Everyone has their feelings about the rapid rise of CrossFit. You have the loyalists who can't seem to stop talking about all aspects of it and wouldn't miss a day for anything. Then, you've got the opposite side of the spectrum that just wants everyone to stop talking about it, which is ok. The largest population of CrossFitters lie somewhere in the middle and for the most part keep to themselves about it other than in the box or at home with their families. Although, our families are more than likely very tired about hearing how sore we are, unless they CrossFit too. I believe that everyone should have a bit of skepticism towards anything in our lives we invest our time or resources in, including CrossFit. Whichever side of the fence you're on, consider the other side and find a balance with it all.
But this post isn't really about the sport of it or about working out, it's about the community aspect that makes CrossFit so magnetic, and why we at Team NeighborLink are huge fans of it.
This picture represents the purity of CrossFit, the role of suffering, the pursuit of success, and the need for others in our lives. Regardless of whether an athlete is the best in the workout of the day (WOD) or is the last, the last is always celebrated. In the picture above, Chris has outlasted everyone in the Death By WallBall workout. An audience of everyone who's suffered to the point of failure are now cheering him on to get rep after rep because they know he's hitting areas beyond their abilities and they all want him to succeed. Even more admirable are the athletes that transition from their own suffering to encourage and cheer on those who are finishing last because of their relative weakness. Just last week, I was the last one to finish a workout by at least 2 minutes and there were at least two or three other athletes encouraging me on to push until the last rep. In the case of this picture, I have no doubt that Chris pushed further than he would if no one was in his corner encouraging him. It's a perfect example of why we need others to get the truly best our of ourselves, and if we don't have that, we'll 9 out of 10 times stop short. So many lessons to be unpacked in that alone.
At the crux of it all, suffering is essential to life and personal transformation, and it manifests itself in all aspects of life. What I love about CrossFit is that it's full of people that recognize their weaknesses, recognize the opportunities for personal transformation, and choose to not suffer alone. CrossFit encourages vulnerability in our bodies, minds, spirits, and opens us up to new life. To me, it's no surprise that some of the closest friends of people in any box are other people in that box. When you've been weak in front of, or with, another person and they they stick by you until the end, you know you've found a kindred spirit. Think of all your deepest relationships and I can almost guarantee you've spent some difficult moments in life with them by your side. Because of the physically demanding nature of CrossFit, these kinds of bonds are naturally going to happen, and should be embraced. I think each of us needs to find people to suffer with because I know we all need relationships that we can turn to when life gets tougher than what we think we can withstand on our own.
Sure, in CrossFit you can stand around talking about supplements, various lifting moves, and all kinds of other things, but it's really no different than any other activity we get involved in. Small talk is small talk, and it's those things that help us create a common bond with our peers. If you can look past those things and invest in the moments of intensity with those around you, you'll come away with some pretty incredible relationships.
Team NeighborLink is proudly sponsored by Mad Apple CrossFit in Downtown Fort Wayne. They generously donate 15% of all new members dues of Team NL members. Another bonus of CrossFit that we've noticed is because of the strong community building activity, they're also some of the most generous people we know. No less than 6 fundraising workouts happen in a year and countless cause related efforts take place.
Consider giving CrossFit in general a fair shake of at least three months. Go into it open to the full picture. If the box you go to doesn't thrive on the community aspect, try a different one, because the good ones will and they're are plenty out there now. We'd say go to Mad Apple in FW, but we're biased! By the way, Mad Apple is moving location & their rates are going up in July. Get in there to get your rates locked in by the end of June.
Andrew Hoffman, Team Director