By Coach Lam
When you ask CrossFitters, “What’s your favorite thing about CrossFit?” you’ll inevitably hear someone say that it’s the community. But what makes the community aspect so special? Is it because the members greet newcomers immediately when they walk into the box? Is it because there’s so much positive cheering to help and encourage others to finish a workout? It could be! I’ve heard so many great answers to this question that it reminds me that CrossFit is so much more than just a bunch of people working out. The sense of community is one of the most important aspects of a CrossFit box. It’s something that members should be very protective of, so lot of the responsibility comes from the members to maintain the spirit of the box. How can you be part of protecting the community that you’ve come to love?
Encouraging unity with your current and new class members is a surefire way to be able to protect your community’s standards and values. One of the best ways to encourage unity is just by setting a good example! One of the things we encourage at Kanna is to greet new members as soon as you can (we all know how intimidating it can be if you’re in a new situation and you’re the only new person – more details on this in other blog posts). By setting the example of just saying, “Hi!”, you’ll encourage other members and to do the same.
Another way to encourage unity is by warming up and cooling down together. Throughout class, members will go through the explanation, the warm ups, the workout and the cool down. The success of CrossFit within the community stems from members participating in all these phases together, we go through the conversations, the understanding and the discomfort together. When multiple members in class are doing their own thing during class, it doesn’t work. Other members get distracted or wonder why people aren’t following the class process. The community doesn’t flow as well. Set the tone for current and new members by participating in class and encourage those that stray to join in!
There’s nothing like having someone in the background who cheers you on and helps you through that last round of a workout. Your mind is telling you to stop and your body is telling you that it hurts too much. Your workout buddy is the only thing pulling you through the finish line! Those members that cheer for you are helping to hold you accountable in finishing that workout! In CrossFit, we cheer as much for the person who finishes first as the person who finishes last, so as you’re finished with your workout, help the next person finish theirs by cheering them on! Unloading the bar and cleaning the rest of the gym up can wait! Your enthusiasm and team cheering is contagious and will set an example for the other members! Continue to build and maintain that community by showing the other members that you’re there for them through the most difficult workouts and they won’t ever finish alone!
Building a community is always challenging, but maintaining the spirit as it grows can be even more difficult. It’s important to protect it to make sure it stays faithful to the themes that you and your box have set. The above points are but a few things that members can do to protect it! After all, it is a second home for many of our athletes!