Monday, February 10, 2014

CrossFit- a community I'm part of

I started sending out motivational emails to members of our crossfit box.  I've been dying to get back to this blog, so I figured I'd post some here because they may help motivate others who read this blog.

This week, I was inspired to talk about the community I've become a part of at crossfit.

A few weeks ago, I was at my neighborhood book club and one of the mom's was talking about how when she went to playgroup with her kids' friends, sometimes she felt uncomfortable because she oftentimes didn't get along with the parents- she felt like the only way she could meet people was through her kids' friends and she wasn't able to choose what their moms were like.

"CrossFit is community."

My kids went to a birthday party yesterday, for one of their crossfit friends and low and behold many of their parents were there and they were my crossfit friends. I did not feel awkward and stand in the corner playing words with friends on my phone because I didn't know any of the other parents, I was able to smile and carry on an actual adult conversation.   

“Everybody is a story. When I was a child, people sat around kitchen tables and told their stories. We don't do that so much anymore. Sitting around the table telling stories is not just a way of passing time. It is the way the wisdom gets passed along. The stuff that helps us to live a life worth remembering.”  -Rachel Naomi Remen

This week, I started a "hands free" rule for myself, from when the kids get home from school until after dinner.  I realized that quick Facebook checks, text messages, etc. were starting to take me away from my life.  I could be having a conversation with my child or my husband, but instead I would be glued to my phone.  Have you ever realized how many conversations you miss because of technology or convenience?  

-ATM at bank, avoid talking to the teller
-self checkout at grocery store- avoid the cashier
-text message someone-avoid the phone call
-order stamps online or from a machine- avoid the postal clerk or mail man
-send e-gifts- why give it in person

These are just a few examples of conversations we are no longer having.  As a mom of 5, if I'm not working, sometimes, I don't even get to talk to an adult all day long, which is why that birthday party meant so much yesterday, my kids got to play with their friends and I got to talk to my friends, like an adult, about things we all enjoyed.

Long story short- at CrossFit, we have to talk to each other- at the Y, we did not have to, at LifeTime fitness, you did not.  

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation."-Plato

We have set classes we prefer to attend.  5:30 AM, it takes a special person to work out at that time, 6:35- well heck there's an application, 7:30- they're all so quiet, hoping Scott won't cancel the class we just created, they're just happy for that time slot, 8:30- if you like to workout alone, 9:30- yes!!! the kids are at school now, 4:30- left work early, they're all business ready to burn off their aggression, 5:30, 6:30-pm- waiting patiently for the new box so they can have kids at the same time and have space in their classes, bunch of fun ladies at 6:30, 7:30- seriously, who works out that late anyways???  

If you don't show up, you are missed.  Have you ever gotten a text asking where you were or even worse, the dreaded Facebook post that you are tagged in, calling you out to the entire box?  We don't just work out together, we know each other, we see each other's weaknesses, hear moaning and groaning that is usually left for behind closed doors.  Talk about peeing our pants or even worse....   We actually have to talk to each other and we want to.  I love hearing people talking happily amongst themselves.  

"Through others we become ourselves." -Lev S. Vygotsky

I'm an adult and I'm having fun.  I read an article about CrossFit recently and it was entitled "where everybody knows your name".  It's true, most people do know your name here.  For most of us, this isn't a place to join and come once a month, we're in it for the long haul.  I do take pride in the fact that almost all of us do know each other, even if our paths haven't crossed yet.  This box is kind of like our Cheers.

Have you ever had that awkward moment when you walk into a class you normally don't WOD with and no one knows you?, then like a miracle, someone walks in that you know and it's the biggest relief, or all of the sudden, everyone just starts shaking your hand and introducing themselves to you like you're a day one.  Gotta love it, you'd never get that at spin class at the Y, you'd just slink into the back on the bike in the shadow with no light above it and go on your merry way silently- Not here!

A few weeks ago, Rob wrote in the Facebook group about how he was so glad to be back after time off from an injury.  I really understood him- you get in this group of people that you can truly be yourself with, without worrying about being fired (like at work) or being judged and then when you don't have it- you realize it was what you were missing in life all along.  For some of us, crossfit is a chance to have an identity (even if it is under the cover of our box nickname), to be who we want to be, or to become someone better.  It gives us the sense of small community that is so oftentimes missed in this fast paced world we live in.  It gives us opportunities to converse with actual adults, to meet people whose paths we would never have crossed before, to put ourselves on an equal level with many others, to give ourselves the gift of health, to give our children opportunities for fitness education, and to just be better.

Is this your first time reading one of these emails- welcome!  You will never be the same.  

“Most of the problems with the bodies and minds of the folks occupying the current culture involve an unwillingness to do anything hard, or anything that they’d rather not do. I applaud your resolve, and I welcome you to the community of people who have decided that EASY will no longer suffice”. 

This week it's Valentine's day- a day which many proclaim as a Hallmark holiday- not me.  I choose to use it as a day to make sure to tell important people in my life that I love them because sometimes we just take it for granted.  I also choose to take it as a day to make it extra fun and special for my kids- if we don't make some days extra special, then they're all just ordinary.  Choose to make this day special for yourself, for your family, for your friends, for a random stranger, for your entire WOD group- you are an adult and you are alive and you have opportunities, don't let them pass unnoticed.

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