Over the last year I have been blessed to get to meet some amazing people at some great places when traveling to different places. These people have given me a great set of experiences and challenges as I grew as a Crossfit athlete. Each time I visited a box I came away with a new appreciation for the people that I worked out with back home, for the people that are a part of the Crossfit community as a whole, and a better understanding of my abilities.
Walking into a new box it makes you realize just how much of a part of the appeal of Crossfit the people that you workout with are. Meeting new people at the box and sharing about your journey and learning about their lives you begin to see just how they are drawn into the box by the people around them as well. Crossfit has such a strong group dynamic that visiting another group of people and seeing their group dynamic I came away with a better understanding of just how great a group of people I had around me everyday. The people that I came to work out with when I was at Capital City pushed me to be a better person, not just in Crossfit but in my life. I had other guys around my age, as well as those older and younger than me. Women that were classmates of mine in college, and women that were younger than me and looked at my progress and asked questions, but also ladies that were older than me and made me feel as though I could approach them with questions and needs that only someone with more life experience can offer. The people at Capital City encouraged me and pushed me though the tough times, they offered kind words and a sometimes not so gentle push when I needed it. And they were always there to call me out when I was trying to get away with not pushing myself to the limits. Visiting other places and seeing those same attributes in the members there made me understand that as a community Crossfit is built of an amazing mix of people that bond so strongly over the shared trials of the WODs at their respective boxes.
Looking at that community I began to understand just how special of a group we are. In a larger sense we are one community, and while I may not know the people when I walk in the door I can tell you that when I left that place, I left a group of friends. Over the last year I have had the privilege of calling one particular box my home away from home. Crossfit DNA in Dyer became my go to gym when I went home to visit my family. And each time I got a new peak into the lives of the people there I began to understand how as a group Crossfiters are special. I saw many of the same attributes in people there that I did back home at Capital City, I saw the same love for one another and the same desire to make each other better. As a large group of people not only across the United States but around the world these people have dedicated their lives not only to making themselves better but to making the lives of those around them better as well. My appreciation for people that participate in Crossfit has grown because I have come to see the dynamics of many groups of people in different parts of the country and how they all dedicate themselves to each other.
A visit to another Crossfit affiliate also gave me a better understanding of my own abilities. This is because it brought with it a new set of programming that I may not have seen back home. Visiting other boxes I got to see how they programmed, and sometimes they did things in a very different way than I was used to. It was on a visit that I first spent time on skill work for the Snatch, the first time that I worked on my Handstand Pushups and the first time that I did the workout Michael. All of these pushed me in different ways. Having to work on movements that I wasn’t familiar with pushed me to come back home and look to be better at them. They also brought forward some ways that I wasn’t in as good of shape as I thought I was. But in other ways it showed that I was ahead of where I was comfortable with back home. Pushing myself to show my abilities to a new group of people made me go longer and push harder than I may have done. Always wanting to come off as someone that knew what they were doing you tend to bring your A game around new people. This is a great example of that, who wants to look bad in front of people you have just met? Not this guy, so I always pushed absolutely as hard as I could. Sometimes that push saw me go beyond what I thought was possible and a new appreciation for my transformation was born. Understanding that being back home with the same people can build a comfort zone that you operate in, going outside of that zone by visiting a new place and wanting to impress the people there is good for you. I believe that making visits to other Crossffit affiliates is an important part of being in the Crossfit culture. If you want to succeed doing Crossfit, get out there, visit some people, make new friends, and above all, have some fun with it. It’s on a visit to a Crossfit box that I got to play med ball dodge ball. It was a great time.