In today’s world, human relationships and social connections can quite often take on virtual forms. The internet and mobile technology provide an abundance of opportunities to create virtual networks of friends and like-minded people, making it easier to stay in contact with family and friends. Due to our hectic lives and the ease to which we can use technology to “connect” to others, we often miss out on opportunities to bond with other people, in real-time, in shared physical space.
Despite these technological social tendencies, we can use the CrossFit box and its members to create a community where we can nurture and benefit from real-life human social connections. The gym can serve as a place of mutual support, encouragement while providing a sense of community for members and their families.
Having a social community gives us an identity and makes us feel like we belong to something bigger than ourselves. It proves that we don’t have to go through life’s journey or towards better health alone; others will join me. It is satisfying to bond to other people and to know that we share a common interest in our health and we enjoy challenging ourselves in the gym. The positive attributes we identify in other reflect back onto us and help us feel good about our own constitution.
Surrounding ourselves with CrossFit athletes puts us in direct contact with other people who want to talk about all of the gory details of our lifts and workouts. Essentially, this spares many of our non-CrossFit connections from having to hear about it! Exercising with others helps you to know that you do through workouts alone and it makes your time spent at the gym more enjoyable. Plus, it legitimizes all of the effort and time spent in fitness activities…”.if all these other solid seeming people do it, then I’m probably not crazy!”
We can use OUR CrossFit Newtown community as a tool for self-actualization, helping us to realize our full potential in both the gym and in everyday life. Surrounding ourselves with other positive people who strive for self-improvement puts us on the path toward success.
Group workouts let us de-stress, forget about the problems at work and for 60 minutes, we don’t have to think about whether the kids have done their homework. Working in tandem to improve ourselves and reach health and fitness goals with other people allows us to learn from each other’s successes and mistakes. We get inspired by what we see happening next to us and from the numbers we see on the White Board.
Working out with others holds us accountable to ourselves and to the gym. We complete the physical work knowing that cannot quit and when we witness others making it through the toughest physical challenges, we can visualize ourselves finishing too. We all know that achieving strength goals, finishing workouts and mastering skills helps us to feel like we can conquer other challenges outside of the gym.
We can enhance your community experience at CrossFit Newtown in many ways:
- Reach out to new members in our classes and meet people we haven’t met before. Remember how nerve-wracking it was the first time we walked into our gym and know that the new person probably feels the same way
- Invite others to join us when lifting and don’t isolate ourselves. We lift more when we try to keep up with other lifters and make ourselves less susceptible to a “whimp out” if people work with us.
- Cheer for and encourage athletes while they work to complete a workout. In the CrossFit community, we often say ” the loudest cheers are for the last to finish”. Take this saying seriously.
- Get involved in additional weekend/throwdown workouts whenever possible. Participation allows you to meet people from other classes as well as other local gyms.
- Attend classes at other times to workout with different members. Varying your workout time is another way to challenge yourself anyway.
- Take opportunities to compete in CrossFit and lifting competitions as well as other athletic events. Compete as an individual and as part of a team. Team dynamics teach you different lessons than when you don’t have others to rely on you. Working out in a different environment can fire you up to take your game to the next level.
- Socialize outside of the gym. We can celebrate our commitment to health and rejoice in even the smallest physical successes.
- Get your spouses/partners involved in our box! Couples who CrossFit together report higher levels of relationship satisfaction and enjoy having common interests. Having better bodies doesn’t hurt either!
- Introduce your children to CrossFit! Our CrossFit Kids class emphasizes basic CrossFit movements for kids to move and strengthen their bodies in a fun environment. Youth Olympic Lifting exposes them to basic lifting technique that easily transfers to other sport skills. Let us know if your teen has an interest because we have plans to start a teen class as well. Families that share health and fitness habits will have greater success in making household changes to diet and activity level.
I started CrossFitting in 2010, and have done so in three different states and in 4 different boxes (plus drop ins). I have met many of my favorite people through CrossFit and they all inspire me in different ways. I have learned about my own strengths and weaknesses from working out with them and listening to their coaching cues. I feel grateful to have connected with others, both younger and older than me, each contributing to my CrossFit journey in important ways.
Work, family, and school commitments sometimes make us feel like we don’t have the time for nurturing real life social relationships. We should use our CrossFit time to improve physically and socially because happiness and success abound in CrossFit and in life if we do.
- Coach Stef