I went back and counted. Since I began my CrossFit journey, I have created 12 blogs about CrossFit. Counting this one. So clearly, you can see that this one is a CrossFit blog too. This one is all about Community and Connection.
You all know that I’ve been doing CrossFit in my garage gym since…November 2019. Okay, if you didn’t know that, I’VE BEEN DOING CROSSFIT IN MY GARAGE GYM SINCE NOVEMBER 2019. Now you do know (not trying to be snarky, just trying to be funny…)
When you work out alone in your garage, you tend to lose the concept of community that CrossFit thrives upon. As much as I love my online CrossFit community (WODprep…you should check it out), there is a “disconnect” with online communities where you don’t have the immediate feedback of a CrossFit Affiliate (the gyms we go to…that aren’t in our garage). It’s fine. I’m not complaining because I have made some very very very dear friends through WODprep and I love and support them as much as they love and support me….you hear the “but” coming, don’t you?
Community is the fabric of CrossFit. Sure, it’s a sport that we (the participants) love…and it’s fun to watch the elites claw their way to the podium but it’s not about who wins at The Games. It’s not about who is the fittest man or woman in the world…it’s about incremental improvement. It’s about comparing yourself to yourself. You today vs. you yesterday or you last week or you last year.
I didn’t understand that at first. And sometimes I still don’t, I admit. Frequently I get angry with myself for not being able to go as hard as people half my age. I get angry at myself for not being active my entire life. Not starting athletics as a kid. I even get mad at my parents (who are both dead, as long time readers know) for being musicians instead of athletes. Encouraging piano lessons instead of gymnastics. Things I can’t change now. Things that are beyond the reality of my situation.
After reading all that, you’re probably thinking, “Great, so where does Community come in, Mary?” Recently, I traveled to Miami to attend Wodapalooza. It’s a functional fitness festival which includes some competitions. It also includes some really cool scenarios to meet elite athletes, get autographs and photos elites, and….meet the general CrossFit community which includes (at least for me), WODprep staff and athletes, A-list coaches like Aimee Everett, get some cool swag, and meet some of the “media.”
I got to meet my coach, Savannah. She is the best and she is everything I imagined she would be. Smart, helpful, strong, understanding, kind, and a SUPER coach. I got to meet Ben from WODprep. Like meeting a CrossFit rockstar to me. I’ve been watching his videos since I started in April 2019 and have been a loyal fangirl ever since. I also got to meet some cool WODprep athletes like Ulrika and Michelle. Both of them are exactly as I expected. Super fit, really cool, and awesome to chat with. And, I got to meet John Wooley, a.k.a. @MakeWODsGreatAgain … cohost of the Kettlebells and Cocktails podcast and the Scale and Bail podcast. Both Savannah and John made the Wodapalooza experience a very positive one for me, although it could have gone horribly wrong (mostly because I haven’t been in a crowd that large and that loud in several years…pre-lockdown.
Fast forward to this past weekend. Jim & I got home from church on Sunday and there was a package at our front door. I was pretty surprised to see it came from John. He shared that Savannah gave him my mailing address and so he sent me a gift – two things that had been mentioned to him (one by me, one by Savannah) which just totally brightened up my day. The community connection which normally is fostered through in person training and interaction is still pretty strong … across the interwebz.
I have one more piece of community that is truly essential and this is my opinion, no science behind it. A key to the community aspect of CrossFit is having someone who supports you and is in your corner forever…a trusted friend, a parent, or a spouse/significant other. I have that. When I want to give up and just let myself be crushed by the world, my continual injuries, my lack of motivation, my stress of the work week…Jim is my rock. He never limits me, he never puts down my efforts, he never makes disparaging comments. Quite the opposite. He almost embarrasses me by telling everyone that I do CrossFit and I’m strong. And he is behind whatever effort I want to make. If you don’t have a partner in crime like that, even if it’s only a gym-buddy…well…you are missing a vital part of the community. Jim doesn’t do CrossFit but he accepts it as part of my life. He is the best part of my community.
….I can watch…
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