How Does Community Motivate You?

After breakfast this morning, I was going to run 6 miles like I had planned for my Weekly Workouts, but, as I was changing into my running gear, I remember that I told one of my CrossFit friends that I’d be at Monday night’s class. I’m sure she wouldn’t have cared if I decided not to go tonight, but I don’t like letting people down or going back on my word, especially when it comes to our little CrossFit family.

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Besides the fitness aspects of CrossFit, the reason why I love it so much is because it emphasizes the importance of community, which I think is why so many people stick with it once they start. Sure, people call CrossFit a “cult,” but, unless you do it, it’s sort of hard to understand the type of bond you create with the other members of your box. You’re doing the workouts as a group, so when you’re done, you’ve gone through an experience with those people, so there’s a great level of camaraderie and respect. It’s different than a group exercise class at a gym. Unlike a regular gym, no one zones out on cardio machines, wears headphones, or even leaves the box until everyone has finished the WOD. Everyone is working out together and supporting one another the entire time.

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Obviously, there are varying levels of commitment to CrossFit. There are some people who just go to the class, workout hard for an hour, and then head home, but most people are more involved and take the whole community thing to heart by getting to know the other members and forming friendships. At our box, pretty much everyone knows everyone else’s name and it’s actually unusual to not introduce yourself to someone new.

In just 3.5 short months, Mal and I have formed some awesome friendships with the folks at our CrossFit. Every time we walk into CrossFit 781, we’re immediately greeted by one of the coaches and usually by someone who is there even earlier than us. (Mal and I always arrive at class a good 15-20 minutes before it starts to work on skills.) It’s been a fun ride so far, and I can only imagine what the next several months will bring. All I know is that I leave class better than I was yesterday.

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[photo source]

How does community motivate you to become a better version of yourself?

Lunch

Lunch was leftover veggies from the fridge: boiled cabbage + sweet potato wedges with Teddie Peanut Butter on top, which I apologize doesn’t look that appetizing (Mal just saw the pic and said it looked like cat vomit), but I swear, it tasted delicious! On the side: plain Greek yogurt for some protein!

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Snack

A few hours later, I whipped up a smoothie as an afternoon snack. In the mix: frozen banana, chopped frozen kale, fresh strawberries, vanilla protein powder, and almond milk

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Off to walk the pug and then CrossFit! Booyah!

P.S. My friend Kaitlyn sent me a couple of fitness job postings some of you might be interested in. Check ”˜em out: Marketing Manager – Fitness & Training (CrossFit) and Marketing Communications Manager – Fitness & Training. I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of tempted to apply for the CrossFit one myself!

51 Comments

  1. the crossfit community [from my outsider/blog reader perspective] seems a lot like high school sport teams. [the good kind.]

    Thinking back to my favorite years of high school basketball, especially, I remember practices FILLED with drills, contests, running laps, building endurance, all of which had a great “WE CAN DO THIS!” attitude behind it.

    When the entire team had to run 20 laps around the school [we had an awesome circular hallway set up at our “old” highschool – the building I was in 9-10th grade before we moved into the “new” highschool my junior year – which allowed for indoor lap running in the cold and snowy wisconsin winters.] no matter who crossed the line first and second, you could count on them to be at the finish line, cheering on the rest of their team – and sometimes even joining in to jog for final laps of the last runner- until every person had crossed that line.

    The same “GO TEAM!” attitude could be seen throughout so many of the practices I participated in and/or observed during my time in high school, and come to think of it, at my small private college, too.

    I imagine that your crossfit community is very similiar in this way. [I even catch myself thinking of your crossfit friends as teammates.]

  2. Thanks for sharing more about Cross Fit. It’s cool to hear your experiences. My husband and I have both been wanting to try it, but we’ve been a little hesitant because of the cost. But it certainly sounds like it’s worth the money, if you have it to spend! 🙂

  3. Community is so important. I definitely feel part of a group and am welcomed everyday. Yesterday I was feeling horrible and ended up only doing part of the WOD. While I was finishing, the entire group cheered me on and told me how great I looked at all the movements (they may have been lying a little bit at the end because nothing looked good at the end of that WOD except the fetal position on the floor). When I didn’t go to my usual class on my bday, I had tons of facebook posts asking why I wasn’t there (because I slept in and went to the noon class!). It helps me so much to know that I’m going to a place where people notice if I’m there or not.

  4. I tried crossfit for a month and just couldn’t get in to it. I think it had to do with the community. I just wasn’t clicking with that group. It really bummed me out bc I was hoping for a good group of fitness friends. I think community has a huge impact on my work outs.
    My sister loves her crossfit friends and actually competes!

  5. I really wish I had a fitness community like this! I’ve pretty much convinced myself to sign up for the CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association) training program for the Chicago Marathon this summer. I randomly started talking to a woman at my gym who raved about the program and the great friendships she made from it! Just like with crossfit, 20 mile runs bond people! haha.

  6. My crossfit gym is the absolute best <3 I love my coaches and all the friends I've made there. I love being a "regular" 🙂

    You should have ran! 6 miles + a crossfit workout is a perfect day, especially spaced that far apart.

  7. I think you could do great marketing for crossfit!! Haha. I love it!! I’m totally motivated by friends as well. Although I am truly the most motivated by competing with myself. I used to work out all the time with my roommate, and I loved that. Now I work out with my husband (new roommate – haha), and that’s good too.

  8. It is very cool to establish relationships with people you see regularly and sweat hardcore with. 🙂 Our running community in Eugene set up a “running peers” Facebook group and there are now over 200 of us on the group. It is always motivating and supportive and great for wanting to plan destination runs or fun running related events. Plus, runners always bring the best food to parties. Healthy, but satisfying!

  9. Community is the KEY to healthy living, I think. Workouts are hard enough, but to have people pushing us is what can help us get far!! I don’t do CrossFit, but I do go to Stroller Strides and the community has helped get me back into shape post baby PLUS I’ve made some great friends along the way!!!

  10. Haha DO IT!!
    That’s so cool that cross fit has such a tight knit community! That’s just not something you get by going to a regular gym…or at least not in my experience. Community definitely helps with motivation, both to get there and to push harder once you’re there!!

  11. I feel like I’d need a community of friends for my first CrossFit class. It looks like an intimidating atmosphere but I’ve heard only wonderful things about it! Hoping to try it out soon!

  12. I walk during my prep period with some of my colleagues at school, and bike to work as part of our school’s commuter challenge. 🙂

  13. So true about the Crossfit community! I went for our 9:30 Saturday lifting + a “girl” class, then stayed to cheer on the folks doing their final open WOD at 10:30…then got suckered into doing a “fun” team WOD at the end of the 10:30 class. And in the middle I got to play with tops with some of the Crossfitters kids who trouped along to the box.

    Awesome way to spend Saturday morning!

  14. I feel the exact same way about my crossfit. Even being on the younger side, I feel so welcomed and encouraged by everyone of all ages. We have a big box 130ish people, so I definitely don’t know everyone but its comforting seeing familiar faces.

  15. Peanut butter and sweet potato is one of my favorite combinations! I always get weird looks when I eat them together, but it really is an awesome combination.

  16. Great post! I think community (or having some like-minded fitness buddies) can be a huge motivator not to miss workouts AND to work hard while you’re doing it.
    I love the first picture. You guys are so in sync that even your strides look the same! Glad you found such a great community with Crossfit!

  17. Such a great post and so true. Those they may call it a “cult” just dont get it. I have been pulled into the ultra running community and LOVE it, actually just posted about it today. Finding something like that is so great.

  18. Great post! I’m not a member of Crossfit but know that having a community is vital to keeping with your fitness goals. I work in Cardiac Rehab. We have a “maintenance” group (basically people come to work out but are supervised and we can help in case something goes wrong). So many of them come faithfully just because they know their “community” would wonder if they were o.k. Plus, they enjoy seeing each other 3x/week. I’d say 90% of the people who are in the program would be sitting at home watching TV if they didn’t have their community!

    1. @Caroline: Good question! I actually don’t like the fruit flavored ones very much because they’re so sweet. Maybe you could try vanilla yogurt to start or try plain with a little bit of honey?

  19. Thank you for sharing you are definitely inspiring me to try CrossFit near me. Keep the stories coming!

    I would have to say the Healthy Living Blog community has really inspired me. Everyone is so creative, supportive and inspirational. It helps me get my daily sweat on and realize that there are a lot of people out there with similar interests!

  20. I love a fitness group–there is just something about working hard, sweating it out together, and seeing results with each other. I teach fitness classes and every time I am gone for vacay or something, I miss ’em like my family!!!

    Have fun at CF!

  21. How would you compare your crossfit community to your TNT team? I know TNT was for a good cause but crossfit seems to be just as fulfilling, you make me want to give it a try!

    1. @Jamie: They’re similar, but I see my CrossFit friends more often since I go a few times a week. With TNT, we only saw our teammates for the long runs on the weekend, but we still made some great friends! 🙂

  22. The feeling of community is incredible. I’m glad you and Mal have found a great community to belong to, Tina.

  23. I don’t know why there are so many CrossFit haters out there… I guess anything that gets really popular always attracts haters. Personally, I don’t think I would enjoy it (not my kind of workout) but I think it’s great that so many people are into it and from what you described, the sense of community and support you get out of it is amazing. Anything that motivates people to stay active is a good thing in my book.

  24. The community at CrossFit sounds really great! I wish I had something like that to be a part of. This post is making me consider joining a half marathon training group… I think I need the motivation of a group to push me to run that far!

  25. Zumba always provided me with a sense of community, especially my sunday class because it was always the same people in attendance, the instructor is a friend, and everyone encourages one another to just let loose and be comfortable with themselves.
    we wear crazy outfits, i attempt to move in ways my body doesnt always want to, and we just yell and have fun while getting a great work out.
    we have also adopted the tradition of a panera lunch afterwards since its right next door 🙂

  26. I find that the sense of community while working out is a great motivator ! If I’m feeling tired and sore that day, they are there to remind me to keep pushing ! (:

  27. I think its great that you have this wonderful community! I teach a yoga class to this amazing group of woman- and they keep me motivated to challenge them with new material each and every week!

  28. I just got a Fuel band (tracks steps, calories which translate into “fuel”) and am surprised at how much other people in the Fuel band community motivate me. You can link your account up so you can see other people’s (strangers and friends) fuel points and so I’m constantly challenging myself to work harder to get more points. Today is the 1st day I have to come into work having a co-worker get more points than me. Just extra motivation to work harder tomorrow.

  29. thank you also for encouraging me to go back to Crossfit– I did Crossfit for a few months during college, and just joined my local gym at home– This was post was SO timely because after my first few workouts back (and still feeling guilty about leaving another non-crossfit gym) you nailed it right on the head! It is the COMMUNITY aspect.

  30. My hubby and I joined CrossFit over a month ago and we love it. The community at our box, Sin City CrossFit, is supportive and encouraging. Like you, we’ve made a lot of new friends at our box. In fact, I have a new workout buddy (other than my built-in workout buddy – the hubby). She and I text each other and hold each other accountable. We push each other to go to the WODs. Half the battle is just going to the gym. The CrossFit community is wonderful!

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