I usually don’t do this. I’m more the one to communicate within my comfort zone, on a tough level, rather than getting to the heart of things. The changes that come in life, good and challenging, enable reflection. After being away from the box for the last month due to injury and travel, it’s given me a lot to be thankful for and a reminder of what I missed.
Since September 2011, I’ve been having fun, struggling, working hard, succeeding and failing and meeting a lot of new people through CrossFit. It’s made a huge difference in my life on a very personal level with my health right through to what you see on my photography page in Facebook. A lot of positive growth in my life as a result of my decision to start CrossFit based on Mike’s encouragement and a lot of growth in my life as a result of the various projects I undertake.
CrossFit is many things to us. Fitness, competition, discovering something new about one’s self or someone else, forging friendships and community. CrossFit’s community is something that carries a sense of pride within and outside one’s respective box. I realize that each time I visit a new or familiar box where that “Cheers” theme song comes to mind.
I’ve been away from our box since the end of March due to travel and my first week back, due to injury which made driving difficult. Moreover, I had fallen into a bit of a rut. I didn’t feel motivated or even in the mood to necessarily communicate with anyone. I figured it would go unnoticed. Remaining quietly in my humble abode, not wishing to go outside or move. Telephone, Facebook and email were my connection to the world and I thought I was happy with it. My CF family noticed. I received messages via Facebook, Whatsapp and phone calls. I learned I could run but couldn’t hide!!
Being involved with the box carries many responsibilities. The coaches, Nick, Mike and I all work together to make the box the best place to be for the members. Remaining in my rut for my fulltime job is easy because I work from home – no need to see anyone for business when I’m in Germany. The box, however, carries completely different parameters. The personal contact; simply being there whether I work out or not, personal networking with members and coaches is very important. Being a hermit in a rut doesn’t really work in the world of CrossFit! Nick and I had a lot of work to catch up on last week and it was difficult to do it in the virtual world. He called me out on my hermit-like feeling and I reluctantly took Jade to the box for her regular training with him. Walking into the box this time, I had a strange sense of belonging. It felt good to be “home” and I was happy to be at the box again, even if I couldn’t work out. A little overwhelming for my tough demeanor.
After catching up on what’s been going on at the box, Nick told me there was a competition in Basel, Switzerland on April 20th. Coach Todd and Keith were competing in the “Strongman Cup Switzerland 2013.” I was in a rut and needed to get out…I guess a road trip to Basel seemed to be in order. Nick and I wanted to be there to support our OGRs and we set out, with Jade, on a very interesting drive the morning of the 20th. We were greeted by rain, snow, icy roads and trucks which couldn’t get up the hills, cars which turned around and we kept moving along. Nick was driving, I was taking photos with my phone and Jade was making the necessary FB updates along the way. Three hours later, we reached Basel where it was good to see Todd and Keith getting ready for competition!
As the day progressed, I was thankful that Nick persuaded me to join him going to Basel. We watched Todd and Keith do some badass strongman lifts, we cheered for them and hung out between lifts. I took photos as best I could with a sprained hand and we just had a great day. At some point I wondered where some of our other CFA Stuttgart friends were. It was sad that no one else was there to share this success with Keith and Todd. What if we turned around on that hill like the other cars did? No one would be there to support our competitors.
This is a call to action. I realize we all have very busy lives. Work, children, CrossFit, private life and other obligations that fill our calendars and leave us exhausted by the end of the day; however with a little bit of planning we should be able to go to the various competitions and cheer on our members or even just get a few people together to go visit a new box. What can we do to raise the team spirit at the box?
Many of us joined CrossFit to improve our overall fitness level. We love the workouts and the feeling we get when we’ve finished Fran or one of Todd’s grueling programmed WODs. We are amazed at the muscle that just grew or the mobility that we’ve improved upon through Mike’s “Supple Leopard” mobility month madness. But what about that little extra we give each other when we’re cheering each other on in those last few seconds of the WOD? Were you around during the 2013 Open WODs? If you were, remember how loud the box got when Nick yelled out “10 seconds!”? The supporters were cheering, collaborating, encouraging and pushing the competitors. The expressions were the same for everyone, we were all happy that our friends got through the WOD. You know, you can do this at other boxes too.
The next Strongman is coming in June and will take place in Basel (Swiss Federation of Strongman Athletes). Between now and then, the Regionals are up in Copenhagen, CMAR is happening and there are the regular WODs at the box. There are a lot of boxes within a 200 km radius of Stuttgart that you could visit and find some new friends. It’s easy for us to be a part of our community; we just need to show up!
As I have stepped outside my comfort zone to share with you, I’d like to ask you to do the same. Get out of the comfort zone of the box and expand your horizons! GET OUT OF THE BOX!
Cheer our Badass Members / Coaches on!
Todd and Keith were so grateful to have Nick, Jade and I cheering for them in Basel. Jade was impressed with how strong our guys are and also how strong the women are. She watched Nadine Steineger, 2013 CrossFit Regionals qualifier, competing and was very impressed with her strength. Jade learned a lot about strongman competitions and had a great day. I had fun cheering and taking some photos. If you like strong people, tattoos, heavy metal, and screaming…we had it all in Basel on April 20th.
Let’s organize a road trip for the Strongman in June. Share cars, gas expenses and coordinate food and fun for a day. It’s one Saturday where you may not know what to expect while driving there but at the end of the day you’ll have cheered for your fellow CFA friends, had a great time and met some new people.
Become a groupie, let’s follow our members around to their competitions and give them our support. We, the CFA Box, will work at getting the competitions announced on the web so you can figure out what works for you to become a CFA groupie.
Visit a New Box!
Many of us travel as part of our regular jobs and have the opportunity to visit CrossFit boxes other than the one we call “home.” It’s a wonderful feeling to write an email asking if it’s ok to drop in for a WOD or two and be welcomed like an old friend. It’s even better to get into the new box and find other people who love the same lifts you do, have children like you do, have the same mobility or health challenges and want to learn about who you are. Friendships grow box to box, whether it’s overseas or where you live. CrossFit really does have a worldwide community that is constantly varied, constantly growing and consistently the same – like-minded people sharing a common fitness goal and succeeding one WOD at a time.
When is the last time you took the opportunity to visit another box in our region? Have you ever considered taking a road trip to Berlin or Hamburg to visit the cities and throw in a WOD or two at the boxes up there? What about Zurich or Wiesbaden? In Germany, we are lucky to have a relatively small geographical area to cover and quickly be in France, Switzerland or Austria within a few hours. Why not take advantage of that? Grab a couple of people from the box, take a road trip and WOD with another box! Forge new elite friendships, learn from different coaches and take a look at the box you visit. What is similar to the one you regularly visit? What is the same? How are the members? What’s their community like? What can you learn to improve at CrossFit?
I learned, especially over the last week, how important my CF Community is to me. I also feel blessed with the good friends I’ve met, whether it be at CFA or another box. I realize that I have a wonderful network that makes each day a lot better. I enjoy the sense of belonging, the networking and learning something new. I can tell you that the experience of visiting other boxes or supporting our members at competitions has been nothing but positive for me and it is something I recommend you do as well. Being there is being a part of the greater good. Your voice, your energy, your willingness to participate is all it takes to make the difference.
What do you think?
Do you have any suggestions on how to get outside the box? Let’s work on this and expand our community. We all have something in common – our passion for CrossFit – let’s continue to forge that outside the box and expand our horizons!
Thanks for reading!