We talk about community a lot in Crossfit. The community can be what keeps us coming back to the box, or what pulls us out of dark days or can be the catalyst for the achieving many personal records. Before the 2015 Crossfit Open I was well aware CFAA had a beautiful community. I was still well aware of this known fact during the Open. But what truly brought my eyes to well up with tears was everything that was said, posted, commented on or documented along the way and after the Open. I would look at the posts from the CFAA community and was overwhelmed with emotions. Reading and seeing the recognition of fellow members and friends and the overall support was truly astonishing.
My godmother always uses the phrase when she’s describing something, “it really is a beautiful thing.” I think she believes beauty is entrenched in our lives everywhere, and it’s up to us to recognize it. The immense encouragement every person received during the Open, whether they were competing or not was truly a beautiful thing. The words said, the high fives given, the laughs had and the sweat poured into the cracks of the floor is what makes up the beauty of CFAA. I’m beyond impressed and beyond delighted at our profound community.
The Open brings out so many feelings and reactions. I can speak from personal experience, 15.2 got in my head, made me feel like shit and I won’t lie I did shed a single tear, well maybe the equivalent of Niagara Falls, but whatever! Those damn chest to bar pull-ups got the best of me and no matter how much Carly Duke tried to make me feel better I felt sorry for myself. I gave myself the rest of the evening to feel sad and then decided that was enough and to carry on with 15.3-15.5. But I’m glad. I’m glad I reacted and felt my emotions. As much as the Open is about pushing your limits and throwing up a bit, maybe even tasting a little blood in your mouth, it’s a way to look around and reflect on what is still hard, what we need to work on and what we kicked fuckin’ ass on. The Open is meant to be hard, I get that, but what surprised me was how much I learned not only about myself, but what others are willing to do for the person beside them. Yes, it’s a competition but I don’t know about you, but I was scared during every single one of those workouts. I didn’t look to Bianca Mancuso beside me during 15.5 thinking I want to beat you, I was thinking please save me! The fact is I wanted her beside me. Knowing she was in pain as much as I was in pain and her legs hurt as much as mine hurt comforted me. At the end of the day I think we both just wanted a sweet picture, but besides that your community isn’t your rivalry they’re your teammates.
As much as Crossfit is an individual sport, when it comes to community I’m looking to the person next to me for support. Those are the people who will get you through the Open, the workouts, bad days, good days. Those are the people who will peal you off the floor, who aren’t afraid to tell you you’re being a baby and to buck up and finish your workout. Those are the people who see things that you don’t and are willing to tell you your potential. We’re a team, have trust in your team, and they’ll show you what you’re capable of.
Next time you’re in CFAA either walking into the box, mid-workout or sitting around discussing the ins and outs of your day, look around. For the days and weeks coming I’m encouraging you to observe your surroundings. Look at what you have built. Look at the community, listen to the laughs and conversations and watch everyone as they put there all into a workout. Maybe it’s your home away from home, perhaps your place of worship, your place of sanity, your place of clear mindedness or just the place where you throw down with your buddies and wod. Above all else whatever CFAA is to you it’s a community.
There are not many places in life that we come to cherish so dearly. When you find them hold them close to your heart, close to your soul and let them uplift your spirit.
“We stand shivering at the door, terrified and panicked that we have lost the key. We waste lifetimes in the waiting because in the haze, the painted fog of our fear, we forget to check the handle and discover it has never been locked at all.” – Tyler Knott Gregson