Don’t Workout With Strangers
Written by C.J. Martin
Elevators are awkward. They present an opportunity by which you could be uncomfortably confined with several individuals that you have never met. Body odors, loud talkers and space invaders are just a few of the many perils of the awkward elevator situation. And because we know that the ride will end soon, it just isn’t worth making a personal connection with our fellow passengers. Unfortunately, at GloboGyms around the country, millions of individuals are turning their fitness facilities into similarly awkward and unappealing places. GloboGyms are filled with people tuned in to their headphones and doing everything humanly possible to avoid eye contact. There is always some trepidation as to whether someone is going to want to “work in” with you and leave a sweaty trail in their wake. More often than not there is a guy grunting or yelling loud enough for any female of breeding age to hear him from across the gym and look over to see his kipping bicep curl. Despite all of this, millions suck it up and hurry through their workout hoping to make it out of their with as few awkward interactions as possible.
Why do people choose to put themselves in that environment? Given a choice, wouldn’t you rather workout amongst friends who will support and encourage your efforts and celebrate your successes? If not, you’re a sociopath and can stop reading. But if you are like those of us who enjoy the company of others, CrossFit Invictus is the place for you.
One of our taglines and objectives at CrossFit Invictus is “Building Communities,” and it is something we take very seriously. We believe that there is more to elite fitness than just athletic achievement. CrossFit facilitates development of mental fortitude because of the rigors associated with its relative intensity, but more importantly, it fosters friendships in a way that is only typically seen in team sports and certain divisions of our Armed Forces. CrossFit can at once be inspiring and humbling. It presents hurdles that seem insurmountable and the thrill of achievement when they are overcome. It’s precisely because of these rigors and their associated emotions that we grow close to those who share the experience with us. We cheer the loudest for others because we remember overcoming a similar obstacle and know the sense of achievement. Their successes become our inspiration and drive us to achieve even more.
For the most part, this community building is organic and needs very little tending. But it is important to plant the seed. At CrossFit Invictus I ask at the beginning of each coaching session that everyone takes a moment to introduce themselves to anyone in the room they don’t know. I encourage our more veteran athletes to take the initiative to introduce themselves to newcomers even before the session begins. It might seem silly or forced, but it is amazing how knowing someone’s name can change your view of them and your willingness to connect with them. So if you have not made a habit of it already, be sure to shake someone’s hand and introduce yourself the next time you see someone in here that you haven’t met. By doing so, you help us combat the awkwardness that plagues GloboGyms (and elevators) everywhere.