30 Clean & Jerks 135/95
We hope you can join us for Barbells for Boobs. This is a fundraiser to help fund breast cancer screenings and treatment, though a donation is not required to participate. This is a FREE class, so come on in even if you have already done your three classes this week. Class sizes have also been expanded, so please sign up! Please stick around for the BBQ after the WOD. This will also be an opportunity to put the concept of today’s blog post (written by Laura) to good use.
I recently read a great CrossFit Journal Article titled My Tribe (http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_MyTribe_Striffler.pdf) which applies the concepts of tribal culture to the CrossFit community. Basically, it says that tribes function in a five stage hierarchy starting with a world mentality of “Life Sucks” which is where your gangs and prison cultures come together. Moving up the scale, the second stage is that “My Life Sucks” which is probably the mentality we were in when we joined CrossFit SAC…we didn’t like something about our life and we were looking for a way to make it better. The third stage is the “I’m Great” mentality which is where we all seem to get to pretty quickly once we’ve been doing CrossFit for a while. Our confidence grows, we see ourselves as able-bodied, capable people, and our coaches are constantly telling us that we can do it. While this is a good place to be, it can also cause people to become self-focused and competitive with others. It is more a priority that I PRed or I beat Dave’s time today than it is for my whole tribe to succeed. And this is where stage four, “We’re Great,” comes in. This is the place that we at CrossFit SAC should be striving to get as a tribe.
In stage four, we all appreciate our own abilities and successes, but the success of the group becomes paramount. Think about the last time you were in the middle of a WOD and heard cheers coming from the “stretch corner” of the floor and knew that the folks from the class behind yours were trying to give you that little boost to get one more thruster. Or think about someone who is kind of a bad-ass and can rip through some crazy met-con, only to yell, “TIME!” and then turn right around and start cheering on the people in the class who are still going. Or sometimes it will even happen mid-WOD when the person next to you starts yelling at you to, “Pick up the bar!” or, “Just keep moving!” This is one of my favorite things about CrossFit. I see it from old and new members at our gym, I see it when I watch CrossFit videos online, and I even see it at the most elite levels of CrossFit. If you watched the 2011 CrossFit games, you should remember the beach event when Josh Bridges (clearly in the lead) started passing out high fives to his fellow competitors as they ran the final 1600 meter stretch of beach. And at the 2012 games, every other female competitor in Jenny LeBaw’s heat of the track triplet gathered around her as the clock neared the time cap and cheered her on as she struggled with her bar muscle ups.
This is where our tribe should live. The thing that separates us from regular Globo-Gyms, personal training sessions, and some other CrossFit boxes is the sense of community and unity that we get from group classes. If you’re new to the CrossFit SAC family, don’t be shy about cheering on other people in the gym. It doesn’t matter to me if I know you or not…when I’m in the middle of a crazy WOD, I’ll take encouragement from anywhere I can get it. If you’re still in the “I’m Great” phase, work on getting to the “We’re Great” mentality and encourage your fellow CrossFitters to do great things. I guarantee that your experience will be greatly enhanced and your sense of the CrossFit SAC community will grow ten-fold.
Finally, the last stage of tribal culture is that “Life is Great” and it takes the “We’re Great” mentality one step further. Instead of having just CrossFit SAC team pride, we as a gym should embrace the greater world as well. We should extend the CrossFit SAC sense of family to people who drop into the gym from out of town to catch a WOD. We should all participate in the CrossFit-wide fund raising events like Barbells for Boobs or “HOPE” and strive to help those that we’ll never meet. And then we should work to apply all of these tribal cultures to the other aspects of our lives and truly practice that “Life is Great” philosophy.