The Community

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Friday's 5PM. The best way to end the work week.

Saturday's early morning class.  2 sub 8 Helens, 3 sub 9 Helens, and 2 sub 9 Christines.  Not a bad way to start the weekend.

Saturday's early morning class. 2 sub 8 Helens, 2 sub 9 Helens, and 2 sub 9 Christines. Not a bad way to start the weekend.

I used to train full contact karate.  A lot and really hard.  I trained in a lot of great dojo, and I also trained in some not so great dojo. What made these not so great dojo not so great?  Community.  That one word sums ups so much. 

The dojo (a dojo is a martial arts box, so to speak) that weren’t great all certainly had hard training and they all had some good fighters with good technique, but they just lacked community.  They were the kind of places where no one cared if it was your birthday or knew what your job was.  I distinctly remember one place where I would never mention that I had an injury because the other trainees would purposely attack that spot. You would wrap a bad knee before you got to the dojo so no one would see you put on the brace.  If you had to say “hey, I have neck injury so don’t grab my neck”, then you just stayed home.

Sure, training at dojo, and with people like that sharpened my technique and honed my fighting spirit.  There was an excitement, a kind of edge, about going to those dojo.  But, it was not fun, and I never wanted to belong at these places, especially since martial arts, like CrossFit (and most things worth pursuing in life) should be about more than just physical ability.

It’s not that way at CrossFit West, or most of the other CF boxes I have been to.  This is a place where everyone knows your name.  A place where achievements are applauded.  A place where birthdays, births, and other special occasions are celebrated. A place where one’s first pullup is as lauded as Desmond’s 61. It is a place where you are part of a community.

In my mind nothing exemplifies this community more than watching the last person to complete the last run on a WOD.  At CF West that person never does that final run alone.  Never.  I have seen half a dozen people who have already finished the WOD run with that last warrior  Encouraging them, helping them finish hard, letting them know that they are doing great, letting them know that their community is with them.  I love seeing that.  It makes me prouder and happier than any of the smoking times CF West has produced.

Community.  It really is what separates the merely good from the great.

Please post thoughts to Comments.

Workout:

Split Jerk 7×1

Then:

10, 8, 6, 4, 2

Deadlift 275/185#

Chest Slap Pushup

100m Sprint after each couplet.

Post WOD and score to Comments.