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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I Always Rx the Cheer

The best part of CrossFit is the community and the encouragement we give each other. Before CrossFit boxes were open on 7 continents (why yes, there is a box on Antartica!), CrossFitters came together on the main site to post their scores, share advice, and discuss the WODs and their progress. There isn't anything we do that we couldn't do alone in a random gym, basement, or parking lot. What makes us special, and causes some to call us a cult, is our love for each other and our commitment to lifting each other up when many fitness environments cause others to tear each other down. I was the meanest bitch in cardio kickboxing. I know what I am talking about.

left this fantastic sweat puddle after Tuesday's DT doubleunder variation

Loving and encouraging each other can be shown in many ways. We greet each other upon arrival. We share our fancy tape. We congratulate each other on PRs, good form, and fast times. But I think one of the best parts of our community is that we cheer for one another. I always Rx the cheer.

It is your moral obligation as a CrossFitter to cheer for me if you've called time and I am still doing wallballs. Of course there will be days when you need to get your stuff put away quickly so you can head out. Maybe you have an early meeting and you know traffic will be a bitch. Maybe if you leave right now you can see your kids before they go to school, and that is definitely reason to hightail it home. Maybe you just want to kiss your spouse before he or she heads out for the day. Whatever your reason, if it's meaningful to you, leave the gym free of judgment and go about your business. But if you're in the habit of packing up your stuff simply because you are done and therefore your reason to be at the gym has concluded, please reconsider.

We plan to be at the box for the duration of our scheduled class. At my box, that is one hour. Some days we finish early, some days we run over, but I expect to be there for that hour. If I call time 10 minutes before 6:30 AM, I can spend those 10 minutes cheering for my fellow CrossFitters and drinking my protein shake.  I am of the school that believes that no one* leaves until the last person finishes, as long as Coach calls time by the scheduled end of class.

*No one except people who have meaningful reasons. They are not obligated to share these reasons with the class. I think it is important to foster a community where people stay unless they have a meaningful reason, and other members know that if someone if leaving, she has a meaningful reason.

Rich Froning, the man who is nearly unbeatable at CrossFit, cheers for his opponents at Regionals and the Games. I've watched him finish way before members of his heat and go back out onto the floor of the tennis stadium to help motivate guys through. Carson is hot. He could be off in the shade, having a stable of PTs work on him, or at least enjoying some peanut butter and whole milk - but no. He's out there hollering for the other guys. If it's good enough for Rich Froning, it's good enough for me.

We are the only sport where the last person receives the most and loudest cheers. There were times when I used to get uncomfortable that people were cheering for me because it meant I was one of the last to finish. And then I realized that people were taking time out of their busy days to cheer for me. They weren't rushing out. They weren't breaking down their equipment and walking it in between me and my barbell (hands down the easiest way to make me want to throw a 5 lbs plate at your head). They were telling me I could do something when I didn't want to do it or know if I could. Our cheers show that we care. They help to reinforce the communities we have built and connect us to other CrossFit communities around the world. Our cheers can be the difference between a new person deciding he loves CrossFit or never coming back. Our cheers make us CrossFitters.

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