A Blog from Tobias
The Importance of Community During Isolation
When I started doing CrossFit years ago, I wasn’t used to working out with other people. My favorite things to do was to plug in my headphones, put on some loud hard rock, and focus on me for an hour in the gym. But when my wife dragged me into that first CrossFit gym, I was hooked for a few reasons, all of which came down to one thing: COMMUNITY.
The first thing that got me was the competition. Friendly yet fierce. One of the things that always dragged me down in other gyms was that it got old. Same routines, plateau’s, and just all around boring. That was no longer an issue, working out with people who were around the same fitness level or higher than mine pushed me to continually work on my movements and myself period. The healthy banter between “competition” at the gym drove me to new heights of fitness and engagement I had never found elsewhere.
Secondly, despite the competition, everyone was willing to help each other out. Anyone having issues in life had only to mention it during class and would immediately receive an outpour of help and understanding from the rest of their classmates. The one that sticks out most in my mind: Hurricane Harvey. Our gym banded together while we weren’t working due to the floods, and helped not just other gym members, but anyone who was trying to rip out wet drywall and furniture from their home. We literally started at one end of the street and went door to door asking if anyone needed our help.
Lastly, and most importantly for our current and emerging situation, the accountability. How many other places do you go where people notice your attendance, or lack thereof? For some of us, that hour is a necessary retreat from work and life that slowly gets taken away when things get to be too much. Having people that you can count on to drag your butt back to class is, simply, priceless. For others, the idea of our friendly competitors getting better while you dont is just not acceptable.
So what does this have to do with COVID-19?
As we have all seen, CrossFit gyms have been hit hard by the virus and the ensuing panic that is spreading just as fast. In order to contain the invisible enemy, we may have to quarantine and stay away from others for a while, including the gym. As heartbreaking as that idea is, we also live in a time of digital community and social connectedness that gives us the ability to continue our amazing community, even if we are isolated in our own homes.
We have the added benefit of all being a part of the #bestboxontheblock. We have at-home workouts, equipment we can rent out, and potential Skype coaching. We have an amazing community of individuals and coaches that will work together to continue everyone’s fitness journey throughout this challenging period. Even if we are stuck in isolation, sticking together is a crucial part to making it through.
Speaking of a challenge, I have one for you! I challenge everyone reading this post to come back to the gym stronger and fitter than before this virus disrupted our lives. If you’re working from home, don’t reach for the chips and junk food, but take this time to hone in on a diet that works for you. If you don’t have that normal commute, use that time to get in a quick WOD, practice a skill you have always wanted to get, or stretch!
Ok, so what can I do on a daily basis?
Work out at the same time of day that you usually do. If you’re normally an early-riser knocking out your workout at 5 am, continue. Part of the 4:30 crew? Workout at 4:30.
Tag each other and the gym on social media. That usual banter back and forth with the group you normally workout with is something that is easily done using social media. Challenge each other. Just because you may not be in the same location, you’re still doing the same workout. Keep those rivalries alive!
Log your results on the website! If you don’t usually do this, this is a good time to start. In order to keep the competition alive, posting the results can be a great way to drive the motivation to continue working out. If you see that someone hasn’t added their result, call them out!
The main takeaway from this: things will be ok. Currently, the fear of the unknown is driving panic. When we feel like things are out of our control, that compounds the problem. So by still working out at your normal time with your normal group you, continue doing something normal that you CAN control. CrossFit is about preparing for the unknown and unknowable, and the ability to face those circumstances as a community and come out stronger. We got this!