Help Each Other Succeed, Thus Exceed Ourselves
Written by: Coach Slater
Group training is not unique. If you’ve been involved in sports at any age, then you’ve been involved in group training and benefited or suffered from its effects. I’m not just talking physical effects, those are usually obvious. I mean the mental effects. I’m here to tell you that if you allow it, group training can have an extremely positive influence on you, mentally. More than you realize, I’m sure.
Let me explain by telling you about a world renowned powerlifting coach named Louie Simmons. Louie is famous for only inviting the best-of-the-best into his gym and then testing their mental strength by constantly hounding them. If you were a new invitee in the gym, no one would talk to you for the first year until they saw if you could cut it mentally. Louie would openly say, “There should be something that scares the shit out of you, in every person you train with”. But, once you proved your mettle, you were in the inner circle, and you now saw gainz like you’ve never seen before. He knew that Training Partners Make You, but he put people thru the ringer first to make sure they could cut it; to make sure they could help the group succeed.
But no gym is like Louie’s gym, so any gym trying to claim their community is better than any other is lying. You’re going to find great people at every CrossFit box because of the personalities this type of training draws… team-oriented people who want to better themselves to some degree, who like a little friendly competition, but still value the team environment. Derby City is no exception, but we’re lucky because we have such a diverse group of people that you’re sure to find some sub-group here which you connect with.
And because we have that community, we can use it to help ourselves get better. But, you don’t care about that, you say. You’re too busy, or already have too many friends, or really just come here to zone out. Totally understand. Well, I’m telling you that, by shutting yourself off, you’re missing out on becoming better. If we don’t push each other, we’ll all magically cap our strength at around the same number. But, when there’s stronger/faster/fitter people around you, you’ll push yourself to different heights. If we help push each other, by celebrating each other’s PR’s but secretly gunning to lift more, finish a little faster in a WOD, go Sport, or inch closer to a small win, then we’ll each grow by pushing the bar higher together.
When members of Derby City can be competitive with each other, but supportive, *everyone* gets better. Everyone! The sooner you understand that the community is here to help you achieve, whether that goal be just to get one point for your team in an Open workout, or possibly make it to Regionals one day, or just look a little better naked, then it makes the training environment more fun. That’s when we see someone getting as much applause for a 135lb back squat PR as someone getting a 405lb back squat PR.
All of this starts by learning more people’s names, saying hi, or just making small talk about how sore you are if you nothing else comes to mind. If you forget people’s names, ask a coach. Don’t be afraid. It happens all the time. Sometimes we coaches ask each other because we’ve forgotten new people’s names. But ask. It’s easy. And then that person might be there to help cheer you on one day when you really need it simply because you weren’t afraid to ask their name.
Now, cultivate this group training community by striving to be a little faster than him or her, a little stronger, a little more efficient. If you lose today, don’t talk shit. Earnestly congratulate them on their performance, take that loss, and come back tomorrow ready to do better. Help each other succeed; thus, exceed ourselves.