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Sunday musings 7/15/12 From the Games

Sunday musings (from the Games)…

1) Hall Pass. Yup. Got mine. The whole weekend to hang at the CrossFit Games. With “The Heir” and Lil’bingo. Yup.

2) Cyber-gym. Once upon a time in CrossFit land most of the people who did CrossFit congregated here, on the Main Page of CrossFit.com. This cyber-gym has since expanded, kinda like an Affiliate that got so big it needed a bigger space, and now it includes stuff like FB and Twitter. Many of us have forged a very cool kind of friendship or kinship through the shared suffering of CrossFit in this cyber-gym.

It’s especially cool to actually meet these folks in real life. For real…like shake hands and hug kinda real. At the CF Kids Teen Challenge I met the near-OG who once upon a time went by “Cougar” around here along with a half dozen other women who’ve met the same way. Very cool pic floating around FB as proof.

Full frontal hugs had by all.

3) Vetted. Bumped into Kelly Starret. You know, budding author about to be published (do look for his book, out in early 2013). We got to chatting about our community and the word he used to describe it was “vetted”.

“I know everything about you once I know you are a CrossFitter. I know who you are. I know who you hang out with. I know the kinds of choices you make, good choices. I already know we will be friends. You’ve been vetted, simply by telling me you are a CrossFitter.”

I really like that word and all it stands for in this context. There is an assumption of good will extended from all CrossFitters to all CrossFitters. We are not surprised in the least when we meet yet another really nice person with a great story. Astonished yes, but no longer surprised. Like today when an honest-to-goodness real-life American hero spent 20 minutes talking with my boys after just having met them, sharing words of encouragement and inspiration (you and your fiance know who you are–thank you).

Indeed, I like that word and how Kelly used it so much I think I’ll buy him a dinner at a place called “Lola”!

4) Community. I’ve been reading Allison Belger’s book “The Power of Community” in which she dissects the CrossFit Community from the perspective of both a CrossFitter and a psychologist. I’m reading and re-reading parts so I’m not going through it all that quickly–I’m enjoying savoring the gems and jewels I’ve been finding there, and I’m sure that I will share more than several of those once I’ve mined it fully.

Every anecdote so far elicits a knowing nod. I struggled a bit with the question of “why”but I think I’ve figured it out. You know, as in why does CrossFit create such a strong community? Again and again, on a micro (Affiliate gym) and macro (the CrossFit Games gathering) level.

The science is cool: it turns out that we as creatures are probably wired for community, wired to become a part of a community. What it takes for this pre-wired state to become operational is some trigger or stimulus. The most exciting applied neuroscience now extent is in the realm of my day job where the brain part of the vision system can actually be made to change, to get better, if the stimulus that causes maximal activity in a neural pathway is repeatedly applied.

Ah… now we’re getting somewhere. Our stimulus is the willful acceptance of discomfort, and more so the shared experience of that discomfort in an effort to better ourselves. There is obviously something about this particular stimulus that fits right into that pre-wiring for the creation of a community. Dr. Belger’s book not only gave me an expanded vocabulary to describe our community, what our CrossFit community looks like, but it also helped me answer the the question of “why” it happens.

Whether in the cyber-gym or a Box, the stimulus for community lies in the willingness to pay the price to move beyond your perception of what is possible; once having done so one seeks others willing to do the same.

Having found them one always seems to be at home.

I’ll see you next week…

Posted by bingo at July 14, 2012 10:30 PM


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2 Responses to “Sunday musings 7/15/12 From the Games”

  1. July 16th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Jon says:

    Does it bother you at all that this “community” is ruled by the heavy hand of HQ, constantly being scrubbed of anyone it dislikes?

    I am a crossfitter and I love crossfitting, but I really do feel that the community has been breaking down a bit lately with all of the shenanigans of a few at the top.

  2. July 16th, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    darrellwhite says:

    Jon, re-post with a real, active email address and I’ll respond.


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