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Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘asimov’

Sunday musings 10/25/15: The Third Space

Sunday musings…

1) Technium. Science writer Kevin Kelly’s term for the “organism” that is our connected technology.

Once again, Asimov was right.

2) Signage. In this era of connectedness, where I can answer a question about the terminal from which my flight will depart or re-route my lost cabdriver, isn’t it fascinating that the sign on your building is still never lower than number 2 on the list of answers to “how did you find us”?

3) 3rd Space. I’ve been thinking about this a ton lately. We all have 3 spaces: home, work, and our 3rd space, that place we spend a substantial amount of the rest of our time. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, is quite famous for declaring that his coffee shops thrive because they become the 3rd space for so many of their customers. Having just spent a couple of hours killing time in a Starbucks waiting for a meeting I can certainly attest to this, at least in that rather large one.

For my folks and many in their generation the 3rd space was a club of some sort. My Mom and Dad have belonged to the same country club for 40 years and the majority of their social life has revolved around friendships made there. This kind of 3rd space need not be as fancy as a country club, though. Mrs. bingo and I were invited to a birthday party for one of our associates at a VFW outpost. When our friend walked in it was like a scene out or “Cheers”: everyone knew them there. Like my folks, that VFW has been a gathering place for this couple, a place for them to make and commune with friends.

One of the essential characteristics of a CrossFit Affiliate gym is that it very often becomes the 3rd space for its members and trainers. Everything about that must have come as a bit of a surprise to Coach, at least in the beginning, since his original business model was predicated on the close interaction between a trainer and 1, 2 or 3 clients. Indeed, you can see vestiges of these early teachings in the rising number of calls to return CrossFit training to something that more closely resembles what we’ve come to call “Personal Training”.

While I have a deep understanding of both Coach’s original intent when he discussed his earliest classes and the economic imperative behind at least some of the recent calls to move toward fewer clients paying higher fees, I think this would be a mistake if it means the death of the CrossFit class. Aside from the obvious, that CrossFit is simply a superior way to gain a general physical fitness, what has driven the explosive growth of all things CrossFit is this creation of a new 3rd space in the Box. While I don’t at all question the merits of one-on-one training, my bid is that this personal approach should be in addition to classic CrossFit workouts done in a group.

What we share in the Box is stronger than any differences that may separate us. Vocation, income, address…all of these things become irrelevant once we cross the threshold of the CrossFit gym. Like any true 3rd space we not only enter a zone where we are comfortable enough to be ourselves, but we exit this comfort zone in the company of friends and friendships that extend beyond the walls of the gym.

The magic may be in the movements, but the ability to bring together people from all walks of life into a new 3rd space is magical as well.

I’ll see you next week…

Comment – Posted by: bingo at October 25, 2015 7:26 AM