If you’ve stepped into the Box. You know it’s a different place. Different from every other regular gym out there. If there’s one thing that separates CrossFit from other programs, it’s the community. The focus on community is what’s encouraging the growth of mental health of the members at each class and has the capacity to impact the greater community of people in general. The sense of community is very different from the regular outfit and here’re just a few reasons why.
1) Social Support
The community at CrossFit always provides support. How often have you encouraged others that haven’t finished the WOD yet or even been cheered on yourself? It’s quite amazing to see how such moments occur spontaneously. It happens in every class and when we say every class, we mean it. From the youngest to the oldest, it even happens in what we call “Cross-Generation Encouragement”. Often people stay behind after they have finished their workout just to provide moral and verbal support to another CrossFitter whom might be doing this for the first time. The adults would be cheering on the teens, the silvers supporting the kids and vice versa. It could happen in a very organic manner, people encourage others in their own comfortable tongue.
The importance of social support is that it provides motivation. When we’re worn out, physically and mentally, struggling to complete a workout, we begin to doubt our ability to avoid the dreaded DNF. Now having people encourage us gives us the belief that we can do it!
The support of the CrossFit community affects us physiologically, it isn’t just a theory, it’s fact. A study at Oxford University found that working out in a group resulted in a greater release of endorphins than when working out alone, even when the same amount of work was done. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that create a sense of excitement, exhilaration and happiness. What that translates to is that working out in a group effects the greatest change mentally and therefore physically (because you’re more willing to push harder). The release of endorphins is what causes that high you feel when you finish a workout; sometimes known as a “runners high”.
The CrossFit community is also special because in here, it is entirely acceptable to give an all-out effort and train as hard as you want / can. In a traditional gym, if you do 5 Clean and Jerks with 20 air squats OMEM, you would get a lot of funny looks as you move back and forth from the bar. Especially when you collapse to the floor afterwards trying to gulp in air for 5 minutes after you complete your workout!
The CrossFit Community, on the other hand, embraces such an effort and it is celebrated soon after! We can fall to the floor in a sweaty heap after doing “Karen”, we can cry with frustration at our failed PRs, even laugh at disasters. This is a unique place filled with incredible individuals who think it’s perfectly fine to do what you want and will even try and help you achieve your goals.
You can be yourself in this community. Everyone steps in feeling accepted, knowing that the fact that you walked through those doors, means you’re a hero to us. Everyone all starts somewhere, no matter how hard this might be, you can be unashamed around this unique CrossFit Community
3) For Everyone and Anyone
We love Saturdays for this reason. Yes we do. On Saturdays, we have this awesome atmosphere where different generations come together in overlapping time slots to workout and be a part of the community. Our CrossFit Kids classes get to laugh and play with the Silvers (Which both love tremendously). The Adults get to encourage the Teens once they are done working out and pushing through. Our oldest athlete in our Silvers class is 69 whereas our youngest in our kids class is just 4 years old.
Everyone can do CrossFit. No matter what stage in life you may be, literally everyone and anyone can do CrossFit. Not only do CrossFit but enjoy it too. For the Silvers, it might be the relearning of functional movement and the breakfast after. For the Teens, it might be the challenges they compete in. For the regular adults, it could just be getting better at what they do. Everyone and anyone has a place here at Innervate CrossFit. You belong.
Just like every other community, we feel for one another. That’s what makes us human after all. However, the CrossFit Community takes that to a much deeper level. To many, the box has become their place of refuge, to escape from the stresses of life. We see people sharing their life stories, their troubles and just like their workouts, we encourage one another.
Here, people open up just a little bit more as we make that extra effort to press in to each others lives. This is one of the biggest signs of solidarity, to stand together no matter how rough the seas might get. Earlier this year, a big part of the CrossFit Community felt a tremendous loss with the passing of a dear friend, Kelvin Yeo aka “Tattoo”. What lifted us all up was seeing how the entire CrossFit Community in Singapore rallied together, to perform the workout named after Kelvin as a show of solidarity. To many, it might have been just another WOD but to the few, it meant much.
This is the magic of the CrossFit Community. Can you find it elsewhere? Perhaps a variation of it. However, to us, this is what makes the community different from other places. It isn’t just a social club, this is our box.