The warmth of the sun on your face, the grit of the sand between your toes, add a few kettlebells and jump ropes, and you have yourself a “WOD on the Lake.” At least that’s what my gym did this weekend. Branching out from our typical in-box Saturday morning WOD, we all headed out to the local lake. We competed in a three-man WOD, followed by some “Hoover Ball”, and a cookout. While the main draw of the lake WOD was to work out in a whole new setting, it also allowed us to view our boxmates in a whole new light. When confined to our box and individual workouts, we sometimes forget to interact and appreciate those around us. However, when we are forced to step out of this singular mindset, we realize despite any differences or diversity, we all share a common passion, a common bond (and a mutual hatred for burpees in the sand is a great bond builder.)
Benefits of Events
Workouts may help us grow our muscles and endurance, but hosting and attending special events and workouts allow us to grow so much more.
- Grow Encouragement. Sometimes when you’re on the 25th rep of 30 power cleans, it feels like you can’t possibly move another centimeter, let alone complete another rep. However, when you hear someone scream your name, encouraging you to push forward, the bar becomes weightless. Some people may be naturally inclined to scream and cheer for others; however, others may only feel comfortable once they know each other a little better. Luckily, after some great event bonding, everyone should be set to share in the cheers.
- Grow Friendships. The running joke is that Crossfitters can never stop talking about Crossfit. I’m sorry that we are passionate people, who want to share our excitement and experiences with others. Since the general public could care less about how much you deadlift or is disgusted by your ab-mat butt burns, making friends with those in your box gives you an engaged audience.
- Grow the Box. This one is especially beneficial for owners. When people see how much fun your box-goers are having (and how hot they look out on the beach) they’ll be more than inclined to join in.
Kinds of Events
Encourage your box owner to start hosting events, or put one on yourself. There are plenty of opportunities to get people together. Here are a few you might try:
- Fight Night. This event is one we have done several times at my gym. We bring together the gang after hours, throw our names in a hat, draw out two names, and then those two fight to the death. Just kidding! There is also a drawing for a WOD, and the two lucky picks compete head-to-head in that workout. The box will be full of fierce competition and loud screams. To make things more fun and rowdy, our box owner even allows beer.
- Cheat Meal. Host a huge pot-luck cheat meal at your gym. Everyone brings their favorite cheat food item and pigs out on good food with good company. Bring on the pizza, doughnuts, and beer!
- Not-a-Cheat Meal. You could also go the other way with this one. Encourage members to bring their favorite healthy dish. This could be extra beneficial if you have some members who are new to healthy eating, and could use some inspiring recipes.
- Game Night. The competitive nature doesn’t have to stop in the gym. Get your box members out to compete in other ways too. Try out bowling, board games, maybe even trivia to show the community there’s some brains behind all that brawn.
You may complete a WOD by yourself, but in Crossfit, you are never alone. There is a whole community of like-minded, passionate individuals standing behind you. When we take the time to build bonds with these individuals, the benefits are limitless. Make sure when you are making all those gains in the gym, you gain a few companions along the way.