“To live alone one must be a beast or a god, says Aristotle. Leaving out the third case: one must be both — a philosopher.”
I sat down amidst a crowd at church. We were instructed to engage each other in a small group of the people sitting closest to us about past experiences. Meaningful times when we felt, truly, part of something bigger. Something with unity. Something much different than individual…something communal.
“Speak amongst your groups,” directed the man at the pulpit. “Explain the last time you felt like you were part of something much bigger than yourself. Tell when you didn’t feel like you were alone just going though the motions. Tell when you, truly, were there for others just as much for yourself and you yearned for their success. You have five minutes…3,2,1″ Ok. Maybe I made the last part up, but it’s hard to take CrossFit out of the CrossFitter.
The gray beard…
The first one in the group began to speak in a low tone audible only by our group, and even then it was questionable. He didn’t seem to care if we heard him reminisce or not. He tugged on his cool-as-hell viking-like face warmer, leaned back and said, “This is hard.”
But then the gray beard was, finally, rattled to attention by the memory he wanted to share. “Oh, I remember. I was eighteen, and we’d just won State,” he said.
He went on to explain what he valued about his team and his friends. “That’s the last time I can remember being part of something so big, even if it was just our small town. That was almost 50 years ago,” he said as he closed.
I don’t know if she was a teacher but she sat like one and seemed to act like one. What’s a teacher sit and act like? Imagine 90% of the teachers you’ve ever had. That’s it.
She straightened her glasses. She fidgeted left…shifted right…tugging her dress ever lower like somehow more of it would touch the floor. Clearly she must be more comfortable in front of the young, I thought.
“Seven years ago I did a mission in Sudan. I taught locals the best English I could. I remember the children the most, but I also remember the other missionaries and how I felt comfortable enough around them to do things I feared.” Once the teacher finished, she realized she was picking at her hands staring down, slouched, unassuming, forgetting everyone was watching. She straightened her glasses, and tugged on her dress.
Eh, I’m not sure if this guy was new but it’s my story, so I equate his behavior to someone not sold on the church idea. Hell, I don’t blame him. It took me a while. Many Christians are pricks, and it can be hard to believe many are as holy as they claim. Once this newbie realizes some so-called Christians are more jacked than non-believers, it will be much easier to accept their behavior. Once he sees the capability he was blessed with, he won’t really don’t give a shit what the fakers do…you just hang on and be a doer.
He passed, leaving his story to be assumed.
When the circle focused on me I looked at my wrist for the time. “Well, about three hours ago I helped a new girl get a pull-up.”
Its times like these I felt more compelled to spread our CrossFit contagion to every corner of the planet. It’s looking in the eyes of caged animals that makes me want show them the key. It’s listening to someone rattle their brain to remember the last day they were connected, while I was trying to think of the last day I wasn’t.
As you can imagine, they asked what the hell I was talking about and I excitedly gave my quick CF description only to be cutoff of by the preachers “Time.” But this came right after the teacher said, “Oh, it’s exercise, like P90X?”
The P90X thing used to be irritating, but not anymore. That’s the only comparison people have, but the difference they can’t understand is the community. “Yeah like that, but surrounded by cool people.” Oddly, “surrounded by people” scared her, and I lost the newbie and gray beard at “exercise”.
In the aftermath I thought how lucky I was to be enveloped by something so great everyday. Not a high school memory. Not a once in a lifetime experience. A mounting list of things that make me cheer for someone else. A daily situation where I can be a part of someone’s struggle and suffering which inevitably leads to success.
It’s nice to be reminded how valuable the community is, and how imperative we all are to each other’s health and well-being. You don’t get better by “taking breaks to figure things out” with a community. The community helps you. You can walk out on a community selfishly and it holds up without the individual, and then welcomes your selfishness right back in hoping to eliminate it one day.
You can take a community for granted when you’re in it, but just as I am frequently reminded, some folks haven’t been part of anything special for a long time. Some folks haven’t heard the cheers to be better in many years. Some folks have been alone sitting right next to others for days on end.
The next time you’re content or take CF for granted, leave. Chances are you will quickly be reminded of just how lucky we are. Just how important everyone is to everyone else.
5x max reps
“Fight Gone Burpee”
-Push Press 55/75
-Sumo Deadlift Highpull 55/75
1 minute per station
3 Rounds/I minute recovery between rounds
Post reps to comments.