“Solidarity”. “Misery loves company”. “Strength in numbers”. Each are phrases that describe human nature at its core: we love community. Put simply, life is better when you’ve got people to share it with. Struggles seem easier. Triumphs more special. The lighter moments more funny. The same rule applies to working out. Sweating, aching, gasping for air, and (insert any horrible adjective related to working out you’ve ever experienced here) are infinitely worse when you’re by yourself. Most people go to the local 24 Hour Fitness by themselves, pop their head phones in, and spend 2 hours alone with their own self-defeating thoughts. It’s no wonder places like those have sky-high drop-off rates. It takes an exceptionally motivated person to workout by themselves, but, unfortunately, most of us need help. That’s where CrossFit comes into the picture.
One of CrossFit’s core philosophies is “community”. There is no CrossFit without community. It’s built into the class structures and atmospheres of most gyms. Trainer-led, group classes create a sense of camaraderie and togetherness. No body ever has to worry about showing up to the gym to workout by themselves. Classes of people with common interests and common goals, working together, is the most motivating environment of all. In addition, community breeds intensity. It’s easy to push yourself when you’ve got others around you working just as hard, if not harder. Everybody wins! Community is the perfect recipe for fitness success.
Having said all that, it isn’t enough to come to class everyday to participate in the workout. The most successful people are those who buy into the community concept completely. They cheer others on once they’ve finished. They hang out and talk about their struggles after the workout. They come early and they stay late. They make friends. Becoming entrenched with, and apart of, the community in this way leads to even bigger and better things. Before you know it you’ve formed your very own support group. One of the single biggest factors that contributes to success in the gym is developing a support system that you can count on, and that will help keep you accountable. With a support group the fitness possibilities are endless.
You don’t have to go very far to find awesome examples of support groups at CFK. Look no further than our very own 6am class in Upland, and the always vibrant “Manchili”. Our 6am class started with humble beginnings. At first, it wasn’t uncommon for a trainer to open the doors bright and early only for nobody to show up. Over the years though it’s developed into our most popular class. It regularly has 20 attendees, and what a unique bunch they are. Because there isn’t a class immediately before or after 6am they are often the only people they see from the gym. Other than being crazy enough to want to workout at 6 in the morning, the bond has expanded into areas away from the gym. From hangouts and movies to teaming up for local competitions, our 6am class has become a very close-knit family with an identity all their own.
Not Pictured: Bryan Bradshaw
Manchili is the night time version of our 6am bunch. They are an especially awesome example of strength in numbers because, when it comes to working out and eating right, they are virtually connected at the hip. It isn’t at all uncommon to see 7 of them spilling out of Bryan Veirs’ SUV. The group that carpools together, consistently shows up together. It’s CFK’s very own version of a clown car, and I use the term “clown” literally. Any time these guys get together there’s never a shortage of laughs. Now think about how hard it would be to say no to going to the gym, even if really tired, when you’ve got a car full of motivated people waiting outside your house for you. It’d be damn near impossible to say no. Even more impressive though is their approach to eating right. In order to help keep one another accountable they’ve been known to text pictures of each of their meals throughout the day. Not only is that a great way to get new meal ideas but it’s also effective at discouraging cheat meals for fear of public shame.
Manchili has become so tight that they even get their own time slot on the board. Don’t worry though, they are always looking for new members!
If you embrace the community you’ll embrace results. At a CrossFit gym, the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. There is no limit to what CFK members can accomplish if they work together. It’s worth noting that the now famous (and over 100 lbs lighter) Sal Garcia is an adopted member of Manchili. He’ll be the first to tell you he probably wouldn’t be where he is today without the boys!