Camaraderie is defined as “mutual trust and feelings of good friendship among people in a group.” CrossFit Camaraderie is just that but different. Whether you’re a Crossfitter now, or you’ve watched someone compete in a CrossFit competition, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Some call it a cultish addiction. I simply call it a healthy habit with a variety of positive perks–camaraderie being one of the greatest!
Building camaraderie isn’t something we talk about in CrossFit–it’s just what we do. It’s what we learn. It’s one of the things that makes it so rewarding and different from working out at a globo-gym. It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekday class with the normal everyday athletes, a local competition or the Games. We give it our all while encouraging and cheering on our fellow athletes. It can be a simple high-five mid-run, or a “don’t stop” to keep moving with those box jumps. We want to see each other finish because at the end of the day we are all there for the same reason. Yes, it’s competitive but it is a friendly, healthy competitive. It doesn’t drag people down, it pushes and inspires them.
The very first local competition that I did genuinely had me in tears because of the outpouring of support from people that I had never seen before in my life. I was one year out from shoulder surgery and still struggled with heavy weight overhead. One of the WOD’s was a clean and jerk ladder that increased by 10lbs each round. I had already surpassed my goal when I got to what was to be my last round. I could clean it, but I just couldn’t get it overhead. People were cheering me on, giving me pointers and screaming to not give up. My time ran out and although I failed that last attempt, I was ecstatic because I felt I had the world on my side. To top it off, many complimented my efforts and in return I thanked them for their support. If it weren’t for them in my corner, I probably would have given up long before I did!
I have competed in a hand full of local competitions since that first one and the experience is the same. Yes, you have your eye on your competitors but at the same time, you have learned to truly wish everyone the best because they do the same for you. The fierceness of CrossFit is what connects us and creates the positive and supportive community that it is today!
Many people say they don’t want to try CrossFit because they feel intimidated. Everyone had a first day. Everyone felt intimidated. Everyone wanted to crawl into a epsom salt bath and not come back. Until they did…again and again because of the community, the friendliness, the camaraderie that takes over the feeling of intimidation.