"Community" is the most misunderstood aspect of CrossFit. Critics regularly interchange the terms "community" and "cult" when attacking this collection of strong-willed individuals. For those who don't understand CrossFit, "community" is often associated with the latest Lulu/Reebok gear, Progenex flavors, WOD talk, Paleo bragging, etc.
Unconscious acts of genuine community like this one happen all the time at CrossFit gyms around the world. Most of them go completely unnoticed. I could not let this one fly under the radar:
While coaching a recent workout, I witnessed one of the most powerful displays of what the word "community" really means. The workout was three rounds of C&Js and running. Most people had been averaging around 9-10 minutes. Around the 11-minute mark, I noticed one of our athletes really struggling to finish her last set of clean and jerks. I began to worry that she wasn't going to finish the workout within the 15 minute time cap.
At this point almost everyone had finished the workout and was rallying behind our fatigued warrior. When she finished the clean and jerks, it didn't look like she could go on to complete the run. Everyone around her started cheering for her. She gathered everything she had left and started to trot away. Several other athletes made it their goal to see her through the final torturous leg of the workout. Without hesitation, they ran the last 400 meters with her to ensure she finished. As she came down the home stretch everyone loudly cheered her on. She successfully finished the last lap without stopping and with 15 seconds to spare. As a coach, member and friend, I have never been so proud to be part of a genuine community.
I'd like to thank the individuals that ran with and cheered for Renee Fitzgerald during this seemingly routine yet amazing workout. Renee later told me that she didn't know any of her running helpers prior. Community.