Part 4:There is no I in Team and other clichés on Teamwork
Of the four competitions I participated in only, one was a team event. Since I was young, I have always been highly competitive. When I started Crossfit, within months, I was competing on an individual level. I never liked the idea of teams, if I did well it was on me and if I did poorly, it was too. It seemed like teams would be a waste of time, where I would always wonder if my partner or I needed to do more to increase our rank. I was misguided and ultimately wrong, teams are at the heart of Crossfit. A system forged in community, working together comes natural. Whether it is partnering together for a workout or for a cause.
A local gym, WP Crossfit in Montgomery, decided to hold a Charlie’s Angels event at their box and make it team. I, being the father, gladly participated. Coach Jaden and I teamed up and came in 8th place. The next weekend I started a run through three individual competitions. Here are several observations on the differences:
- Teams are far less pressure: At the event in Montgomery, I remember being extremely relaxed. Jaden and I beforehand discussed our strengths and weaknesses as they related to the workouts. Some things I was better at and something’s he was better at. Regardless, we each had a role and were able to support each other in the areas which we had trouble. It was relieving to know I didn’t have to carry the weight myself. The next weekend in Dothan was my bout with the rope that I discussed in my first post. I knew that climbing rope was a weakness and that workout would give me trouble. I was plagued by it the whole day. I kept staring at the rope in fear of what it would bring. After the event, I beat myself up about my lack of preparing in that area. This in a nutshell is why team events and partner workouts are so great. I get to work and exhibit my best points while someone helps me in the areas I am not so good at. It’s a win-win.
- Team workouts are far less physically taxing: The day after the event in Montgomery I worked out. Doing only half the work and having rest breaks built in while my partner worked allowed me to not break physically. At one of the events, The Dirty South Games, I participated individually but went the next day to view the teams. They had individuals on Saturday, teams Sunday. The teams had to do the same workouts we did except they got to split the work up rather than do it all themselves. As I limped around and watched them work, they all looked refreshed, happy. They were able to finish the workouts far faster than I was alone. Teams afford you the ability to push yourself harder, yet recover faster, as you have teammates to help with the load.
- Team events push you in ways individually never will: I remember at the Dirty South games watching a scaled event. A girl was dangling from rings unable to complete a single rep. I thought to myself,” If I were her teammates I’d be pissed.” Her teammates may have been but didn’t show it. When she missed a rep they supported, when she got a rep they cheered. She somehow finished her part. After the event, she thanked her teammates. She knew more was expected, but also knew she was in a judgment free zone with the people she worked out with day in and day out. I had finished in the top 10 the day before but in that moment, I was a little envious of her spot. I sometimes forget what it is like to have people rally around you like that, I trained typically alone. Since then, I have made the point to surround myself with others more when I train. Doing so I have seen all my numbers go up.
I often hear people state they don’t “get as much’ out of partner workouts. A misconception that if one splits the work they are splitting the results. See these workouts as opportunity to push harder when it is your time. See these as opportunities to be able to support your fellow gym member and be supported. Know that these benefits transcend fitness. That on a daily basis you are surrounded by the most passionate group of people I have ever been a part of. Know that you may be the push someone else needs today, you may be the light.
Goals for the Week: (Shameless plug coming)
- Get signed up for Charlie’s Angels team event September 27th 2014 at Valleydale Baptist Church. Teams consist of two males or two females with scaled, RX, and master divisions. #propaganda
- Go out make some knew friends today and partner up. Who knows, may become your best friend