We've been drawing "girls" out of a hat for the past few weeks and guess what we drew for tomorrow? Yup, Karen. We promptly put it back in the hat and redrew another name. So much for random.
You have some Sunday reading today-- late since I got to sleep in.
"Of course, different people require different amounts of sleep and although there’s no universal rule for how long we should all be sleeping, it’s becoming increasingly clear that working late and waking early can cause serious problems. It’s not just repeated sleep deprivation that does people in, either. Just one restless night can seriously affect us in the morning."
I've had the better part of 3 days to mull this over.
On Saturday, 59 owners of CrossFit affiliates in Washington gathered at RCF. It was our 5th annual "meating" where we get together, meet new faces, and greet the ones we haven't seen in a while. We learn new things from our surrounding and in-house experts, share ideas, brainstorm and problem solve.
The biggest thing we go home with is a reminder that we're not alone.
Like many other owners, I rarely get out of our gym. I don't get to drink coffee with like minded owners, travel and visit and workout with others who are doing the same thing as me. I don't have a face-to-face group of mentors and people to emulate.
Much of this business is trial and error and working desperately to keep up with the new demands placed on an ever-growing and changing industry.
One thing thats certain, we're all in this together. If our goal is to reach the adult who is sitting at home on the couch, unhappy, overweight, in pain, and alone and get them into our gyms, we're going to be more effective together. If we want to reach the people who are paying an arm and a leg for expensive personal training but each appointment is dreaded torture, we're going to be more effective together. If we want to reach the senior who is bent on a few more years of independent living, we're going to be more effective together. If we want to instill in kids that fitness is fun and worthwhile, we're going to be more effective together.
As CrossFit gyms pop up in every neighborhood and on opposite corners, we need to work together to make our pie bigger. Just aiming for a bigger piece of the existing pie isn't going to benefit those who need CrossFit the most. Lets reach out, as a cohesive group, and get more and more people involved in this amazing thing we call CrossFit.
The Affiliates in Washington are moving in the right direction. We're surrounded by an incredible group of owners.
So yesterday we talked about the best way to avoid the nasty winter germs is to wash your hands. Today lets talk about if you should be at the gym anyway.
It's widely accepted that if your symptoms are cold like (vs flu like) and contained in your head, it's OK to workout. Runny nose, sneezing, headache. Exercise may even help clear a stuffy nose. If you're snotting and sneezing green goup all over though, please weigh the costs to your gym friends against the small benefit you may receive. If you feel the need to use exercise as a decongestant, seriously consider going for a run and sparing us your germs.
If your sympoms are below your neck like chest congestion, a deep cough, a fever, or an upset stomach, stay on the couch. You need to spend the time fighting your infection not getting sweaty.
You CANNOT sweat out a cold. A cold is a virus and will be dealt with by your immune system. The theory is that "sweating it out" will remove toxins but alas, your cold was caused by a virus, not toxins. Nice try, though.
Use your head when deciding to come to the gym. The remants of last weeks cold shouldn't keep you away but know that your germs aren't something we want to share. Many of us don't have sick days we get to use and coaching your PR back squat while we're throwing up in a puke bucket isn't high on our list of things we like.
The same goes for your kiddos- you may feel fine but if your child is ill, please leave them at home. As much as we love all the little petrie dishes, we don't want what they have. And we don't want them to share it with our kids.
Think about all the things your hands touch. All day. In public. In here.
It's cold and flu time. And know that we love all of you and we certainly miss you if you're MIA for a few days -- unless you're in Hawaii then we're just jealous. But if you're missing because you're oozing green snot, can't swallow chicken broth, are alternating between sweating and freezing under your pile of blankets on the couch-- well, we don't miss you that much.
You're contagious for a day before your symptoms set in and most say a day or two after, although some say you're contagious as long as you have *any* symptoms, which could be weeks. That day before symptoms, before you know you're sick, is when we tend to share the most because we don't know any better.
For this reason, we're asking you to WASH YOUR HANDS. When you get here, before you leave, lots, often, and WITH SOAP. It's the best defense we have.
Then, wipe off anything you sweated on or touched. Kettlebells, medicine balls, mats, rower handles. There are clorox wipes on the shelves by the tape and on the shelves by the med balls. Please use them.
We don't ask you guys to wipe off barbells, (moisture is an enemy here) pull-up bars (unless you bleed), etc. That's why washing your hands is so important.
We use what we consider to be the best, most super duper disinfectant on our floors and ALL the equipment each week, but between Monday morning and Friday afternoon there are a lot of paws on that PVC pipe you just used. And who's been in the chalk?? Everyone, thats who.
Football games have both, right? On each sideline you'll find coaches and cheerleaders. Coaches are interested in the nuts and bolts, the execution, the performance. Cheerleaders are responsible for the emotion and the energy and the crowd.
Without them, the football game would feel like it's missing something. There's be no one to dump a water jug on. There'd be no one to provide a nice view as you're going to commercial.
Both coaches and cheerleaders are important in a CrossFit gym, too. Coaches are watching depth and position, keeping movements safe, following the hierarchy of whats important to a movement and whats simply a nuance. Coaches are not going to correct a line-of-sight error when your weight in on your toes.
At times, though, the coach will understand that the athletes ability to listen to corrections is compromised or non-existent. At that point, the battle turns to one of motivation and the coach will become the cheerleader.
We have a robust coaching staff at RCF, coaches who have been doing this for *eons*, coaches who are just getting started, and everything in between. It may seem, at times your cheerleader turns into a coach and starts giving you pointers. While this happens on occasion, chances are you're just encountering a younger coach who happens to feel confident that they can help you out. Many of our greener coaches are just begining to gain the confidence to step in when they see something, and this is something we're working on with them.
We really count on you guys to be the cheerleaders, the support system, the encouragers. Yell "go go go, pick up the bar, you've got this" Whatever words help you when you're in the middle of the suck, please pass them on to someone who needs it.
Leave the technical, the coaching, to the coaches.
If you're interested in coaching, talk to Kurtis and Laurie. We'll get you on your way. Pom poms not included.
What this means for you is that you'll get to pick your workout, Grace or Karen. There's nothing you're **required** to do. Wear pink if want to. You can donate to Mammograms In Action via the B4B link above. You can also support Dustin in his fundraising effort here.
Nick from Sacks of Love will be on hand with information about his work, some great items for sale, and will be plugging their 5K on October 25th.
Cash donations will be accepted on Saturday, BUT THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED. We'll split whatever we take in between Dustin's B4B account and Sacks of Love.
If time tells us anything, we can expect that in October of 2015, 7 of these folks will still be with us, and will stay for the long haul. About 80% of people who complete On Ramp are still with us at the 6 month mark. About 50% stay with us forever. Of those who leave, moving away is the most common reason we lose them.
People join On Ramp for a variety of reasons and sometimes it's just to get a good foundation so they can continue with CrossFit on their own. We do everything we can to support these "distance RCFers" and because of it, we have friends all over the world.
Sara is taking over our 6am On Ramp class and we were talking earlier about the passion that beginners have, after the initial "I'm scared sh!tless and intimidated beyond belief" wears off. Once they realize that normal people do CrossFit everyday, that we can help them in ways they never though possible (YES!! You CAN do a pull-up!) and that the stuff you see on TV is as different as it is similar to what we do in the gym. Once the realization sets in that this is FUN! and feasible, and not so scary-- that's when we fall in love with them.
They begin to smile, and enjoy, and celebrate accomplishments, and cut out sugar and buy flat shoes. Their facebook walls start to brag about new things they've learned, they "like" the articles we link to, and they cook their first paleo meal.
Remember when you were excited by this? Before it was "going to the gym" "uhhgg, Fran" and "rowing?? AGAIN??" Remember the butterflies, the excitement to read the whiteboard, and discovery of how much you actually liked front squats?
What can we do to bring that excitement and enthusiasm back?
Once this wonderful, fun, community thing we call CrossFit becomes a mere part of our busy lives, what can we do to shine it up and bring back the thrill and passion?