There is a culture I’d like to build upon with y’all, and it takes ALL of us to enhance it and then maintain.
We talk about our Cadre commUNITY, and we certainly are fond of each other since we all keep coming back each day! ;-) There is one element to our commUNITY that I would like to discuss and then level up together - Going back for each other and cheering each other on in the workouts!
No one left behind. No one finishes alone. All in together.
Now, I know that this can sometimes be awkward. Sometimes we don’t know what we should do to cheer someone on. Do we clap? Yell? Stand in front of them or to the side? Do we countdown for them? Should we do the last few reps with them? Do they just want to be left alone?
The trick to cheering each other on, especially the ones in the back and the newbies, is to NOT come across as condescending or pitying. No one wants a “charity cheer.”
Okay, so how do we support each other through the workouts?!
Take 5 seconds within the workout to recognize a fellow classmate, especially those who you are not as close to or maybe don’t know as well yet. Give ‘em a fist bump, high five, or shout out some encouraging words. While we are all in the pain cave together, it’s nice to get a surprise cheer from a fellow teammate.
If it’s a workout that is “For Time,” and you are one of the first ones to finish, catch your breath, and then go back for the others. Count out loud the next set for someone. Give someone a countdown in rest time to keep them moving. Join in with a buddy and do the last 10 burpees with him. And, stand or kneel to the side of someone, never stand directly in front of them.
You don’t have to cheer with over-exaggerated enthusiasm. You don’t have to have the “right words.” Don’t be fake. Give genuine support in whatever capacity you can.
One thing NOT to do, though… Stand to the side of an athlete and say absolutely nothing. Now THAT, my friends, is really awkward, and definitely not motivating to the person struggling to finish. Also, don’t crowd around or circle an athlete - While well-intended, for that athlete in the middle it’s extremely uncomfortable being the center of attention like that, and can even be embarrassing. One of the only times we should crowd an athlete is if she’s attempting her first ring muscle up, or he’s going for a new PR in his back squat.
If we’re a big class, and there’s still one more person left finishing the workout, we’re all better off joining in with her and doing the remaining reps she has left WITH her. You get some bonus reps in, and she gets the support she needs, while not being isolated or spotlighted.
At the end of the day, we are all in this together, and we’re just trying to get fit, gosh darn it. There’s also a reason why we all joined a gym - We don’t want to do this sh** alone!
And, from the receiving end of support (And, I have been there many times), I can tell you that at first it can bruise the ego a bit having someone come back for you and finish with you. It’s hard to accept support like that, because it’s also a reminder of how much you think you suck. But, my friends, we need to put our egos aside and remember that our teammates are coming back for us because they care and they want us to succeed. Often they even want us to succeed MORE than themselves. Always remember that!
So, from here on out, my friends:
High-five and fist bump right before the WOD starts to spark each others’ energy!
Shout out and cheer each other on during the WOD. Even throw in some friendly competition, if appropriate with your friend
If you finish first, go back for the all the others, and keep cheering and supporting until the last one is done
If it’s an AMRAP or controlled time domain, then after the WOD make the effort to high five every single person in class
When in doubt, join in and do the reps with them!
Workouts are always better together! And, they are especially better when we’re all lifting each other up throughout the process! ;-)