When I was younger, I went to a summer volleyball camp to improve my chances at making the high school varsity team that year. The summer coach was by far one of my best coaches I have ever had in my life. He was very tough and allowed for no excuses. But, he also cared a lot, knew how to coach well, built a rapport with all of us, and practiced what he preached.
On the first day of summer camp, he said to all of us,
“My number one rule here at the gym is this – The moment your foot enters that doorway (pointing to the gym entrance), you are an ATHLETE and a TEAMMATE, and that is it! You are not a student, you are not someone’s girlfriend, you are not someone’s daughter, you are not a cool kid or a nerd. Your life, your friends, your family, and your drama are all left outside of that doorway. I don’t care if you had a fight with your mom or boyfriend, and I don’t care if some girls are talking behind your back at school. If you bring your life into this gym, I will kick you out. Period.”
It seemed ridiculous at the time to all of us teen girls, and we immediately thought he was an a**hole. But, as the week went on at summer camp, we all realized why he had that rule, and we actually really liked it! By the third day of camp, I was eagerly looking forward to going back, not only because I loved volleyball, but because I also knew there wasn’t going to be any “drama.” And, for a teenage girl, that is a BIG deal to not have to worry about that! 😉
That lesson has always stuck with me, and even to this day, I still try to live by my summer coach’s rule.
As grown ups, this is harder to live by. We spend so much time teaching and molding our young, that we seem to have little to no energy for ourselves! “Do as I say, not as I do” becomes our motto, and not by choice or intention, but just out of sheer exhaustion.
I am going to challenge you, though.
No whining, no complaining, no pity-partying, no attention-seeking, and no drama.
The truth of the matter is, the majority of us are coming to the gym to RELIEVE STRESS…Not gain more stress from all of your sh**.
When you come in to the gym moaning and groaning about how sh***y you feel, what a crappy day you’re having, what a b**** your ex-girlfriend is, and how messed up your teenage son is at school…It brings the morale of the gym down…And, it makes people not want to hang around you.
There is a time and place to do that. The gym is not that place.
Now, my CrossFit gym is definitely a very close-knit community, and many members have built some pretty awesome friendships through it! But, if someone is having a sh***y time in life, we as a family need to allow him to get a good workout in, and escape from that drama for one hour, and then later on, we can take him out for some coffee and let him vent to us in private.
Drama in any gym is poisonous. Period.
Can you imagine if we ALL brought in our “baggage” to the gym…
YIKES! Hot mess…
So often, we tell people to check their ego at the door, but we also need to remind them to check their baggage there, too!
So, if you are having a hard time right now, come work out and relieve some of that tension with a good sweat, and then if you need more support, go home and call up a good friend, or ask one of your fellow CrossFitters to go get a smoothie with you afterwards so you can talk.
If a fellow CrossFitter comes into the gym wallowing in their own self-pity, offer to take them out afterwards for coffee to talk about it, and then remind them to use this time to get away from it all for a moment!
Now, let me make it very clear here…I am NOT saying that we don’t want to hear about your tough times, nor am I encouraging you to suppress your issues. I am simply saying that for that one hour you’re here to workout – LET’S JUST WORKOUT!!! And, then, when the work is done, and we are away from the gym, LET’S TALK! 😉
So, when you enter your gym, you are an athlete and teammate only!
You are not a mother, father, sister, or brother. You are not a lawyer, doctor, secretary, marketer, fireman, police officer, stay-at-home parent, or artist. You are not in debt, going through a break-up, fighting with your mom, dealing with a rebellious teen, or paying student loans.
All of that “baggage” is left at the door.
See how it feels the first time you do it…And, then see how it feels after a whole week of doing it. I can guarantee that you will enjoy your workouts more, and you will even perform better!
Let me know how it goes for you. 😉