Back in 2010, I started two things that would change my life - teaching and Crossfit. In the seven years since then, I’ve noticed a lot of similarities between the two. The one that sticks out the most to me can be summed up in one word: community. At both school and the gym, we are surrounded by our peers. We are influenced by their words, body language, and attitudes. We laugh together, struggle together, and our relationships extend far beyond the four walls that we share. We are a community.
In the beginning of this school year, I shared a short picture book with my class titled, “What If Everybody Did That?” It depicts various scenarios where a child does something, such as throwing his trash out the car window, thinking nothing of it. What’s the big deal? He’s only one person. But he’s forced to examine his actions when he’s asked, “What if everybody did that?”
I’ve asked my students to use that mindset in our classroom, and now I challenge you to bring that same mentality to the gym. The next time you choose not to wipe down your equipment, think to yourself, “What if everybody did that?” Or if you leave the equipment out, say to yourself, “What if everybody did that?” The next time you want to talk when a coach is giving instructions or demonstrating a movement…”What if everybody did that?”
However, this line of thinking doesn’t just apply to negative situations! Ask yourself this same question when you see someone doing something admirable. If you see someone waiting to put their equipment away until the last person in the class is finished working out, think, “What if everybody did that?” When a member is finished working out and chooses to go cheer on someone who’s still going…”What if everybody did that?” See people counting reps or checking movement standards for each other? “What if everybody did that?” Hear someone introduce themselves to a brand new member…”What if everybody did that?”
We all understand that there are going to be times when we forget things, or we slip up. We don’t expect perfection. We are all human, after all. But we are also a community, and a pretty special one at that. So if you see that someone left their kettlebell on the floor after class, help that person out and put it away for them. Again…what if everybody did that?
P.s. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, here’s a link to the book. :)