If you have absolutely no issues with ever needing motivation, read no further. If you’re completely independent in every aspect of life and consistency is never an issue, please spend the next few moments of your life reading someone else’s blog.
If you just thought, “pshh, yea right,” these next few paragraphs might be for you.
I’m one of the “newer” faces at Ktown. There’s a possibility you saw me coach a lot during my internship this past summer. I’m a frequenter of working out at 5AM, I coach the evening classes one or two nights a week, and also help coach CrossFit Kids. I LOVE CrossFit, and I have quickly grown to love Ktown. What you may not know is that about 5 years ago, I was the most inactive, unhealthy young woman you would’ve probably ever met. At the age of 25, I weighed in at approximately 340lbs, give or take a few. To paint a “tiny” picture of what life was like at that time for me, one of my best friends in school often invited me to walk the community’s greenway with her. I never agreed to go because I knew I would sweat – I loathed sweating. I was also a frequenter of fast food drive thrus. Before my weekly Sunday commute from Cleveland to Knoxville, I would swing through McDonald’s and order – not one – but two biscuits, hash browns, a cinnamon thing, a coffee, and a large diet coke. You can’t make this stuff up.
I didn’t have the first clue about fitness or nutrition, much less about CrossFit! Yet, through a series of embarrassing events and inner emotional and mental struggles, I decided it was time to make a change. I no longer wanted to be “that” person – the person that no one invited on outdoor adventures, the person that no one wanted to sit next to on an airplane, the person that never really thought of herself as beautiful. The decision had been made.
….but I quickly realized I knew nothing. Even the very word “gym” was foreign to me, and “clean eating” was nowhere near a part of my vocabulary. I needed help.
I vividly recall walking into the local globo gym (don’t judge) on a Monday morning, bypassing the front desk clerks, and immediately giving into one of the sales guy’s pitches about memberships and personal training packages. I told him I wanted to lose 100 pounds, and I was bound and determined to do just that. I knew there was no chance I could do it on my own either, so I made a huge investment to work with a personal trainer. I knew that without accountability in place to set goals and strive towards them, I would never be able to succeed. Life slowly changed, I was introduced to CrossFit a couple years later, and the rest is history.
According to Merriam-Webster, ACCOUNTABILITY is defined as “the state of being accountable” and ACCOUNTABLE is defined as “required to explain actions or decisions to someone” OR “required to be responsible for something.”
A quick Google search of “fitness and accountability research” yields approximately 2,660,000 results. There’s a large possibility that fifty percent of those results aren’t even reliable sources…but, even then, we’re left with over one million documents/articles/etc about fitness and accountability going hand in hand. Maybe there’s something to that.
Some weight loss or fitness success stories focus on support and accountability found through personal training while others focus on camaraderie that is found in a group fitness setting. You might read of individuals who found inspiration in other fitness transformations or individuals who tell of workouts with their “workout buddies”. However, regardless of where the accountability is found, it is often a key point in all of those stories. We need each other. We need accountability.
For those of you that have been a CrossFitter for at least a few months or more now, I would bet you’d agree with me that one of the greatest things about CrossFit is the level of community that you find in a CrossFit gym. It’s most certainly one of my favorite aspects of CrossFit! Community is such a key aspect of CrossFit that on one of the very first pages of the CF L1 training guide, camaraderie is mentioned:
In implementation, CrossFit is, quite simply, a sport–the “sport of fitness.” We have learned that harnessing the natural camaraderie, competition, and fun of sport or game yields an intensity that cannot be matched by other means. (pg. 3)
CrossFit is a community like no other! You might be upset with the athlete next to you because he is one rep ahead of you, but the very second he finishes, there’s a great possibility he’ll be cheering you on to finish your reps. We compare our 1RMs and grumble about the fact that we think Myrtle Sue didn’t actually complete her rep, but then immediately text Myrtle Sue and take her out for dinner. We support and cheer for one another, celebrating all victories and accomplishments. I would argue that camaraderie and community are truly at the heart of CrossFit.
Why, then, would anyone shy away from this vast amount of accountability and support surrounding us? I’m convinced that we ALL need some level of accountability. Even as a coach, I find myself in need of constant accountability and occasional motivation in my training. I’m convinced that it’s just part of being human. I am far beyond where I was 5 years ago: I now know exactly how to eat right and could easily program my own training schedule. I’m definitely aware of my weaknesses, I know how to work on those things, and I can even help another athlete make a plan to work on their weaknesses. But, for some reason, I still seek out and heavily rely on accountability. With so many resources around me and incredible coaches with whom to work, however, I find no need to seclude myself and rely on my own knowledge. I need accountability.
So. To try and sum up all this nonsense I’ve rambled through…here’s a challenge I want to leave with you:
Figure out where you stand on this whole “I need accountability” spectrum.
Decide what you want to accomplish.
Make a plan to accomplish those things. (If necessary, seek out help to set goals that are reasonable and attainable.)
Then FIND SOMEONE TO HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE and go for it.
Make the most of this great CrossFit community! Send multiple text messages at 5:30AM to make sure your friend gets to the 6AM class. Leave repeated voicemails if your 5:30PM class date keeps ditching you. Give your husband (or wife) a hard time if they keep needing to take a nap instead of joining you during their mid-day lunch break. Accountability can be a two-way street!
Also, your membership at Ktown in and of itself contains a level of accountability; we want you here and there’s a great possibility we’ll give you a hard time if you miss one too many classes. If you’re the type of person that needs some serious hand holding (and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that!) maybe you should check out the CORE program or talk with one of our coaches about some personal training or individualized programming. This will provide you with even more one-on-one advice, motivation, and ass kicking. If that is what you need, then seek it out.
We want you to succeed.
For a few really neat stories about the CrossFit community, Google some of these videos and stories produced by CF Headquarters:
Signs of a Strong Community by Mike Koslap – deaf community in Washington D.C. video
The Power of One Plus One Plus One – small gym in South Africa by Mike Koslap
CrossFit Leicester: Building Community by Gary Roberts – focus on the people