The Flower City CrossFit (@flowercitycf): Food & Fitness Challenge

by paulgebel

sumall_community_growth_water_flowers_gardeningThere is something magical about being part of a community who routinely sets goals and holds itself accountable in attaining them. Having come up through the ranks as a junior officer in the military, spending time as an analyst within a large strategic management consulting firm, and slogging through 3 years of a sales career on 100% commission, I have seen a lot of approaches to setting and achieving goals. The CrossFit community is different than anything else that I’ve experienced before.

On the topic of goals, James Clear recently posted his reshaped vision for them in the context of tactical increments within a system, rather than large, overwhelming ocean-boilers. There was also a viral Slideshare going around, regaining some old momentum, about timehacks and increasing productivity. And while I thoroughly enjoyed and applied a few concepts from each, I think that there’s a communal aspect that goes unnoticed in most goal-planning exercises.

Whether dissecting systems, organizing hacks, meeting monthly “client builder” numbers for smiling-and-dialing, goals fall short without the world that they’re impacting. We set goals to improve ourselves, certainly, but we humans are not wired to enjoy success by ourselves. We strive for individual achievement in order to bring pride/glory/satisfaction/self-actualization to the families and communities around us.

I – like most CrossFitters – think a lot about goals. I think about working on my hip extension to drive under my squat cleans faster. I think about those three, strict, unbroken handstand pushups (HSPUs) that are just out of my reach. I think about my stretch goal – the 500 lb. deadlift – a lot, and I work all the time to measure my progress towards it. But all of this would be meaningless to me if it just lived in my old gym logbook that I carried around for YEARS as I migrated around the LifeFitness machine circuit after my obligatory 30 minute elliptical ride.

The thing about the goals I’m setting now that really matter that makes them different – is that everyone else in my community knows and cares about my goals too. Half-baked sales goals imagined up five minutes before a mandatory sales-builder meeting meant nothing to me, therefore meant nothing to those meant to hold me accountable. But every morning at 5am when I walk in to the box and warm-up with my HSPU work, my cohort will always swing by to ask how many I’m up to, take a picture of my form to help adjust, or just plain encourage me while I’m cranking them out.

That’s where the magic happens.

Goals are fantastic. Systems that they live in are important to understand. Maximizing their efficiency through effectiveness hacks are geeky and wonderful. But all these things are nothing without other likeminded, driven people around you, striving towards their own goals, aware of yours and encouraging you along the way.

When I hit my 3 HSPU goal, I’ll film it and post it here, and you’ll see a bunch of bleary eyed 5am’ers cheering me on when I get it done. Find a mentor. Find a meetup group. Find a networking group. Find a community that resonates to you and that has these two crucial ingredients:

  1. Other human beings who have their own well-defined goals
  2. A sense of confident vulnerability where you are allowed (and expected) to try and fail, as long as you get up and keep going

In the meantime, here’s someone else ripping out a 500 lb. deadlift.

What are your goals – fitness, faith, family, finances? Are you making progress towards them, or are you stagnating in your growth?

Is there anything I can do to help?