Most people from the outside of CrossFit would view our program as very community based and social. While that is true, I don’t believe it is a necessity to have an extremely outgoing personality to succeed at CrossFit.
Take me for instance. Even though I lead the community at CrossFit South Cobb my natural inclination is to be inward. It takes a lot of effort on my end to reach out to those whom I don’t know and build relationships. After a long day at the gym, the last thing I want to do is to come home and open up about my day! It is exhausting and doesn’t come easily for me.
Many times I don’t like telling strangers at parties what I do because they want me to open up about CrossFit and ask me tons of questions. While I have incredible passion for CrossFit and what it has done for my life, I prefer to let my body of work do the talking and not have to explain myself.
Now take that same mentality that I know many of you also share and put it in the realm of a thriving CrossFit community. You yourself may have anxiety about having to explain your life story each time you come to the gym! I’m writing to let you know nothing could be farther from the truth, and here are 3 reasons why CrossFit works for the introvert:
1) You don’t have to talk at first!
Let your workouts do the talking. If you can smile and give fist bump a couple times a week, then you can do this! The gym is big enough to where you won’t feel cornered into meaningless uncomfortable conversations each time you come in.
2) We all need people
We can’t argue science, and studies show that energy from others can be contagious. Have you ever tried doing a tough workout or a long run by yourself versus doing that same activity along side with someone slightly faster? When we have someone to “chase” after, our performance improves. So even if you don’t care to discuss the latest “This is Us” episode after each class, you can benefit from letting others push you to the next level!
3) You have more in common than you think
I would say the biggest takeaway from meeting over 2000 people over the 8.5 years in business is that we all think our challenges are unique to ourselves. While we are unique in terms of personality and experience, most of us have some common ground. One study reports that introverts make up between 16 – 50% of the population. So chances are high that you’ll be surrounded with several other introverts who share the same concerns as you. I’ll say it again, you can do this!
I write this to say that we ALL need community. We ALL need support and accountability. Community has existed as long as humans have. Life can be an endless set of challenges, but the burdens we carry can be lightened significantly if we have help. So if you’re more of an inward person like me, don’t let that stop you from being apart of something great. I’m sure glad I didn’t!
Miles Davis is Owner and Founder of CrossFit South Cobb.