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Five Rights You Should Expect from CrossFit

Not long ago there was an online article where the author was talking about the need for an Internet Bill of Rights: an updated set of regulations and protocols that would help ensure data security in the internet era. Given the number of high-profile data breaches we read about in the news these days, that might not be a bad idea.

It’s also an easy jump from there to thinking about what participants can expect when they come to a box for a CrossFit workout. Perhaps a “bill of rights” isn’t necessary, but there are a few things that anyone—first-timers or old pros—should be able to count on when they walk in:

  1. What happens at the box stays at the box

Each WOD is tailored to the individual, so how experienced you are (or you aren’t) at CrossFit doesn’t really factor into performance. In some ways, we’re all beginners, every time we come in…so it stands to reason that even the pros sometimes get their wires crossed, and the results are quite often comical.

And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that.

One of the best things about CrossFit is the community, and sometimes there is nothing more fun than busting a gut with your friends, whether you’re laughing at your goof-up or somebody else’s. BUT—in order for that to happen, there has to be a certain layer of trust. You have to trust that people are laughing WITH you, not at you. And part of that is knowing that your misstep isn’t going to turn into dirt for the gossip-mongers (or the internet … we’ll get to that in a moment). It’s fine—healthy, even—to enjoy a hearty laugh with your friends; spreading the story outside of the community, on the other hand, should be considered taboo.

  • You have the right to say when

This one can get controversial. Again, because we are a community, we’re interested in everyone pushing themselves to the max and beyond: that’s what makes CrossFit so effective. You’ll be encouraged to do more than you think you can…but if you’re obviously slacking, you’re going to hear about it from your peers.

Having said that, no one should know your body better than you do. If you’re convinced that something is wrong—or especially if you feel you’re in danger of hurting yourself—you shouldn’t be made to feel obligated to continue.

Admittedly, sometimes the line between pushing you to push yourself and pushing you too far can be very thin, indeed. At the end of the day, though, only you can make choices for you.

  • No recording or posting

In case you haven’t heard the news, the internet is forever. Once posted, even the things that DON’T go viral are online for good. So we make it a rule: no pictures or recording allowed without the person’s permission. Period. And that goes triple for anyone under the age of 18. Put the cell phone away—you came to work out.

  • Bullies not welcome

Even within a community, there’s sometimes that one person who can’t help kicking others when they’re down. You don’t dare make a misstep while that sort of person is watching: you’ll never hear the end of it.

But you have the right to not be bullied. Sure, we understand that good-natured ribbing will happen, but there’s no excuse for demeaning others just to make yourself feel good. As Aunt Eller said in Oklahoma, “I won’t say I’m no better than anybody else, but I’ll be danged if I ain’t just as good!”

  • No one here is keeping score

Another beautiful thing about CrossFit is that while we may get competitive, your only REAL competition is YOU. Trust me when I say that no one is counting the number of times you miss a move; if anything, we’re counting the number of times you succeed. We’re human, and we’ve been there: the only way to know how far you can go is to go until you can’t go any farther.

Well, there you have it. Five things you can reasonably expect from a CrossFit gym/box. These are good parameters for CrossFit, but going back over the list, they’re also some pretty good rules for life. Of course, outside of a controlled environment like the box, you can’t expect everyone to play by the rules…but remember that other people’s behavior isn’t an excuse to alter our own. Like they say: be the change you want to see in the world. Or in the box, as the case may be.