What does it mean to be an example? When I was growing up I was always told to be a good example for my brothers. I am the oldest of 3 boys and it was always interesting. Being the oldest meant that I had to experience everything first...the good and the bad. No matter the situation I was always expected to set the example. This was an example of what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. I had no idea how to do any of these things...I just did what I thought was right.
Was it always the right thing? No! Sometimes my example was the completely wrong thing to do and I hoped that my brothers would not follow that example and do the opposite instead. It was very hard always being expected to set a good example for my brothers but I did it because I knew that's what needed to be done.
As I got into high school I had the added responsibility of setting the example for my teammates. This encompassed everything on and off the field. On weekends are parties I was always sober, never drinking alcohol. I would drink Gatorade and wait to take the keys away from friends that had way too much to drink...I was a total nerd. I always knew that by doing this I was setting the best example I could. I was a team captain in all the sports I played and thought that as a leader I needed to set the bar high and help others to try and reach that same level. With some of my friends and teammates it worked and with others it never did. I guess that is how our world works.
How do you set the example? What do you do in your community, in your family, or at work to set a good example? How do you set the example in your Crossfit box?
People always think that it is the fire breather in the Crossfit box that sets the example. I contest that! The fire breathers do set an example and do raise a bar that most people only hope to achieve but there are many others that can do that too. I love to watch the less gifted, less skilled Crossfitter who will never give up. Pushes to the last possible second and is driven on guts and tenacity. I think that raises a bar that even some of the best Crossfitters can't reach. These people set an example and it is a powerful example. The example they are showing us is...quitting is never an option, I will never stop working, and I gave it all to that WOD. I am not sure how many of us can say that every time when approach a WOD we can give that same level of commitment.
Another person in the Crossfit community that has to provide a great example is the coach. When I was coaching at Crossfit Durham I always did the daily WOD's in a class I wasn't teaching. I did the same thing all of my friends were going to do. If they saw me suffering I knew that I would earn their respect. Some coaches I have been around will not do the same WOD as the class or will not WOD around the classes. I don't think there is anything wrong with that but I do feel your Crossfitters will begin to respect you more if you sweat and bleed with them. It's the old saying..."actions speak louder than words". What you do in presence of people who trust you means more than anything you can say.
I set an example of hard work, tenacity, and respect. Everyday I walk through the doors to Windy City Crossfit I know that I cannot let anyone in that box down. It is a great community and there are so many great athletes there. We all try and be the best example that we can for everyone else in the box. The individuals that graduate from the on ramp program need guidance in the world of Crossfit. They may ask questions but more likely they will just watch the box's fire breathers. These people need to do every movement the best they can, do every lift as technically sound as possible, and interact appropriately in the box and in the Crossfit community. This is called social learning and we humans are great at it.
Everyday you enter you box think to yourself...what kind of example am I being? If you don't like it then change it. Poor attitudes, lack of integrity, and lack of work ethic will never have a place in a Crossfit that I am training at. Set your bars high, set expectations that seem impossible to achieve, and never give up. NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE UP! I will always be there to lift you up at the end of a WOD, to give you praise, to help you challenge yourself, and to help you reach your goals. That is the example I want to set. I will never let you fail as a friend and a fellow Crossfitter.
"Success is the child of drudgery and perseverance. It cannot be coaxed or bribed; pay the price and it is yours.”
-Orson Swett Marden
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