October Monthly Mindset:
Be a good teammate.
We tend to do more than a few partner or team workouts each month, and for good reason. Crossfit is about building camaraderie, community, and suffering together. Also, partner/team workouts are just plain fun (also you usually get rest). Sometimes these workouts are not fun though, and not because it is an especially evil combination of movements. Sometimes we have a bad partner, or we ourselves are a bad partner.
What do I mean? I am always reminded of the episode of “The Office” where Andy takes the entire office down to Philadelphia to play trivia (“Trivia”, Season 8, Episode 11):
Andy: Uh, all right. We need to divide up into teams, but it’s winner-take-all so no need to divide evenly. We need an A-team, a backup team and a just-have-fun team. So you guys all know yourselves.
Meredith: Good-timers follow me.
Phyllis: Backups. [Jim goes to join the backups]
Stanley: [To Jim] Go on, kid. You know you don’t belong here.
Jim: Okay [Joins A-team].
Andy: All right, everybody. Nice self-awareness. Except… [looks at Kevin, who has joined the A-team]
Kevin: Okay. [leaves]
We generally know who we want to be paired with ahead of time because we are always at the same class and our bestie is going to be there. However, sometimes they are out of town, or you are dropping into another gym and you get paired with a teammate who is better or worse than you, or you get paired with someone whose energy level is WAY higher than yours. This in itself is not an issue, but it becomes an issue when one or more person in this situation is completely and utterly oblivious to it.
Our mindset this month is to recognize these situations and communicate with our partner/team. Take the time to realize your capabilities that day and discuss with your partner. Maybe they are also feeling beat up and don’t want to go hard, but are scared to say it because you normally do and they don’t want to hold you back. By not communicating, you could both end up going way too hard in the workout when what you both needed, and really wanted, was a relaxing active recovery day. This also goes the other way. If you are not as talented as your partner, communicate with them and discuss ways to split up the work so that they get the proper stimulus while giving you enough rest to maintain the proper stimulus for yourself. I think we have all experienced a time when one athlete had all of the rest while the other struggled and as soon as the struggling athlete finally gets to rest, the faster athlete finishes their portion of the work in 0.7 seconds flat and the struggler has to go right back to work. Don’t kill your workout partner!! Remember, the key to any good relationship, whether it is in the gym or out, is good communication.