Most people associate Peer Pressure to negative things… like drinking and doing drugs. But I believe that peer pressure can be a positive and inspiring factor in some areas of life. It exists in crossfit and for that I am thankful.
Oh boy, let me just tell you about the last couple of workouts I did. This last Saturday I was unable to attend the crossfit class because I had a graduate class. Being the optimistic and addicted athlete I am, I decided that on Sunday I was going to do a workout from the Sunday class. It was a bench mark and I was excited to see my progression. So I did it. And I killed my old PR. Being excited I decided that I would do one round of the awful running workout that was taking place. 3 rounds for time: 100 double unders, 400 meter run with a 3 minute rest between each round. Not a horrible workout, but after Isabel I thought I deserved a break from doing the entire workout.
So I started the first round and got through it. During the three minutes of rest I talked to my coach and I had told her I was only going to do that round… well, my other coach looked me in the face and said “No, you started the workout, you can finish it.” For most people that wouldn’t be enough to make you finish the workout, but for crossfitters the even hint at you being a quitter is enough to motivate you to do it… so regardless of how I felt or regardless of what I had planned I finished the workout. I think for me, it is a similar feeling of letting someone down– I wasn’t going to suffer the same way the class did and for that I would be missing out be it bonding with them, the mental and physical pain and fatigue– but by my own absence from the class was letting them down.
On Monday, something similar had happened. I had seen that there would be a running heavy workout and decided that I would go in and do some technique work and another benchmark workout called Grace– because I had never done it. Having a partner for this I thought it would be great– I would easily get out of having to do the awful running workout. After finishing Grace we rested, but ultimately feeling bad about the others in the class doing the workout, we headed out to the asphalt and performed the workout… I didn’t even need someone to tell me I should workout, I just had to have a partner make me feel bad about not doing it, someone who made me feel like I ought to do it, someone who was going to do it without me and someone who would ultimately make me look like a sandbagger (crossfit term for someone who slacks off).
Those are my most recent stories, but too often I find myself making tremendous strides and PR’s in crossfit because of this peer pressure to go hard, to add more weight, to give a little more. Actually at my gym we use #TFL to push people to lifting bigger. What does TFL stand for? Too Effing(expletive) Light. This generally encourages people to add more weight, to dig a little deeper to make their PR goals, and it works!
I don’t encourage peer pressure, but it exists in every facet of life. I encourage you all to examine the type of peer pressure you will tolerate and the type that you will not. For me, crossfit peer pressure is something I can tolerate.Check out this article for why it can also be beneficial in any fitness endeavors! It allows me to explore the depths of where my limits exist. It encourages me to stronger, faster, and better than I was. Sometimes you just need someone there watching you and guiding *cough* forcing *cough* you to give that extra push.
I encourage you to go out and find a community that positively peer pressures you to being better!