OK, we all get it. There’s a reason those articles that poke fun at CrossFit stereotypes get plenty of hits: Those people do actually exist. The jabs at the perpetually shirtless dude and the gal who chalks up for everything from calorie rows to wall balls are funny because they ring true. And laughing at the perpetrators of such antics somehow makes their annoying behavior more bearable. Charming, even.
But there’s a whole crew of CrossFit characters who are just as big a part of box culture and receive far less attention and recognition. They are, quite simply, the good teammates who make your WOD better because of who they are and what they do.
These are the other five people that, if you’re lucky, you know from your own box.
When you’re losing steam and a WOD starts to go to shit, you’ll undoubtedly hear the voice of the Cheerleader rise above the blaring music and clanging plates. The Cheerleader senses when you need a little support and knows how to cheer you on without making you feel like a charity case.
The Cheerleader also acts in quieter, more subtle ways. If you’re starting to make gains on a particular lift or become more efficient at gymnastics move, he will notice and remember to compliment you after class and encourage you to keep up the good work.
The Accountability Partner
The Accountability Partner knows you, your goals and your goats, and she doesn’t let you get away with slacking off. She’ll call you out on cherry-picking WODs, modifying when you really should be working on strict movements, and skipping mobility and accessory work. The Accountability Partner knows how to push you without being annoying or resorting to shaming tactics. After all, she wants you to hold her accountable to her goals, too. (The operative word is “partner.”)
The Humble Guru
The Humble Guru dominates the leader board, but that’s not the main reason everyone respects him. The person in this role understands the superhero adage, “With great power comes great responsibility,” and exemplifies it every time he steps in the box. He refrains from boasting and showboating and chooses to use his position of authority to share advice and pointers (all of which are both accessible and helpful) with his fellow CrossFitters.
The Social Director
Does your box have a regular happy hour? An annual holiday celebration or summer field trips to the beach? If so, there’s probably one person at the center of all these extracurricular activities: the Social Director. This person sees the great community that’s formed at her box and wants to make the most of it. You probably owe a number of friendships, career opportunities and even love connections to your box’s Social Director.
Just as important, the Social Director is the first person to chat with new members and make them feel welcome from day one. If your box is known for being inclusive and down-to-earth, you can thank the Social Director.
Like the Accountability Partner, the Motivator pushes you to be stronger, faster and more precise with your form — but he probably doesn’t realize he’s doing it. When it comes to ability level, you and the Motivator are pretty close. But the Motivator tends to finish a few seconds faster than you, lift a bit more weight and pick up new skills just a tad quicker.
This would be frustrating if you weren’t aware of just how hard the Motivator works for his results. You know that he’s eating clean, putting in the time and leaving it all on the table every time he gets to the box. You’d feel competitive if you weren’t already so inspired to get focused and improve your own performance.
OK, so maybe you feel a little competitive with the Motivator. But chasing him is what’s going to help you get to the next level.