The Importance of Being Uncomfortable

One of the things I love about CrossFit is the people it attracts. They’re not afraid to take risks, to look stupid, to try something new. Very few people walk into Sanitas and already know how to snatch, walk on their hands, do a pull-up or muscle-up, etc. But after enough time and effort, people are surprised at what they can learn…even in their 40s, 50s and beyond.

Back in November I was listening to a guided meditation and the woman was saying, “Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do but you’ve never made the time?” Yes! For years I’ve wanted to learn how to dance. So the next day I tried a hip hop class at Streetside Studios.

I have to admit that it was pretty brutal. I felt awkward and I couldn’t remember any of the steps but I loved it anyway and I vowed to go back…and I did. It took about 6-7 classes before I stopped feeling like I wanted to run to my car and hide when they broke the class into smaller groups so you could have more room to “perform” for the rest of the class. In December I started learning salsa at The Avalon on Thursday nights and last month I started ballet at Dairy Center.

Don’t be Afraid to be a Beginner

What it really taught me was how it feels to be a beginner…how it feels to be REALLY uncomfortable. I’ve stood at the front desk with Tom and listened to people come in for their first day of BaseCamp saying that they were up all night because they were so anxious about BaseCamp. It always seemed crazy because the first day of BaseCamp is sit-ups, push-ups, running 200 meters and some air squats. But now I saw what they meant…I’m sure someone’s that been dancing for 5 years would find my fears overblown as well.

As a team, we’re always looking for ways to make our coaching better. I thought “wouldn’t it be great to ambush the coaches with a surprise hip hop dance lesson.” So I told them there was a very special guest speaker coming and that they all needed to attend. We went out for dinner and margaritas at Fresh Thymes (liquid courage) and then headed back to the gym. When I walked into Sanitas with Rico Changeux, the owner of Streetside, the coaches were visibly distressed. Actually a few of them were even seriously pissed off. I won’t mention two names here but let’s just say they rhyme with Petronio and Strutts.

I explained that we were all here to feel what it’s like to be a beginner. After a lot of silliness, they all realized that it was really fun…albeit REALLY difficult, even for them. Now they’re all planning to attend classes at the studio and don’t be surprised if you see the occasional flash mob during classes (we actually did one today during the 9:30 class). Also, I want to send a shout out to Michael Butts. He was the most pissed off on Saturday night, and yet when I walked into the Streetside Studio on Tuesday I was amazed to see him there doing the warm up.

Take a look at the video above. If anyone wants to join us, we’ll be at Streetside on Tuesdays at noon.

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