• Erik

Are You a Radiator or a Drain?

Ask a CrossFitter what CrossFit means to them and more likely than not, they'll respond with "community". We all started CrossFit because we wanted to get stronger, faster, better. However, what keeps us coming back are the other people we share the box with. We all have the people we like to work out with because their very presence makes us have more fun, but have you considered the effect you have on others?

I loved CrossFit from my first intro class, but you wouldn't know it from the way I acted. I complained upon seeing any workout that involved snatches or double unders (a dramatic "oh, come on!" was my typical lament). I got so angry at failed reps people would walk on eggshells around me. I would make people feel bad because I complained about my scores rather than focus on how hard I worked. Basically, I was a jerk, and I made CrossFit less fun for everyone who shared a class with me.

Eventually, I was sent an article titled "Are You a Radiator Or a Drain?". I can’t tell you which one because there are hundreds of articles on the subject online, but the concept boils people down to 2 categories:

Radiators are full of infectious energy. They give everyone around them a boost. In CrossFit, they're the athletes that make you push yourself harder, then laugh with you about how wrecked you both feel afterwards. They're the ones that make you look forward to getting out of bed early so you can work out together.

Drains are the opposite--the Debbie Downers. They make people bummed out, less enthused to work out, or nervous. Drains are the vampires who suck everybody's energy away.

I realized I was a major drain. Even though I loved (or at least loved to hate) my workouts, I was bringing everybody around me down. I immediately gave myself an attitude adjustment and the results were immediate: the class became more tight-knit, we all looked forward to working out together, and we became a feedback loop of positive energy. Suffice to say, everybody's numbers improved.

There's no right way to be a radiator. Sometimes too much positive energy can drain others while other times, a drain-like personality may be just what we need to pick us back up.

What really matters is to be aware of your effect on others. If someone's having an off day, maybe you can brighten their day just by being there. If you're feeling a little drained yourself, look to the radiators of the room to psych you up. We started CrossFit to get fit, but now we're here for each other.

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