I truly believe that CrossFit, more than any other sport, fitness regime or exercise programme, can be a positive force in people’s lives. Why? Because I am not interested in the way you look. Nothing we do in training is motivated by aesthetics.
“We want to empower the individual. All I care about as a coach is you and how capable you are as a human being.”Ric Whitelegg, Crossfit Coach
But the empowerment through CrossFit can have an impact far beyond individual abilities – it can have positive effects on entire organizations.
First things first: what is CrossFit, some of you may be asking yourself?
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program focused on increasing human fitness through varied, real life movements performed at an intensity that is relative to each and every participant.
Simply put, this means we are a group based fitness programme focused on increasing people’s capacity to deal with whatever physical tasks life may throw at them.
We constantly change up our workouts and we only use movements that you would find in real-life. Every day we workout together in a class format, and we ask each and every person to give it their all – That’s it!
Individuals who give their all within a community
At my gym – Reebok CrossFit Stockport (RCFS), and in all other CrossFit gyms across the country and around the world, we are constantly trying to develop our community.
In our classes, we work hard to strengthen the relationships between our ‘athletes’. We want everyone to be friends, not just competitors, colleagues or superiors. We want everyone to know each other’s name. We care for each other and we try hard to create an environment of support and development. We encourage everyone throughout the workout and the loudest cheers are for the last person home.
It’s not a network; it’s genuine relationships
The beauty of this here, at adidas Group in particular, is that we (CrossFit) have become a vehicle for people to form relationships with others outside of their team, department or employee banding – bringing us closer together as a company, every single workout.
Take a picture of our whiteboard on any given day. The workout of the day isn’t important, what is – is our members. In any one of our classes we will have Directors to Interns and everyone in between. We have people from adidas and Reebok, men and women from Finance, Marketing, Customer Services, Sales and Human Resources, of all ages, working hard together. This is powerful!
“What it gives to our office, is interconnections or communication links between departments. It enables our members to have a point of contact (or friend) within each team.”Ric Whitelegg, Crossfit Coach
These interconnections within our workforce create a friendlier working environment within the business as a whole and a more unified team spirit – which is a massive benefit and would be enough for me!
Tearing down walls and hierarchies
But it also increases our face to face contact within working hours. Talking to one of my members the other day he said “it feels like I’m having an ‘entry point’ into each department.” Whether in the gym before or after class, or in office hours, our CrossFitters have someone that they could direct a general enquiry to, or a person that could provide an introduction or complete a task. They know at least one person within the majority of our departments across the entire office – and all without relying upon a single email.
The power of emotional real-life experiences
Ultimately, CrossFit within the adidas Group HQ provides an environment for our people to come together and share experiences; whether that is, difficulty, triumph, achievement or just suffering and leg pain the next day! As a result of this shared experience, our members find a commonality and a trust that is not confined to the workplace or the boardroom. This in essence, I guess, is something more than a workforce – it’s a team!
Our bond transcends the usual demographics and departments, creating a more efficient, unified and closer working environment across the whole Group – making everything a little more personal and a little less electronic!
And it’s awesome fun to be a part of…!