Crossfit, Community and Social Health

CrossFit Community

One of the things great about Crossfit is that the boxes (gyms) serve as mini-communities.  The young boy in the photo below is a third-generation Crossfitter.  Here some fellow box members share interest in a toy truck while grandmother and dad work out.

There’s not a lot out on the social/psychological benefits of Crossfit.  However, there is a new book, published a couple of weeks ago by Tuttle Press called The Power of Community: Crossfit and the force of Human Community.  The book, quoting the publishers’ description:

CrossFit Psychology

“The power of community is about making lives better and helping people achieve their goals.  Psychologist Allison Wenglin Belger describes the importance of group affiliation–of having a network of mutual support and human connection in the midst of our hectic, technology-driven lives. With candor and grit, the author takes the reader on a journey from her childhood in suburban New York as she follows her passion for competitive sports and wilderness adventure, to her present-day connection to CrossFit, a dynamic, functional fitness and conditioning program with an emphasis on camaraderie and community. 

Belger shares stories of military wounded warriors and everyday heroes who have faced life-threatening crises–with the help of their community affiliation. She relates inspiring examples of individuals who have created communities and support networks for populations in need, including cancer patients and at-risk youth. Drawing on her doctoral research, she documents the emotional and physical benefits of group participation. With her unique perspective as psychologist and athlete, Dr. Belger explores the mind-body connection and how it can relate to all of us.  Through her compelling narratives, each of which intersects with the CrossFit experience, she encourages us to examine our lives and relationships so that we may find meaning in a stressful world–if we are open to the power of community.”

We found the book to be right on the nail.  It will be interesting to people wanting to know more about CrossFit as a social phenomenon.

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