Last year, my crossfit gym instituted something called Commitment Crew. Basically, it’s an incentive program to encourage athletes to attend at least 20 classes per month. For the first few months, there were rewards like an extra class, but then it tapered off. Still, there are supposedly going to be rewards at the end of the year for folks who have made the crew for 6, 9 or 12 months.

If I am able to continue as planned, December will be my 9th month for the year. I missed April because I had a weird bout of back pain. I missed July (by 2 classes!) because I sprained my ankle (I really should have taken a rest day that Saturday). I missed August recovering from my sprained ankle. I might have been able to make August if I had gone to a doctor about my sprain, because then I would have had the confidence to go and do an adapted workout, but I was paranoid. I took a lot of rest that month so as not to take any risks before the backpacking trip over the eclipse.

I was sick and resting for five days early this month already, but I’m on track to get at least 20 for December, barring additional sick days and/or accidents.

The reward at the end, unknown though it is, does excite me. But the real win for me in the program is to have a goal and attain that goal. I have tried to get as many months as I could on the crew this year, and that means I attended a lot more classes than I have in previous years. I’ve been more consistent and more thoughtful in how I attend classes and how I rest (except in July).

When you make the crew, your name goes up on a board for the month, and when I make it, it encourages me to see my name up there. When I don’t make it, it spurs me on to keep on track so I can get it next month.

It doesn’t really matter what the reward is, because I can see a difference in my performance. Even though I’ve been ill, I’ve been able to get a good number of personal records this year. My capacity to lift has increased, and even though my weight has gone up, my pants still fit.

Yes, yes, I’m saying making the crew is its own reward. It may be cliched or trite, but it’s true. I started my crossfit journey by doing 30 days, mostly in a row. Not entirely in a row, because there were no classes offered on Christmas Day that year, but I went every day there was a class in the month that I signed up for. After that, I saved up so I could start buying 10 class passes. With those, I went once or twice a week. When I finally had the budget to pay for unlimited classes, I tried to go three to four times a week, and even that seemed hard at the time. With the incentive of Commitment Crew, I’ve been going five to six times a week, and it makes a big difference.

Because of the backpacking season, I don’t anticipate ever making the crew 12 months out of a year, but I’m aiming to set my bar at 9 of 12 and not fall below that now that I know I can.

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