As a child we constantly look for positive re-enforcement, from parents, school mates, teachers, coaches and other family members. We get good grades and are looking for that “well done”. Upon completion of chores around the house or a tidy room we look for that positive reinforcement perhaps in the form of affection (a hug). When this positivity is presented for almost all of us it causes a release of our “happy hormones” in the brain in the form of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin and oxytocin.
In todays gym settings and sporting arenas it is no different. How many times have you seen some athlete do something good on the field and within seconds there is outreached hand held high looking for that high five connection or these days its a fist bump, or hugs (non sexual) being thrown around. How often have you seen a player make a mistake and the same thing happens, instantly he or she is swarmed by team makes or coaches and is given a pat on the head, that same outreached hand without words saying its ok we have your back, you are not alone.
In both cases they mean the same thing. One says great job, the other says its ok, ive been there, in your situation before. That touch (high five) brings together those two people as one for that instant. It transfers one’s enthusiasm onto the other. It’s a form of acceptance, acknowledgement and humility. Its a common ground of equality.
In a CrossFit box it can bond a community like no other. It says to the other fellow members that you know exactly the pain they just went through, no matter the skill or fitness level its all relative. It says great work, it gives hope that as they leave the next workout will be better. It symbolises that we are not individuals but are a community that improves our health together and respects each and every member although different outside the gym.
Next time your in the box, when the WOD is done and dusted give everyone a high five and see the response you get. I will guarantee you will leave feeling more energised and euphoric.