The first day of school. The first day on a new job. And of course…your first day at CrossFit Outlaw North.

    What do these things have in common? I’m sure you’ve figured that out already.
    They have a unique ability to arouse feelings of nervousness, excitement, maybe even anxiety.

    When I was younger I was painfully shy. Elementary school especially. I literally dreaded when we had to do speeches so much that there was this uneasy feeling more most of the year until they were finally over. I just couldn’t understand at the time how some of those other kids actually enjoyed doing them.

    I think there was a bit of a turning point when I hit grade 10 and started having a lot of success with track & field…sports were great for that. But I still always sort of reverted back to that introverted personality.
    It may be a bit of a surprise to hear that from people who know me now, but get me in the right situation and you’ll see it.

    Rewinding the clock wayyy back.

    I was a quiet little boy with white hair going to his first day of school. Junior Kindergarten at R.G. Sinclair Elementary School. I’m not sure how they do it now, but my class back then was a JK/SK split, so I was with older kids. That made me feel even more uneasy. They would already have their friends, and know their way around. When it was play time they’d get all the best stuff. I don’t know how complex my thoughts around all this actually were back then, but this is what I recall today.

    I don’t remember all the details, and I know my mom would never just let something like this happen- but it happened. I was late for my first day.
    Two years later, my little brother Alec made a break for it and actually ran out of the building and across the school yard during the National Anthem on his first day- but that’s another story.

    I entered with this uneasy feeling, and then walked through the little room where all the coats and bags were left, and then BAM. The whole class was there. All sitting together. All looking at me.
    Where was the invisible button??

    That’s what was going on in my head. What was going on in their heads? Probably something like this:

    “Oh cool- another kid to play with.”

    I get to experience something similar to this situation from the other side quite often when new people come into the gym.

    Trust me- I get what you’re feeling.

    Even the most confident of people tend to come in pretty unsure about themselves. After all not many people are seeking out new methods of getting fit without first coming to some sort of realizing that they need to get better in that department.

    Our job on that first day is mainly just to listen. Tell us all about you. Why you’re in- what you want to be able to do.
    If we can get some smiles and laughs (which we always do), things don’t seem so scary anymore.

    I did end up making a ton of new friends in Kindergarten. Only one kid seemed to have a problem with me. His name was Fraser and he threw rocks at me and threw my mittens over the fence one time. No one really liked him though. He seemed to get into trouble a lot. I still remember where he lived- only for a couple years before he moved away.

    The same thing happens in the gym- except we filter out the “Frasers”. When you join our gym there is a whole community of people that are instantly on your side. They want to see you succeed, and will go to great lengths to not let you fail.

    In fact, it doesn’t take long before you’re one of those people to someone else.


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