Play In a Better Foursome

In my inbox this morning was a newsletter from my college buddy Joe, who runs a strength and conditioning gym called Synergy Athletics in Binghamton, New York.

He is a great coach and teacher and his email blasts are always informative and a nice compliment to my CrossFit training.

Lately, Joe has spent some time doing on his own personal development and shared this recent lesson he learned from Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most.”

The idea struck a chord with me as I have been thinking about this idea a lot lately. As part of my training, I am now attending the Competition Prep class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

This class is comprised of the other men and women from my gym who are preparing for Freeze Fest Challenge and the CrossFit Open.

Truth be told, it is an intimidating group as many are far more advanced and can throw a lot more weight on the bar and are in just far better shape. I feel out of place.

But in his newsletter, Joe writes, “Look at the 5 people you spend the most time with and consider, are they ambitious, do they have similar
fitness values?”

It’s a key question. Who you surround yourself with on and off the field matters. I knew this to be true as a teenager when I played golf.

My coach Stuart used to assign me into foursomes with guys who were one or two years older and had lower handicaps.

Inevitably, every time I played with them, I was more focused and made more putts and hit better shots because I was trying to keep up. I also learned by example taking note of their swings and technique.

The same was true in the pool during my days on my high school’s swimming team. My coach Kathy would move people into faster lanes if she knew they needed that shot in the arm to perform better.

You had to quickly learn how to be more efficient with your stroke and kick if did want to get mowed over.

The alternative is allowing yourself to always stay comfortable in the slow lane and goof around with your teammates who have resigned themselves to always coming in third place and never first.

Or playing with some duffers on the golf course that distract you from your game because you are always helping them find their ball in the woods or pluck it out of a stream.

So instead of being intimidated by the advanced athletes at my gym, I need to embrace this opportunity to train with them and learn.

If I want to lift more, I need to talk to the guy who is throwing up big numbers. If I want to do more wall balls, I should stand next to the gal who is killing reps.

I am holding myself back if I only ever practice with the J.V. team.

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