by Jess Murden

When I started CrossFit, all of the people at my gym were total strangers to me.  I was sweating profusely, working my rear-end off to lift certain weights, and all of these strangers started encouraging me.  They had no idea who I was, but they understood what I was going through.  They understood that I was working hard in the pursuit of weight-lifting glory.  Before I knew it, we were sharing beers on a Friday night together and a sense of camaraderie in the gym.

I understand that it’s hard to translate the idea of camaraderie into the workplace. I too have experienced meeting co-workers and trying to establish a relationship with these people who were brought together by similar resumes.

On average, we spend about 40 hours each week with our co-workers.  That’s about 10 Starbucks coffee breaks and 6 power point presentations spent with the same people.  But at the end of the workweek, do we really know our coworkers any better than we did on Monday morning?  And if we don’t, how can we expect to our office to function together harmoniously?

Everyone that is part of a team, the workplace included, knows that each individual brings certain strengths to the table.  Without one of the strengths, the team is incomplete.

However, what many teams fail to do is build off each other’s strengths; they lack the sense of camaraderie necessary to make a successful team.

Case in point: there’s no better source of camaraderie than fighting together.  And I don’t mean fighting over whose cubicle is bigger or whose vacation days were extended.  I mean true grit and downright dirty competition, fighting that tests your physical and mental strength.  I mean the Spartan Race.

Gather your company together.  Even better, break it down by department.  Have the PR Department try to outrun the Advertising Department.  Make ridiculous t-shirts, and beast through a muddy obstacle course.  Competing in a Spartan Race will boost that sense of camaraderie.

There are difficult obstacle.   Endurance will be pushed to the max.  However, EVERYONE is feeling the same physical and mental strain.  EVERYONE is in it together.  At no point is an individual strength overlooked.  Every strength brings a certain advantage to the team.  This race fosters no-ego.

Battling and winning a Spartan Race together will draw your team closer, fostering a sense of comradery that can translate into the workplace.

Deadlines and luncheons just got that much easier.

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