What did you do last Friday night?

We recently completed our annual Friday Night Lights event at our gym. If you haven’t heard of it, once a year we hold a five week competition in conjunction with the CrossFit Games Open.

During these five weeks, four teams compete, scoring points for weekly challenges like posting atta-boys for their fellow gym members, attending practice sessions and classes as a team, and bringing items to a potluck.

On Friday of each week there is a competition workout which is announced the Thursday night prior. More points are awarded for attendance and placing in various age, skill, and gender classes.

At the end of it, all of the points are tallied up and one team is crowned champion with all of their names etched permanently on the side of our Fittestry Cup.

I think this year’s event has been our best yet. We had an amazing group of about fifty people participate and as far as I can tell, everyone had a good time. Here are a few reasons I loved this year’s Friday Night Lights:

1. Lot’s of new faces

The best part for me is seeing non-competition minded people take the plunge and throw their hat in the ring. To me, that is really what competitions like this are all about. Normal everyday people (which, lets be honest, is all of us — no one is going to the Games!) pushing themselves out of their comfort zone for a few workouts. These people usually achieve things they didn’t think were possible and, at the very least, discover that their limits were not where they thought they were.

2. Teamwork

The scoring this year gave more points for team participation and teamwork than individual performance in the workouts. I think it worked brilliantly (even if it cost my team first place) and brought out all of the good stuff that a gym community can offer. During our normal day to day, it is easy to get caught up in me, me, me. I feel a community like this should be about others, not me. FNL really brought that out this year; people working together for the common good, helping each other, and new friendships being born.

3. Seriously fun

The original Games were held on a ranch in the dirt and the judges had beers in their hands. Check it out here. That is the atmosphere that we try to achieve here during Friday Night Lights. Not the ultra-serious televised event that the Games has become. Just a bunch of friends getting together for a friendly game of exercise sport.

So yeah, we worked hard. And of course the judging wasn’t good sometimes, and sometimes there was confusion about scaling. And yeah, we didn’t always do as well as we would have liked to. But no one took it too seriously and we all had fun! People hung out long after and enjoyed themselves instead of going straight home to self flagellate themselves because they didn’t perform as well as they wanted. It was wonderful.

So, if you are interested, check out our highlight videos from each week here. Or look at our photos here. Or better yet, come in and talk to us and get started so next year you can be a part of this great community of people.

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