Recently, a mentor of mine, Andy Petranek, shared a moving story with me and my competition team as we set off for the CrossFit Games. Without undermining the significance it had to that group, I’d like to share it with you all:
The Goose Story
Next fall when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in a “V” formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the draft and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are going.
When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. It pays to take turn doing hard jobs.
The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. An encouraging word goes a long way.
Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by a gun shot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, then they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with the group. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.
You all have felt the tug of resistance that life on your own, in fitness especially, often places upon you. Behind the beating effort of a group like ours, however, things are a bit easier. Sure, you’ll have to to some flying yourself, but simply by being “in it” with us you begin to accomplish much more than is possible alone. This is about much more than excercise. Don’t forget that.
Embrace the formation in front of you. Maximize yourself through the power of a group.
With 1 partner working at a time, AMRAP 12:
12 Jumping Lunges (1-ct)
50m Farmer Carry (44/26)
A friend of mine sent me this. She’s a Cross-Fit girl now, but she used to do a fitness Boot Camp I run at the Fishers Indiana YMCA. It has a very military feel to it as I served in the 101st Airborne years ago when I was young and strong. We have certain rules that must be followed. ” No one is done until everyone is done.” “You win as a team or lose as a team.” If one person messes up, everyone is punished. If someone falls out on a run (can’t keep up) someone must go with them. The second rule of Boot Camp is “No one runs alone.” It started out to just be about staying with a runner that had fallen out of formation. But it has evolved into everything you just wrote about the geese. If anyone in Boot Camp has a need, be it for things or for support or for help, the group will fill it. I believe in “No one runs alone” so much it’s tattooed on my arm. And it’s no really about running. It’s about how you live your life. Thank you for sharing this with the world. Dave (SGT Dave) Desmarais
You’re post was a joy to read and quite moving in and of itself. Thank you for sharing. I’d love to stay in contact as it seems that your operation is speaking much of the same language as we are.
Cheers from “The Nation!”