Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

The Time I Fell Asleep During Crossfit


It's a true story. I just came back from Europe.

In the summer, my girlfriends and I work out at our local community centre almost every Wednesday—it's fun, and a great way to get together to enjoy the weather. There's a stage and two screens in between showing the instructor as there's about 150-200 attendees.

But, here's the thing: I was NOT in the mood. I was stuck in my "vacay" mode—which I'm sure many of you can relate to.

It's only one hour—what's the worst thing that could happen?

I committed to being a yes, got dressed, and off I went. As soon as I got there, I started getting excited—just because my girlfriends make me laugh, smile, and help me forget little problems that aren't such a big deal.

Class was about to start. It started with jumping jacks, lunges, and a whole bunch of things that reminded me how hard these workouts are. The first 5 minutes felt like 20 minutes—it was brutal, and I found myself bored of the same routine.

Burpees? What! Jumping jacks? Really?! Army Crawls? Don't even get me started! No matter how many times I do them, it never gets easier.

Then, the most unexpected thing happened...

the instructor jumped off the stage!

People looked at each other and said, "What the hell just happened?" The film starts rolling on the audience—people woke up, and felt the need to work harder. Some were even smiling, laughing and waving at the screen. The music was pumping and getting louder, and louder! The entire class was on fire.

I got excited, and loved everything that I hated! Whenever it was time to do burpees, I said to myself: bring it on! Same goes for jumping jacks, lunges, and army crawls. The things I thought were impossible became possible: How did this happen?

The instructor changed the routine, and made the workout about the people who were working out.

Often, we find ourselves choosing an instructor that we like the most. Maybe he/she has a certain style that you like, or it's the way they motivate us while we work out. There are many factors as to why some instructors are more popular than others.

However, I do find that the most popular instructors have one thing in common: It's not about them. It's about the people who are working out. They listen and connect with their tribe: What are they seeking? What are their struggles or frustrations? They document and observe the environment. Then, they act upon those observations.

For example, the instructor jumped off the stage… because he knew that people found it hard. He knew that people were getting tired, losing their energy, or even getting bored (...*ahem* me...) As a result, he changed the routine, and turned the screen onto the people who were working out. This is the secret to a successful business.

Your business is not about you, it's about your tribe.

When working on your business, ask yourself:

  • What is your tribe seeking?
  • What are they currently struggling with? What are they complaining about?
  • How are they doing their business?
  • Why are they doing what they're doing?


Document your observations, and ask yourself this:

  • What can you do to provide value to your tribe?
  • What can you do to show that you've been listening? What's your solution to their frustrations?
  • How can you show your tribe the way to a solution?
  • Why do you want to help them?


You probably noticed the series of questions about them vs. you. It boils down to one thing: What do you want for yourself that you want for your tribe?

The instructor who jumped off the stage? He made it clear that he wanted people to have fun while working out in beautiful weather, with an awesome crowd. Plus, the rewards are so worth it (better mood, strength, flexibility, good health, and my invisible abs).


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