Lessons Off The Mat: I love to High Five

The first time I walked into CrossFit Impervious (CFI) I was greeted with a high five. And this was from some sweaty guy I had never met before. I should mention that this was the first high five I had ever been given. By anyone. I never competed in sports where I know high fives are common. Nor did I grow up in a house where my parents high fived me whenever I did something praise worthy. The day I walked into CFI I was more accustomed to greeting people with a smile or a hug or with my hands in a prayer position followed by a warm and inviting “namaste”.

So needless to say it comes as no surprise that this high five thing was totally out of my comfort zone.

But I went with it. And each day upon my arrival I prepared for my coach and his robust and powerful high five.

“Yo what’s up Leslie” he would say with his arm poised in position.

“What’s up” I would echo back meeting his powerful smack.

I have come to realize that I love to high five.

I love the feeling of someone taking a moment to pause what they are doing to welcome me. With enthusiasm and gusto. This is a rarity now a days where most people’s entrances are met with a cursory glance away from their iPhone if anything at all. I love the sudden feeling of sharp quick energy passed from one person to the other that makes me feel connected and alive. I love the way it makes me feel to be a part of something. A team player. And I love it at the end of a workout because I am reminded of a job well done despite how I may have performed. I love it because it means I am seen. And my efforts, no matter how great or small, matter.

I love it so much I am considering making it a standard practice at my yoga studio.

I can see it now.

“Yo namaste” I will say to students with one hand raised rather than hands in prayer at the start of class.

High fives up and down the row.

“Crow pose” I will call out after sun salutations high fives all around to celebrate my students’ moments of success with the pose.

High fives when I announce savasana to mark the pleasure and relief of final relaxation after a job well done.

And while this may seem absurd for some people, I for one can say from personal experience that a yoga class peppered with a few well placed high fives might be just the thing to help me celebrate my progress on the mat better than my usual self criticism.

So don’t be surprised the next time I am teaching if I give you a little fist bump. It just means that I see you and you’re doing a good job.

What could be better than that?

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