Seems like this has been a popular topic over the past year as more and more crossfitters debate about the reasons why they CrossFit. My personal answer is simple and while yours might be the same or different, it should be clearly defined.
Let’s start with the why, more importantly why did you start and why do you continue? Like I just mentioned my reason for both is extraordinarily simple. Competition, I love it and can't get enough. I will argue and discuss almost any topic until the other person agrees or quits. This mentality is no different when it comes to any game or aspect in life. I want to win, it's plain and simple. For me this is a blessing, while some others may view it as a curse or think I have a problem, I don't really see it that way. That desire to win has driven me my whole life. I can't think of a single thing I’ve quit and I'm damn proud of that fact.
If competition doesn't fuel you that's just fine, but you must have another reason. Maybe you just want to have a healthier life or be able to play with your kids and not worry about suffering cardiovascular failure. We have many people at my gym in this position and it's easy to remind them why they are there. These people usually care about others more than themselves and need a constant reminder of why they are doing fitness.
Then there are the self-indulgent body image people. The "I just want to look good naked" folks. While they are usually vain and self-conscious these folks still have a reason to work hard and can be some of the hardest workers in the gym. They won't be your top dogs competitively, but aesthetically they can hold their proverbial chins high. Deep down inside everybody wants to look a little better naked, but as long as you are motivated by something that works, keep doing your thing.
You also might see a few of the wandering people in the gym. These people might be very quiet or exceptionally outspoken. They are the confused bunch and aren't sure exactly what they want. Always changing goals, never writing them down or following through on a plan. They cry, pout, and self-loath until finding some new temporary solution. These kind will usually hang around for a few months before becoming bored and moving on to some new adventure. And be ready for hundreds of questions and pointless conversations leading to no change in behavior. This group might be the hardest to handle in my experiences.
I saved the best kind for last, "The shared suffers". These are my favorite people in the gym. They don't have to be the best athlete or super talented. They just like being around other people and sharing in the pain. These folks always add more to the group than they take away. They never complain about prices, class times, or really anything at all. These are the easy ones to Coach and never leave you frustrated. They ask good questions and really give a damn about the other people in the gym. Do they care about how many rounds you got? Sure maybe, but they would rather talk about what else is going on in life. You can look these people in the eye and tell they are really listening. I'd take a gym full of these people any day.
While there are many forms of people with different "whys" in the gym, you need to be thankful for each type and all the different reasons. I have learned something about myself and every person in the gym from every relationship formed. Life is a big learning experience with constantly changing variables, but it's nice to always be able to look around and see people doing something with a purpose. I am thankful for my job and the ability to help people every day. I am also very grateful for all the awesome friends the fitness community has brought into my life.