A lot of people ask me how I got into the business of owning a gym. Most of the time I smile and tell the story of how I used to be in the music industry, followed by the online gambling career and bla bla bla… It’s a pretty fun story, but it recently occurred to me that I have not been telling the whole truth. I mean, it’s true that this is how I ended up owning my own business (along with my wife who is much smarter than I am). It’s true that CrossFit is something that was very enjoyable to us, but it’s not why I am really passionate about CrossFit… The reason I own a CrossFit gym is because I have seen the future. I know what is ahead. And this knowledge gives me the opportunity change what is yet to come. Let me come back to this point in a bit…
At our gym we see a very diverse group of people who walk through our doors. But for all the diversity that passes through them each day, people mostly fit into 3 basic categories.
Category 1, the athletes. These people have been athletic/active their whole lives and are looking for a challenge and for some fun. Category 2 is filled with people who want to prolong their quality of life as they get older. To stay as young as they can to enjoy their life for as long as they can. Category 3 is filled with people who struggle with their identities, insecurities and health and are people trying to make a major change in their lives. Typically, these people are unsure of where to start and need some guidance and momentum to carry them out of their rut.
I feel like I can relate to all of these people. I am an athlete. A little late to the party, since I didn’t start CrossFit until my late thirties, but nonetheless, I work my ass off to try and be better every day and I compete with my friends in the gym to try and measure up. I am inspired by these people around me who absolutely kick my ass at CrossFit every day (including my wife). I can also relate to the people who want to feel (and look) great even though they are getting on in their age. I remember when I started CrossFit I was absolutely SHOCKED at how crappy I felt from a little bit of activity. It was disheartening to realize that in my thirties, the active life was already over. Now that I am 43 I feel indestructible… So, yes, I relate to group 2 as well…
But mostly, I can relate to the people in group 3 who just want to be someone else altogether. Someone better than they are. The reason I enrolled in a CrossFit class was because I was embarrassed to take my fucking shirt off on a hot day (I still am). I know, it sounds ridiculous. And maybe it is. There are people in far worse shape than I who either don’t care, or feel just as uncomfortable as I do… or more uncomfortable. But I feel this tension and want it gone from my life.
But what really makes me relate to the 3rd group is my family history. Remember when I said I could see the future? This is what I am talking about. Firstly, I see my dad who is 30 years older than me and I can identify where he has landed as a result of his choices. I don’t judge him for his decisions, but I can clearly see what the outcome of those choices are. It makes me understand that we are ALL accountable for our decisions in life and we need to take better care of ourselves. And I have decided that I don’t want to be where he is when I am 73. I don’t want to be limited. I don’t want to struggle with the simplest of tasks. I don’t want to struggle to breathe or bend over. Life is just starting to get great… I don’t want it to stop now!
I have also witnessed the struggle of my sister who battled obesity her whole life until it finally killed her at the age of 44. I guess she wasn’t always obese, but she always struggled with her weight and it was the mental struggle that finally defeated her. The downward spiral of physical damage was just repercussions to her decisions that she made in her life. She lost the will to be a happier person whether she had the physical strength to accomplish something better or not. A day doesn’t go by that I wish I had found CrossFit before she died, as I believe this may have been the golden ticket to succeeding in this goal… But in the end, it may not have mattered. We live and die by our choices. She chose to let go. This is a decision that breaks my heart every day and eats at me when I see others letting go of themselves.
I see many people who are desperate for change in their lives. They come in to the gym, dump their cash on my desk and say “Help me”. But the truth is, I can’t help them. I can only support them, and give them the very best CrossFit experience found anywhere, but I can’t do any of it for them. The fact is, these people need to do it themselves. I am 100% committed to supporting people in making their life change, but that is about all I can do. I can’t make them show up. I can’t make them exercise. I can’t make them eat better. I can’t make them live their lifestyle that will lead to happiness. I can only offer knowledge, experience and the best opportunity that I can that seems to help so many people enjoy a better life then the one we had before CrossFit.
So, I commit myself to that. Providing a welcoming, fun and safe environment where people can learn to help themselves, be who they want to be and become who they deserve to become. I Offer people a place to be realistic about where they are in the journey. I Offer a kind, supportive environment where people can have the confidence to really try… If they are willing. This is the only thing I can do. And this is the real reason why I do it.
So, you can see the future. I can see it and so can you. You just have to open your eyes and look. The time is now to steer yourself down the road you want to travel. You already know where these roads lead, you simply have to decide which road you want to take. The decision is yours… Only yours.