6 Years of Awesome

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Thank you Charlottesville and the CrossFit community for making six years possible. It’s been an awesome experience learning from everyone, trying to make ourselves a better business, a fitter community and being part of positive change in people’s lives. Thank you all 🙂

CrossFit Charlottesville has been open for six years. It’s crazy to think of how we’ve progressed over time. From a tiny 800 square foot warehouse and a population that hadn’t heard of CrossFit, to today, a lot has changed. I’ve been doing CrossFit for nearly eight years, trained multiple athletes at the highest competitive level, and hundreds of members at our gym. While CrossFit isn’t perfect, it’s changed my life and I’m happy to be a part of the movement.

I wanted to spend some time reminiscing on some key themes I’ve seen over the last eight years and share those with the community.

CrossFit’s still the best program out there if you care about results

There have been a number of copies of CrossFit that try to mimic its success, through franchises, globo gym fitness classes and the like. There are now a half-dozen or so copies of the original in Charlottesville. It’s amazing how strong a testament these programs are to CrossFit, but they miss the key elements that made CrossFit successful. Sure, they have a community and they make you sweat, but they aren’t defining their goals and results in a meaningful way.

What sets us apart is that we measure and define our results; we have a methodology that is observable, measurable, and repeatable. As a result, our athletes are capable of improvements in their fitness because we have a definition of fitness that is better than anything else (increase work capacity across broad time, modal, and age domains). Besides those programs that measure improvements in a single domain (running programs, weightlifting, etc.), CrossFit’s approach to a general physical capacity is the new bar for fitness. I’ve seen those results personally and with our membership. It works and it works better than anything else out there.

CrossFit has opened to doors to a variety of different specialties that are becoming incredibly popular

Whether its the massive growth in the sport of weightlifting, or the people who are interested in being better at muscle ups, we’ve seen a lot of folks pursue specialization in things they have been exposed to through CrossFit.

That’s awesome and we’re happy to support their fitness pursuits. We used to only run CrossFit classes and were skeptical about alternate programs, but now realize that so long as what folks are doing is functional, that’s what matters. We want the expertise from these smaller communities so we can make ourselves better all-around athletes. So, please keep specializing, but don’t go to far because we want to learn from you.

CrossFit has put a redefinition of beauty in the spotlight

Mainstream culture values an archetypal body type that isn’t necessarily about physical excellence.  When we wrote our most-popular article ever “Intimidated by CrossFit Women? That’s a Good Thing” we argued the following:

Women are built to be athletes, just the same as any human, and that’s the fundamental starting point for empowering yourself and realizing your vision of why you came to CrossFit in the first place. Not everyone has the willpower to suffer through pain and eschew popular conceptions about fitness and beauty. It’s a tough culture out there, but we want to be here to make you comfortable and to see you make constant improvement in and out of the gym.

And the truth is, we frequently hear women say that “they don’t want big shoulders,” and that’s fine. Personally, I stopped caring because people have a right to look however they want and there are plenty of ways to use your body in positive ways.

But, more importantly, those women who want to be powerful, suffer to increase their work capacity, and care about performance have been brought into the spotlight and in a good way. I’m happy that CrossFit has put the spotlight on this issue and will continue to inspire young athletes to value performance and results over a flawed archetype.

People stay for the community

It’s important to note what makes people long term CrossFitters. The top qualities that indicate long term retention and success in athletes are:

  • Community involvement
  • Humility
  • Desire to improve and work on weaknesses
  • A little bit (or a lot) of crazy desire to push yourself

Of all these things, I think being involved in the community is the by far the most important for CrossFit and any gym. I think CrossFit gyms do it better than any other fitness community. You’d recognize that when you walk into other gyms all over the world.

Those people who aren’t successful in CrossFit are the ones who don’t push themselves, don’t want to improve, have big egos, or are just looking for the latest trend. CrossFit’s a lifestyle that’s connected by a community of people who are all seeking improvements in their lives and want to help each other get there. I always tell people it’s not for everyone, but it is for everyone who really wants to improve. 

Thanks to You

I’ve started a half dozen or so businesses and CrossFit Charlottesville by far is the most meaningful in my life. I’ve made some of the best friends of my life here and I’ve experienced the positive impact of the community from Carson, California, to Munich, Germany. I’ve seen meaningful results in people’s lives and am honored to be a part of each of those stories.

Here’s to another six years. Thanks again!

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