When I began my CrossFit journey, I was mainly doing WODs in my parents garage. The workouts that I couldn’t do (Which was most of them) with the limited equipment I had, were performed at a local “globo” gym. I had only a rough understanding of what CrossFit was all about, and for someone without a “Home Box,” to call my own, I didn’t truly understand what the “community” was all about.
When I returned to Alabama (after a short-lived 9 month hiatus), I fell into friendships with some local runners. For two months I ran. Actually, running was all that I was doing! I would wake up and run… take a lunch break and go run…run with a different running group every night. This was a tireless sequence that left me with two things: 1. A stress fracture in my right leg (the 3rd one in 6 months), and 2. A lot more time spent back on CrossFit.com.
In the Spring of 2011, I found myself in a new town (Fairhope), a new job and the same result of constant running…injury. This is when I opened my computer and emailed Jason for the first time. I got a call from Jason the next day and quickly set up my first session.
Upon walking into the original Friendship Road facility, I was greeted with the same warm welcome that I had come to look forward to when dropping in at Boxes near my house in Texas, and quickly felt ready to train. I briefed Jason on my current injury status and he assured me that we would have no problems getting past them.
A lot of changes occurred in my career and personal life over the next 5 months, but one this stayed constant: CrossFit Eastern Shore. The coaches were there to help me make sure the workouts were tailored to my abilities and I even had some new friends to go out with on the weekends. Sitting on my coach for an entire weekend in my 1-bedroom apartment was no longer my routine every Saturday and Sunday.
I had finally began to understand the aspect of CrossFit that I had never seemed to understand while doing workouts in my parents’ garage: The idea of a “Community.”
As my career started to get more engaged, there would be days or weeks where I would miss workouts. Without fail, I would get a text from Jason, saying “How’s everything going?” These texts showed me that the strength that I was building within the walls of the gym were only half of what I was really gaining from CrossFit. I was gaining friendships with people that I could count on, and I was gaining a new family. For someone who was now living, permanently, more than 600 miles away from my nearest relative, having a community to hold me accountable in my fitness and person life was something I could easily get used to.
When the opportunity arose to begin coaching at CrossFit Eastern Shore, the first thing I could think of was the people. “Who could I help guide into a healthier life” and “how could I best show new athletes the same care and attention that I first felt when joining our facility.” These truths remain to be the pillar for all that we do at CrossFit Eastern Shore.
For every athletes that walks into our door, we hope two things. We hope that they will begin the see what their body is truly capable of, and we hope that the athlete will both give AND take something away from the community. As our community grows, we all become stronger. Friendships begin to blossom, and training partners push each other further than they did the day before. Whether you work out at 5:30am or 7:00pm, there is a bond that is felt upon completing the daily WOD. Creating new PRs become just that: the CREATION of something great. With every new PR, a new goal begins to form; and with every goal, your community is there to help raise you up from among the obstacles and carry you to victory.
For this very reason, during the month of November, we challenge each and every athlete within our facility to do one thing: Help your fellow athletes achieve their goals. Create a pact with a fellow athlete to make it to an extra WOD each week. Write en encouraging post on someone’s Facebook wall when you saw that they gave it their all during class. Invite a new face to coffee after early morning classes, or a beer *cough cough* after a tough evening workout.
In the end, you will spend a total of 60 minutes per day within our facility pushing yourself and those around you to new limits. During those 60 minutes, you will be able to change someone’s day or even their week. You will encourage people to try to achieve something that they didn’t think was possible.
If you are able to change yourself, and others, in such an impactful way during those 60 minutes, think about the changes within our community that you can make with an extra 30-45 minutes once you leave these four walls.
At CrossFit Eastern Shore, we will do everything within our abilities to make you the best athlete that you can be. What we hope, however, is that each and every athlete becomes the strongest and most powerful member of our CrossFit community that they are able to.
In the end, PRs will come and go… but the strength of our community, and the friendships you will create, will continue to be there for you each and every day.