Let’s Talk About The Things That Matter

In the olden days if you were a CrossFitter it felt like you were part of  a secret society. Maybe without the handshake but certainly6.13 we spoke in code.  And when we met, whether passing in an airport or standing in line at a Starbucks, the things we cared about and shared were universally understood. “What is your Fran time?” moved on to what CrossFit had done for us, our family and the people we loved. Conversations between strangers would involve such things as how much weight we had lost and how CrossFit had helped our jobs, even our marriages.  I’ve even discussed improvements in blood lipids with someone I had just met five minutes before at a restaurant 1500 miles from home.

Lately though things have changed. More often than not now the opening discussion goes something like this:

“Hey, do you CrossFit? I do too. At XYZ box. Our owner came in fourth at the Regionals.”

While I am glad the person is CrossFitting, it is really hard to care about the direction of the conversation.

Like everyone in CrossFit I love the Games. I might like the Regionals even better because that is about up-and-coming talent.  But having one or two people in your gym that made the Regionals is probably more about gym location, previous athletic experience and genetic potential than anything else. Now if you tell me that you have four or five people that made it, I am going to ask for video and, as an avid program tinkerer, will probably want to see what you have been doing.
But if you tell me your team got to Regionals I will really start to perk up because we are getting to something I am interested in and believe is vital to 1.1the survival of a gym. Team speaks to community, and the best gyms out there understand that a good community is vital to us being able to do our job.  If the community is great, people want to come back.  There is greater buy-in to do the hard work where our magic, the magic of making people move better, can be performed.

You know what I really want to talk about? I want to talk about lives that have been changed.  Families that are reconnecting not just in the gym but around the dinner table as well. I want to hear about kids who are no longer shy, able to stand confidently in front of a group and explain or demonstrate a movement. The moment that woman who said, “I can’t do a pull-up. I’ll never be able to do that,” pulls her chin over the bar for the first time and forever her view of herself is changed. I want to talk about that.

I miss the days when the excitement of CrossFit was the first thing mentioned.  I still want to know about the community in other boxes.  What are the success stories?  Tell me about the seniors and kids in your box.  Talk to me about the families.  How many mommies do you have that deadlift over 200 pounds?  How many grandfathers can play with their grandkids again because of CrossFit?  Do you look around your gym and see the 9:00 class laughing and talking at 10:45 because they just don’t want to leave?  Is the gym filled with people laughing and kids running around after class?  Do your members hang out with each other on the weekend?

These are the things I am interested in. They are the things that last. Let’s talk about them.



About the Author
Jeff brings over 30 years of coaching experience to CrossFit Brand X, which he owns and operates with his wife, Mikki Martin. Jeff has been CrossFitting since 2003. Since that time has logged countless hours attending and teaching at various CrossFit Training and Specialty Seminars; including, but not limited to, the CrossFit Level One Certificate Course, and the Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, basic barbell, gymnastics, endurance, mobility, nutrition, and CrossPIT specialty seminars. Jeff remains a CrossFit HQ trainer and holds the distinction of being one of fewer than ten people worldwide have been accorded the title of CrossFit Coach by the founder of CrossFit himself, Greg Glassman. Jeff and his wife Mikki are Co-Founders of CrossFit Kids
  1. Chris Murphy Reply
    well said, Jeff.
  2. Rick Reply
    Amen Jeff. Thank you. I've been surrounded by people who really know nothing about CrossFit and have been helping them out and it has been refreshing to talk more about the movement than how fast Rich Froning can do it. I love watching the games and will likely find a way to stream it this year, but really diving in and watching it help people has been amazing. It's refreshing to hear an OG talk about what really matters. Thank you.
  3. Bear Reply
    Perfectly put ! #teammiami
  4. Jo Reply
    I started CrossFit 18 months ago, at 38 I had never lifted any weights, touched a barbell, attempted an air squat even. And now..yes my life has transformed, partly from the physical side of CrossFit, I am stronger and fitter. But at least half if not more from the community side of CrossFit and what it has done from my mental strength. I have a real CrossFit 'family' around me in the box and outside of it. I have belief and confidence in myself to do tasks outside of the box that I couldn't before. The elite CrossFit athletes are fun to watch at the games and seeing people and knowing you do (vaguely similar to) those kind of workouts is cool. But it is a world away from my experience of CrossFit. I still can't do a lot of movements, but nothing stopping me one day be able to get them if that is my focus. And I know for a lot (most?) people who do CrossFit it is alien to them to say I am OK with fact that I have no ambition to be the best, fastest, win a comp. My winning is small victories, unlocking my arms in a handstand to realise I can move then an inch to perform the worlds smallest hand stand push up, to have the confidence that I am actually performing a clean as it should be done, not through luck but by the technique my (wonderful) coach has taught me. I love being part of the community within my box and also in the wonder world of social media, doing the Open and seeing the buzz on twitter from people I will never meet in America but chat to on twitter is brilliant. Although I swear I am not doing the Open again next year (said that last year - pah!) CrossFit is many things to different people, and that is just fine as I think it is the fact it can be that makes it so wonderful. In the right box, with the right coach and people around you they will see your potential, and that may be the games, and it maybe just being able to add some more weight when you say 'I can't' and they know 'you can' Sorry long reply - great article Jo, S.O. CrossFit, Essex :)
  5. Ben Reply
    58. 1 yr. CF coming anniv. up next week. Like many things, it is about the journey. And I have enjoyed it. Set goals, work hard. Embrace the community.
  6. Kristopher Germain Reply
    Jeff, We speak the same language. I recognized it in you and your box years ago. When we came to visit you treated Jeff Williams and I like family even though we just met. We traded stories and you let me ask you questions for hours. Thank you for continuing to lead and be a voice while the pendulum of CrossFit swings wide in its current direction. I hope to come for another visit and we can share more stories of a hundred quiet revolutions we're watching. Kris
  7. Amanda Reply
    I love the fact you can go to a competition or old box and it's like walking into the family home! There is lots of people you know and loved to work out with and chased.

Leave a Reply


captcha *