One year ago, I had never heard of CrossFit. I didn’t know Nicole. By August I noticed a sandwich sign on the side of the road, as I was driving to work. I went online and explored what this was about. Part of me knew it was just what I needed; another part of me said I could never do this.
The fact of the matter is that I was afraid of physical exertion. I always had fear of my heart crashing on me. As my health was in decline, I knew I had to strengthen myself and get fit somehow.
I called the phone number on the web page and spoke with Nicole. She set up a one-on-one Saturday morning session with me. She explained what CrossFit is. I explained my desire to be healthy and fit, but I shared my reservations that this just might be too aggressive for me.
She was very encouraging and she explained the concept of scaling each movement to account for varied levels of fitness, infirmities, abilities, etc, and she assured me that there was a place for me in this environment. She then put me through my paces, exposing me to air squats, wall balls, push-ups, sit-ups, and anything else she knew I needed to know. An hour and a half later, I recall walking to my truck on legs that felt like jello. I was lame for three days after that.
For some strange reason, I returned. I signed up for the three day a week program. I looked forward to my first class. When I got there, Nicole wasn’t there. Some menacing guy with steely eyes, named Greg, was there. He subjected me to even more pain than Nicole had days before. I quickly realized that the three day program was perfect, because I had a full 48 hours to recover before being tormented again.
Beyond the pain was a realization that I was doing things I had never done. Things I never believed I could ever do. I had people that I didn’t know when I walked in the door that morning, gathering around me to cheer me on and encourage me because I was the last guy doing the program. I was learning a new language of WODs, AMRAP and RFT. I was learning that there is a competitive spirit in me that I didn’t know existed. I was learning humility in the face of failure. I was learning elation in success.
But what CrossFit 2a, Nicole and her wonderful team of coaches has taught me the most, is sharing in the joy of someone else’s success. When a friend hits a PR of 115 pounds or 315 pounds, we all cheer and are delighted in their triumph. We are inspired by their tenacity. And when they fail, we console and comfort them knowing that tomorrow will be a different day.
Since Nicole opened the doors to CrossFit 2a, I have been blessed with dozens of new friends who eagerly look forward to sharing their first hours of every day with me. We laugh, we cry, we sweat and we bleed, we bump, we high-five and we hug. We are such a diverse group of people who have been drawn together, through Nicole’s vision and Providence, to encourage one another to better health and fitness. I am amused at the irony that we go into this building focused on ourselves, but the more time we spend here, the more we focus on others.
I am amazed that all this has transpired in a mere twelve months. The CF2a Box has grown organically and seems to have a natural momentum. The new space is now utilized such that I find it difficult to imagine that we were doing all this stuff in half the building, only a couple months ago. CF2a is also rising in stature as a host of some excellent games in the local CrossFit community.
Congratulations for your first year and I pray for continued success in many years to come. Nicole, thank you so much for your commitment to improving our lives and well-being. And thanks so much for being a friend.
Note: 2017 Update – in the past five years Nicole has expanded the size of the box by at least 2x. Many of the original gang are still there, and those who moved on because of work and family, still stop by for comps. It’s a wonderful community.