Diary of a CrossFit Affiliate: The Awakening.
The CrossFit Awaken ethos.
Remember to practice Kindness. Contribution. Respect each other. Be Accountable to yourself! Embrace the Community that embraces you. This is CrossFit Awaken!
But really, I think that's a pretty good way of thinking about life. All the major concepts on your life journey can be found there. Unless you are trying to go to the CrossFit Games, CrossFit is way more about your life journey than the really nitty gritty fitness. We can look all around us and see the signs. Read "Fitness in 100 words" and you quickly find out what we are really after. And what about balance? CrossFitters are obsessed and are often all or nothing overthinkers! But I wouldn't want my journey as an affiliate owner to be any other way. Our journey as a community has only just begun.
Michael Keith Marlow. The son of a soldier and a mother born on foreign soil. The youngest and seemingly most care free but very troubled. Born just slightly defective, legally deaf and without a right pectoral muscle. A boy that experienced all the trauma you could imagine, growing up in poverty with a broken home. Bullying, identity crisis, and even molestation would all be building blocks for a character with unbreakable will. But stumbles would come aplenty. Maybe that's why life took the path that it did. Now a leader in a community that as a whole embody what companies thrive for, all for one and one for all. That's CrossFit.
We don't get to decide what backgrounds people come from. What music taste they enjoy. Their favorite foods. All the important qualities we look for in friends. We don't get to do that with our family members either. Our parents trauma often is passed onto us. Our brothers and sisters are given to us without a question. The crazy uncle. The overprotective grand mother. We don't get to decide. Among many other things, those relationships then shape the way we interact as we move through life. Yes, some manage to defy the odds better than others. But as an affiliate owner, I'm not selecting my crowd. My target market is you, the person reading. Athlete, mother, fireman, whoever. Injured? We work with that. Slow learner? Well, you can still learn so I can still teach.
Circumstances don't define us. We do. Through our life's work. We write the story. The perception that we present doesn't dictate who we are. We do.
CrossFit Awaken is less than six months old and here I am an American transplant guiding the ship in Central Queensland, Australia. I've lived here for five years as an adult so I can identify many things with the community but just like they don't know what many American sayings are, I still can't understand why anyone would be here to fuck spiders. IYKYK. Largely, life in two very free countries has the same challenges. The tax man. Gas prices. The commute to work. Cyclists taking up space on the road. Personal trauma. Trauma is universal. Trauma isn't dictated by the size of the event, rather how we end up interpreting the event. Of course, being a trauma sufferer myself, I do things in relation to the way that I perceive things and learn best. That's pretty ordinary. And what's different now in my career path is I coach dozens of people at a time way more often than when I was a personal trainer. When I was just a coach at a different box, I was personally invested in peoples success but ultimately it wasn't tied to me. Now, every decision I make creates a ripple effect that may impact a whole community. Now, they look to me as the person who is guiding them to the healthy future they want. What a responsibility.
My favorite part of this place is the initial member base. Diverse. Many first time CrossFit athletes, having never done anything remotely similar, blended in with a few veterans of the game. A nice blend of age, but largely a younger crowd. Plenty of people looking for something... something I may never even find out... But what I can give them is belief. Belief in oneself. Belief in the system. Belief that they have the tools to succeed in here and in life. That's when the beauty happens. Like all CrossFit boxes, the community love to help each other out. You'll get someone new to the gym and they get 101 new tips on how the guy with broken shoulders learned to snatch. I jest, but it comes from a good place. They also learn to teach belief. They learn to pick each other up. They learn to struggle individually but become stronger together.
CrossFit comes with a few stigmas. Not to toot my gyms own horn, but I believe we are defying many of those as I type this. Brand new to CrossFit? Let's show you how easy it is to learn the hierarchy of movement patterns. Not everyone has to do a muscle up to do the workout. It's common knowledge in the community, but not outside of it. I would wager to say that nearly 70% of my member base came with no history of CrossFit methodology. They came in with reservations about if they are fit enough or skilled enough or strong enough. The usual. What they have seen is over double digits of people getting their first muscle ups. Their first handstand push-ups. Handstand Walks. You name it and we are breaking people in to do it. That builds belief. Belief in oneself and the program.
But, as typical humans go, that doesn't mean things are perfect. The tears that have been shed. The heartache. The disappointment when people feel they have failed or are embarrassed about their performance or abilities. It hurts me, too. The introduction to hero workouts and the raw difficulty that comes with tricky difficult rep schemes. Sometimes, it's like they forget all the progress. You'll have an athlete crushing it and then one workout goes south and they are nearly back to square one. Thank goodness for the community because that is where it shines. They are there with me to help pick up the pieces. They help you shine the light on the victories before and the future that will have many more victories to come! Tia, Mat, and Rich are all GOATs but there are way more people in the gym that are building their GOAT life. They chip away doing what they can.
CrossFit is the sport that levels the playing field for us all and has everyone playing the same game. We are all part of teams, some big and some small, that we call affiliates. We ultimately play for the same team worldwide where we understand the language 21-15-9 hurts like hell no matter what the movements. "Murph" is going to have you running for the hills. And we all used to hate Dave Castro, but only jokingly... so can you bring him back Mr. Roza? We also all play on the same team for humanity. No matter the background. No matter the life experience. It starts with a bright smile and anxiousness before the workouts demonstrated by the coach. And it finishes with a fist bump after rolling on the floor making sweat angels.
Why write this? It's simple. Here I sit in a fresh journey as an affiliate owner. I have a new vision on the community at home and at large. I think sometimes we lose sight of the little things. We lose sight that we might just be someone's hero. We might be the person picking up the pieces for someone else without even knowing it. You might not want that role, and that's ok. But we don't always get to choose our brothers and sisters. Even the ones we don't necessarily always agree with.