Even though it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, this year marks my tenth year as a CrossFitter. A lot has changed since the days where everybody knew each others name, and the Games were on a patch a dirt in the middle of a ranch in Northern California. Athletes have become celebrities, the Games have exploded in to a international mega-event, big name a sponsors with big money have used every possible opportunity to market to CrossFitters, and what was once just a small group of no B-S fitness geeks has now turned in to millions of people supporting one of the fastest growing industries on the planet.
However, after all these years one thing that hasn’t changed for me is the sense of community that has aways existed in every CrossFit gym I have been a part of since day one at CrossFit Oahu. Many may argue, but to me the single most important thing I have seen happen in the CrossFit movement is the sense of community each affiliate owner creates when they open the doors to their box for the first time. Programming is important, proper/safe movement is even more important, diet may be even more important still, but nothing in my eyes compares to the importance of the life changing experience most people have when they join a CrossFit and become part of this like minded community.
A recent video came out by Planet Fitness that seemed to poke fun of CrossFit a little bit, and to be honest it did make me chuckle. However, what I think Planet Fitness is missing is the bigger picture on what makes the thirteen thousand CrossFit gyms great, and it’s not flipping tires. It’s the unique and real connection each owner has with their members of whom they will do just about anything for and that a large franchise will never be able to accomplish.
I came across an article that dives a little bit more into some of the reasoning and science behind the power of community that I found it very interesting and there is even a small segment about the CrossFit community. If you are an affiliate owner like myself I highly recommend giving it a read (Read Article). I especially liked the quote by the CrossFitter in the article that in my opinion explains our mentality perfectly.
“My CrossFit box is everything to me. I’ve met my boyfriend and some of my very best friends through CrossFit. When my boyfriend and I started apartment hunting this spring, we immediately zeroed in on the neighborhood closest to our box—even though it would increase our commute to work. We did this because we couldn’t bear to leave our community. At our box, we have babies and little kids crawling around everywhere, and it has been an amazing experience to watch those little ones grow up. CrossFit is family, laughter, love, and community. I can’t imagine my life without the people I’ve met through it. — Ali Huberlie”
After ten years in this industry I consider myself very fortunate to still be a part of it and can’t wait to see what is to come. Every day I get to wake up knowing that my day will be spent wearing board shorts and a t-shirt, sitting in my gym/office (Dynamis CrossFit) that is full of some of the greatest people i’ve ever met, sweating, improving, and talking story. Along with this I somehow became lucky enough to get to work on the brand that we created to support those very people on a daily basis. Yes, a lot has changed over the past ten years, but i’m happy to say the single most important piece of this ever growing pie, community, is alive and well, just as it has always been.
-Marcus "Badger" Dedina | ASRX Founder & President