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July 4th, 2023

Why I Coach – Part 1

Dear Cryptid CrossFit family,

I am writing today to share one of the reasons why I coach. And thank you to those that came out yesterday.

Yesterday we had an amazing event. I love events like those. While we would never have 40 people in a regular class, the challenge to figure out how to make something like that work in our space takes a lot of effort, planning, and consideration to be successful. That said, we made it work and hopefully y’all had fun like I did.

Originally, I was going to share how much I loved yesterday’s experience being a coach. Planning for that event, and doing something I love: bringing the community together. As you know community, fun, and health are our values at Cryptid CrossFit. Community is the first value, and to me the most important, and in a minute, I’ll share one example of why.

As I started to write this letter, I was only going to share the above comments about the 4th of July. Well, last night something happened in the coach’s chat, and I decided to change my intention. Last night, one of our coaches was challenged to do the burpees. (BTW, that was supposed to be a joke in BTWB.) He did do 247 burpees. I saw it, he actually did the burpees! Evan is a hell of an athlete so he probably did it in like half an hour or something; that’s really impressive to me because I would struggle to do that, let alone in that time.

Yes, yes he did 247 burpees after doing the workout yesterday. For anyone who’s done “fight gone bad,” doing another workout afterward, well, it’s not my idea of fun. But I could see he was up for the challenge, and for him that was fun. I’m very proud of him as he should be proud of himself for the work he did.

I was going to share this story with just the coaches, but since remembering this made my eyes “self-hydrate” a little, I figured I should share it with the membership. It made an impact on me and says a little bit about me as a coach, and why I wanted to be the owner of Cryptid CrossFit.

THINK: How many burpees can you do in 25 minutes? 

STOP: Write down your answer.

Let me ask that question again for the people that are “skim reading “.

*** How many burpees do you think you could do in 25 minutes? (If you’re competitive, sure, you can answer as if you trained for that event. Just commit to a number that you think you could do?)

Got your number? (OK, please remember this number for another minute.)

Let’s proceed with the rest of the story.

So what’s your number? I imagine some of our athletes and coaches would probably say 300, maybe 400. I believe our Head Coach Andy could probably smash north of 500.

Would you celebrate an athlete who was only able to do one burpee in 25 minutes? If not, I would like to ask you why not.

Before you answer, let me get back to the story. This was back several years ago. An athlete with CP rolls (yes, rolls, NOT walks) into the gym, and her “15-minute intro” took 90 minutes. Why? The coach absolutely wanted to ensure he could help her, as well as make sure there was a good understanding of the background of this new athlete. Following this intro, we asked her if she would like to do a workout, and she said yes.

With her stage of CP, she might be able to walk with crutches however, almost always finds herself in a wheelchair. For her, this is how she gets around. Now imagine being the coach that tells her “Your workout today is to do one burpee without assistance, wheelchair, or crutch.” For her, standing up without a chair is RX, and walking is RX+. (RX means “as prescribed” and can be a challenge even for elite athletes.)

Now you can imagine where this is going. This is a person that can’t walk as part of her normal life. What does it take to do a burpee when you can’t walk? It’s just one burpee, but if you can’t walk, how much of a fight do you need to be successful?

As a coach, I love helping people, and celebrating when they are successful. As a box owner, I love creating an environment (Community) where we can help people of any background find a safe space to fail so they can learn and become successful. For the athlete above, success was completing one burpee, regardless of the amount of time. CrossFit is known for being observable, measurable, and repeatable; for this athlete imagine how she felt when she accomplished that goal. Years later, she still retests “1 Burpee – for time” (and I love seeing her post retests on social media).

I will wrap up this post by trying to recall an old CrossFit quote.

“CrossFit isn’t for everyone, but it can be done by anyone.”

10+ years ago, I started my journey, and my fight was different (everyone has a different fight), but I can personally attest that CrossFit is for anyone.

This was really long, sorry about that. If you appreciate this story, could you please let me know by commenting below? Bonus points if you share your burpee number with me.

Interested in checking out our community? Head over to PushPress and check in to Cryptid CrossFit. You can also follow us on Instagram.

Best regards,