Open Letter to Crossfit 696,
Thank you. Thank you for the most amazing year.
A little over a year ago, I walked into a well-established community, filled with so many new faces, personalities, abilities, friendships and walks of life… and not once did I feel out of place. Right away, I was welcomed, chatted up and made to feel like I belonged. I want each and every one of you to know that you inspire me, you make me a better person, you make me get out of bed at 4:30am (ok… 4:45am) every morning and haul my ass to the gym to train and be a better me. I couldn’t do it without you.
I competed in the Opens 2017 as a member of 696, but over the last year, by sharing my life with many of you, I feel like I competed in the Opens 2018 as a part of the 696 family. Over the last year, I have laughed with many of you, smiled at all of you and shed tears with a “lucky” few as well. We sweat together, encourage each other, coach each other and stand by holding our breath while we watch each other succeed at things we never thought we would be “good enough” to do. Being part of this community has saved my love for a sport that saved my life. For that, I can not thank you enough.
When the opens ended in 2017, a light ignited within me, my desire to get better, work harder, be stronger was glowing brightly. My family began to thrive on the energy that was coming from our positive experiences within the gym. We were happier. We were stronger. Life was changing.
I made a promise to myself that I was going to work to be the best I could be through the year. I was going to train hard at the things I sucked at. Prove to my boy that when the going gets tough and you are presented with a challenge, you fight. There is nothing you can not do… there are just things you can not do yet. These things, you will need to work harder at. They will hurt and they will be challenging. They will maybe get worse before they get better… and there might be lots and lots of failed attempts… but one day, if you put in the work… it will happen. You will succeed. If you surround yourself with people that share these same goals, they will inspire you. They, without even knowing that they do, will make you try that one last attempt before you quit for the day… or get one more rep before the time runs out. They will give you strength.
With every “first” I witnessed, with every new face in a class, with every PR announced over the year… I got stronger. I wanted to push myself, just as hard. I wanted to give back to the community, my family, as you have done for me. I want to inspire you. I want you to feel what I feel when I see what I see and hear what I hear. I want you to know, that you are making a difference in my life, my workout, my family and my goals.
Our coaching staff is a special group of people… and I strongly feel there are so many “types” of coaches, in and out of the gym. We have that special moment that no other gym I have been to has, where we share something, almost personal, before each workout. Yes, it helps us get to know one another… but in a way, it’s a glimpse for our coaches to know how we function. They get a feel for us. They know what makes our blood pump and what our personality is like, so important for a coach. We are very lucky. The people who dedicate their time daily to encourage us, support us… and kick our asses… they also take the time to get to know us. They invest 100%. They care that we reach for the stars and support us when we miss. They know our goals and want to help us and be there when we reach them.
I might be as transparent as they come. Im competitive, I don’t like to fail, Im sarcastic… and I will probably accept any challenge if you present it to me. Our coaches… they know that. The feed off of that… and they push me exactly how I need to be pushed to reach the goals I have set for myself. They are there for me when I need them. They let me be when I need to be let be… but they are there to encourage me to forge ahead and see the positive side of whatever it is I just failed at. Im pretty sure, that they coach each and every one of us differently. What works for me, wont work for you… and what is amazing… is they know that. The adapt and they learn from you, for you. That is a rare find.
I logged my first CrossFit workout on August 6, 2011. Competed in my first Open in 2012. This year was my 6th Open (I didn’t compete the year Zach was born… he was born the day 15.1 was announced, Dr’s frown upon exercising that soon after birth…). My mindset going in to the Open this year was like no other. This year, was for me. For the first time in 7 years, I knew I put in the work, all year, into my weaknesses. I knew I was going to lay it all on the line. I knew I had the support from my husband, coaches and friends to be the best that I could be. I knew the 365 days leading up to this “test” were frustrating, challenging, exciting, painful and amazing. I was ready.
I may not have reached my goal, but hell, I could not be happier with this years performance. There is not one workout that I did not push to perform at the top of my game. There is not one score that I typed in wishing I had “worked on” whatever skill it was through the off season. There is not one regret. The best part of all, was witnessing all of the amazing work put in by everyone who competed and the crazy amount of support that filled the gym with energy and excitement each day the workouts were completed. I could not have performed how I did, been as satisfied as I was, without you. And, being there to help coach you, cheer you on, and celebrate with you… it made me work harder. It made me be the best I could be.
In closing, CrossFit 696, Thank you. Lets continue to work hard, sweat, cry, bleed, laugh and smile together. Lets continue to be the best people we can be, lets inspire each other, cheer each other on… and hell… lets lift some heavy shit!!
P.S. Chris, I know I dont have to tell you this, but you have a remarkable group of people as members of the 696 community. You do an amazing job and your passion shows with every single class you coach. Thank you for doing what you do.