Being one to point out and roll their eyes at cliches, Ill be the first to admit that the heartstring pulls that come with owning a business like this are true as hell. Seeing the determination of others you know or have no clue who they are will get me going for years to come.
The Open 2016 was one of those events in my life where I realized, albeit it late, a shift had happened in my life and the life of this community. I still get goosebumps thinking about seeing 30+ names on the board at Canal Park for the first day of the Open, then hearing that 50+ people showed up at Woburn, mix of new and veteran Openers (Openees?). Over 30% of our community, half of which coming from a brand new gym, signing up for an unknown test that was an experience like none other for most. Heart. Determination. Conquering fear. Pant tightening immediately.
That afternoon was definitely one of those times where I took a brief moment to myself to soak in what had just gone on. Mainly that two communities of people had just completed their first Open WOD, every one of them in some way an athlete I coached and influenced in their fitness journey. Another “moment” came with the realization that one entire part of my business, one of the gym locations, operated completely independently of me. This was something that 3 years ago I never would have imagined happening as I micromanaged every aspect of everything short of what color underwear Stacey could wear (still an argument I don’t have control of). This place as changing, or at least I was now realizing it.
It might seem dumb that it took me this long, but I think what you all would be most surprised with is how normal expanding this business was. With that said absolutely nothing was normal in any way shape or form, but it’s like time stopped and we were able to look at a sign that said “Hey, your business is changing, and so is your life!”. Nope, it was just all the sudden I was coaching 20+ classes a week again, staff meetings were a lot harder to schedule, names were impossible to know, and I had to learn how to flow a class in a much smaller and different layout of a gym space. When I think of it it was just like Woburn 3 years ago. We missed an inspection from the wonderful inspection services department in Woburn for 3 straight days, then one magical Thursday we got occupancy and ran a class that night. Went to sleep on that Wednesday night like every night before, went to sleep on Thursday night the owner of an operating CrossFit Gym. If I had to say one thing about the life of a small business owner it’s that the changes, or the realization of the changes, happen very much so after the fact.
The Open marked the moment when I really got hit with how much our business changed, and with it our community, my life, and the people that made up both all changed. All of the sudden we had to re-explain what the Open was, that CrossFit even had a competition season that was on ESPN, that yes, EVERYONE could do it. It was fun, invigorating, and uplifting to see all these newbies getting into a competition for the first time ever and truly surprising themselves. It was so cool to contrast this new blood beginning with the returning warriors of Woburn. While there were obviously plenty of newbies that brought the same pleasure in watching, being year 3 it was invigorating to see so many people going at this with goals that were a year in the making. Heck some of you Woburn Landos I remember graduating to no band pull-ups and now beat me in the MU WOD. That is because I didn’t do the MU WOD. That is because I can’t do MUs anymore. So much about the Open was special. Yes, I said it was special. I am the living cliche about what opening your own business does to your goals, dreams, and immediate plans for things like date night with the wife, when you can watch your favorite TV show (or have favorite TV show), or when to sleep. I still haven’t slept (much). It wasn’t until these 5 weeks that I realized that…
…I need to cut the shit. I own a business and one that has 2 locations with all the fitness in the world in the walls. Yet because I lost some time in the day I let myself gain 50#, yes I gained f**king 50# since last February, and totally lost my ability as an athlete. Shit this dude QUALIFIED FOR REGIONALS AND THE GAMES, yet I couldn’t make it out of round 1 of WOD #2/16.2, and threw a hissy fit after. James Spina thanks for dealing with me acting younger than you. As I sifted through my thoughts and feelings about the Open I realized so much of what was holding me up was I was ashamed of what I let happen when I watched all of you achieve what I helped guide you to achieve. I guarantee many of you have it harder day to day than I do. Maybe you complain as much as me just don’t have a blog to do it on.
I wish I could say this was a catalyst for me to turn it around and qualify for Lando 2017. I can’t say that. I can say that the 5 weeks of the Open certainly made me remember why I opened this business in the first place : The People. All of you. The ones I love, the ones I hate, the ones who hate me, the latter even more, all of you are the reason why me, this staff, and everyone like us do it.
Just see the board on day 1 of the Open when you own the affiliate and try to not be inspired.
Reminder : No Bootcamp Sprint at CP for AM. Woburn will be doing CF AMRAP
Strength : Power Snatch + OHS
EMOM 12m, 1 Power Snatch + 2 Overhead Squat
WOD : 5 Rounds
10 Snatch Balance 95/65
15 KB Swings 53/35
S : 65/45 OHS, 36/25
L1 : 75/55
Rx+: 135/95, 70/53
1. Strength and WOD Rx+
2. Snatch Deadlift