By Krista Janeczko

One of my favorite things about being a CrossFit coach is having the opportunity to work with new athletes. I love their hesitation and seeing the nervousness so clearly etched into every line on their face. It makes me smile so hard when they say, “I can’t do that” but then 10 minutes later they DO IT. These new faces that walk through our doors know why they’re here. Maybe they’ve been an athlete their whole life and are simply looking for a new workout style to push them. Maybe they’re a mom who has spent the last several years raising children and needs something to connect her to herself again. Or maybe they’ve spent their life in a battle with food on the couch and are finally ready to say enough is enough! Whatever their reason, these new athletes know why they are here. CrossFit sparked them, the flame is burning, they are committed and it is a glorious thing to witness.

But what about the rest of us? What about those of us that have been walking into the same classes for months now? Have you been here a year? Three years? Hell, raise your hand for six! Do YOU remember why you’re here? Has the newness faded? Have you felt the fire dwindling lately? It’s during these times that I like to remind myself of all the things CrossFit has taught me over the years. About myself, about other people, about specific life situations and the general badass feeling that CrossFit gives you, even when you might not be feeling it. Maybe one of these four things will resonate with you. Maybe they all will. But regardless of which speaks to you there is one single truth I want you to take away from this: You belong here. WE are not US without YOU. You are part of this tribe and we love you so hard.

  1. Everything in life has become easier, even the stuff we didn’t realize was hard before.

The elevator is broken and your office is on the 8th floor? You don’t think twice about this now, you just climb. Moving? How many boxes can I carry at once? That dresser doesn’t feel nearly as heavy as the last time I hauled it into the back of a truck. Kids want to play tag? You’re out there running circles around them. Forty-seven bags of groceries in the trunk because you went to the store on an empty stomach again? Watch me farmer carry all of this in one trip. That hour a day you spend inside the box is meant to improve how you live your life on the outside and how you view simple, everyday tasks.  And if that means you no longer dread the above situations then it’s one hundred percent working.

  1. You develop a mental strength you never had before, one you never knew was missing.

We all have days when nothing seems to work out in our favor. Work is overwhelming, that relationship is hard, you feel like you’re failing as a mother, a spouse, a friend. During these times, this is when you dig deep and hang on. It’s my opinion that those hard days, weeks, and sometimes even months can, in a way, become extensions of our workouts and training. All we can do is embrace the suck and just keep going. If there is one common theme that Karen, Fran, Grace, Jackie DT and every single Open workout has taught me it’s this: I CAN DO HARD THINGS. YOU can do hard things. Your body may be strong but your mind will always be stronger.

  1. At some point along this journey, you become an athlete.

Maybe you’ve always been an athlete but for me, sports have never been my thing. I was never good at anything except keeping a bench warm. I couldn’t dribble a basketball, couldn’t throw a softball without hitting myself in the face (NO I don’t want to talk about this OK?) and I certainly couldn’t run or lift anything heavier than an umbrella over my head. When I started CrossFit, I had every expectation of being completely terrible. And for a really long time I was! For the first several months it was hard to hold a PVC pipe over my head, the warm-up alone would crush my soul and let’s just not even talk about squatting to parallel mmmkay? But then one day, and I don’t even really know when this happened, but it got easier. That same warm-up was a breeze, I was adding weight to my barbell, my form was better and my coaches were calling me…an athlete. My point is this: even when it doesn’t feel like it, even when you don’t want to be here, even when it’s hard, even when you just can’t anymore, you ARE getting better. You are an athlete.

  1. When you weren’t even looking, you found a family.

I have saved the best for last. While all the things I have mentioned above are so important, none of them would matter as much if it weren’t for the people that CrossFit has brought into my life. This gym, these people, this community…this is home. This is the space where honest love, compassion and support between people feel most tangible to me. These are the people that have seen me broken and haven’t let me stay that way. I have laughed with them, cried with them, fallen down with them and have gotten back up with them. These people have my back, not just at the gym but in every aspect of my life. Need a babysitter? Check. Need a hand moving that couch? Yup. Need someone to lend you a shoulder and listen? Someone to push you and ask the hard questions? Someone to celebrate with you when something incredible happens? Done, done and done. Never doubt for one second that every single coach and member is happy that YOU are part of this community.

Our promise is this, we will challenge you every single day to be the absolute best version of yourself that you possibly can be. We want to do life with you, inside and outside of these walls. We want to make your bodies stronger and your mind tough as nails. And we want to do it all TOGETHER.