How CrossFit and Peru Go Together

Seven days. Fifty miles. Climbing to heights of 16,000+ feet.

Yesterday, I returned from a two-week trip to Peru. I had always dreamed of seeing Machu Picchu, one of the seven modern wonders of the world. Don’t ask me why; I don’t have a profound reason. It was simply intriguing — an archaeological site built by an ancient civilization in the mountains of South America.

I mean, what isn’t alluring about that?

After my friend and I had talked about it for a year, we finally decided to do it. And we didn’t want to just do the classic four-day Inca Trail trek to the citadel; no, we wanted to go all out. We booked a seven-day hike through the wilderness.

To say it was a challenge is an understatement. Try hiking 10 to 12 miles a day with 15 pounds on your back at elevations of 16,000 feet, or going up — and then down — ancient stone stairs for 10 hours.

However, here is where CrossFit comes in. Before ever finding my Box and CrossFit, I thought about Machu Picchu and hiking the four-day classic Inca Trail, but I wondered if I actually could. Then I started training and getting stronger through my gym. Finally, I realized I might not die.

And when I booked the trip, voicing my worries about how hard it would be, my Coaches encouraged me. They said I was strong and capable. Even when I made it to Cusco, Peru, and felt like the altitude was going to take me down that first day — one flight of stairs and I was winded — my Coach texted me: “I have no doubts that you are going to kick that hike’s butt tomorrow and the next six days.”

She encouraged me from all the way back in America, telling me I could do it. How’s that for coaching?

So, what’s my point besides bragging about my accomplishment and telling you I had an epic adventure for two weeks?

Well, I really just want to reiterate the fact of what a powerful impact you are having on your members. And not just during that one-hour class. I will say it again and again: this is a business about relationships. About improving quality of life. You are impacting them in numerous ways and helping them live the way they were made to live.

My adventure in Peru makes me think of Windy City CrossFit’s LiveBIG motto. They challenge members and Coaches to use their fitness outside of the gym. Owner Justin Marcis understands the training he provides is bettering lives beyond the Box.

How are you encouraging your members to use their fitness? What goals are they striving for outside of your Box? Remember that one hour of their day is just a small part of the bigger picture of a member’s life. Find out what they are striving for and encourage them along the way.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at