A 13.1 Mile Realization

CrossFit and caring.The finish line was in sight. Rain was pouring down, but it didn’t matter: my clothes were soaked, my shoes holding so much water I felt like my feet were swimming in their own fish tank.

Despite the rain and the fact that I had already run 13 miles and had 0.1 miles to go, I felt good. Yes, my legs shook as I picked up my pace towards the end. Yes, I was wetter than a whale. But, compared to the first half marathon I ran, this one was almost easy.

Why? Because of CrossFit.

My parents say I’m a walking advertisement for CrossFit. Every person I meet, if they ask me about what I do, it eventually leads to, “You should try CrossFit because it’s incredible and will change your life.” The half marathon only strengthened that belief in me.

In the past three months, I’ve had less than ample time to train for the race. Between foul weather, injuries and my crazy schedule, my long runs were lacking. However, I felt completely comfortable approaching my Coach at CrossFit Regeneration about the issues I was having. He was more than happy to help and give advice, both for my calf injury and on ideas for better pacing.

Even with his words and encouragement, I was petrified when race day came. I had only run eight miles up to that point and was wondering how I could tack on five more. But, the first five flew by, and before I knew it, I had reached the halfway point at Churchill Downs. Not only was I physically stronger than I had ever been before, but I was mentally stronger as well.

Your members have all kinds of goals. Whether it be running a half marathon or just getting through the day without pain, each person is different. So, what matters is asking and following up. Beyond the physical gains I’ve made, I think one reason I am such an advocate for CrossFit is the Coaches and community I now have access to and am a part of. Whenever my Coach asked how my calf was, I felt like he remembered and cared. When I ran 13.1 miles without stopping or walking — which had been my goal — I told my Coach because I knew he would celebrate in my triumph with me.

Caring can go a long way, especially in this day and age when a lot of face-to-face interactions and personal relationships seem to be slipping beneath technology and daily life. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you and your Coaches care. On top of the strengthening of the body and improve quality of life, this can be the third overwhelming factor that leads to your members sticking around and sharing stories about your Box.

Maybe it’s time to attack your membership base with a new strategy. Maybe it’s time to make sure each of your members is attached to at least one Coach, if not more. Yes, building community among members is key, but you and your Coaches need to be added into that mix as well.

CrossFit has changed my life for the better. I will tell anyone and everyone who listens. However, along the way I will credit my Coaches and my gym. And if that isn’t a contagious message (see my last six blogs), I don’t know what is.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.