CrossFit Fenway and the historic Fenway ballpark have more in common than just a name. Both are filled with exceptional athletes, both are staffed with phenomenal Coaches and both are supported by the devoted Fenway community.
Eric Siegel, the Affiliate of CrossFit Fenway located in Boston, Massachusetts, said his “old-life” before CrossFit was like many others in the industry. He was an athlete in college, playing soccer and lifting weights. He stayed active after school by competing in a men’s soccer league and by always winning the fitness challenges at his office job.
“One guy was like ‘well you like the crazy workouts, why don’t you check this out’ and he showed me CrossFit.com,” said Siegel. “When I first did it, having played college soccer and run half marathons, I thought I was in good shape – quickly found out there [were] some holes in my game.”
After that he was hooked, devoting so much time to CrossFit his Coach eventually asked him to start training others. Siegel didn’t have any plans to take his love of CrossFit anywhere outside of his own personal fitness. But he had coached before and was willing to take on the challenge of coaching in a new sport.
“And I’ve always enjoyed coaching sports and I’ve always loved fitness,” said Siegel. “So it was just like a light bulb moment when I got the opportunity.”
After coaching friends and family for a while, and seeing how the business worked, Siegel and some others decided to open up CrossFit Fenway. He said at the time there weren’t nearly as many Affiliates as there are now, and he feels that so many of the new Boxes popping up have strayed from what CrossFit was originally all about.
They are focusing more on trying to provide services like a traditional health club instead of focusing on the community and good coaching. Siegel says that CrossFit Fenway has stayed true to its roots from the beginning, which is what makes it unique.
“We are just CrossFit. We have an awesome community, we have good coaching and we are just an old-school CrossFit Box,” said Siegel. “If that’s for you, if you want a lot of attention on you when you’re in class, if you want to work hard and also have some fun, maybe party hard when it’s time to party after a competition, then you’ll fit in here.”
But just because they are an “old-school Box” doesn’t mean they are only dedicated to high-end competitive athletes said Siegel. While many in the Box strive to compete, he said they don’t push people to do so.
“We’re very proud of our very strong, very fit female athletes across the board. But we try to be very open, welcoming and encouraging,” said Siegel. “Whatever someone’s background is, wherever somebody’s coming from, that’s not what we’re focused on. What’s important to us is that they want to come in, they want to get fit and they want to work hard.”