For some, a love affair with CrossFit is instantaneous — occurring during their first WOD. For others, that love takes time to germinate and grow into a true passion.
San Francisco CrossFit Coach John Leo Post, 28, fits into the second group. At first, he wasn’t a fan of the intensity that CrossFit is known for. “It wasn’t until I committed to a consistent program that I really got it,” said Post.
That commitment was spurred when Post and his friends, part of a group called The Modern Gypsies, got the opportunity to compete on ABC’s adventure series, Expedition Impossible. The show followed several teams over 10 stages of competition. The grand prize: $ 150,000. According to Post, CrossFit was a big part of their training for the race. “We won nine out of 10 stages of the race, leading to victory,” said Post.
Now, Post uses CrossFit to train for the adventures he and The Modern Gypsies encounter during the filming of their web series, Compassionate Adventure. During each “adventure,” The Modern Gypsies journey to a part of the world in need to provide a specific service or aid. For example, in Compassionate Adventure Ecuador, The Modern Gypsies brought clean water to an indigenous community of over 500 people. The series’ fans get to vote on what the group will do next, help raise funds, and of course, watch The Modern Gypsies in action through live tracking, social media and videos.
“CrossFit has helped us prepare for crazy, diverse, unexpected situations,” said Post. “Recently, while hunting with the Ogiek tribe in Kenya, we were collecting honey 50 feet up a tree when the bees decided they didn’t like the smell of foreigners. We were swarmed and had to climb out of the tree and sprint through the jungle, jumping over fallen trees and rivers to get away. I wouldn’t have wanted to be any slower than I am.”
In addition to helping Post escape a hoard of swarming insects, CrossFit has impacted his life in other ways. “CrossFit has been a gateway drug to an entire lifestyle,” he said. “CrossFit is a reminder to eat well, sleep well, train well [and] to not get too stressed out. CrossFit has been a great tool that’s helped me accomplish bigger goals and to get more out of life.”
For many Coaches, using CrossFit as a tool to help athletes get the most out of their life, and workouts, is a common goal. Though Coaches have different styles, Post believes they should have a few key things in common. “All Coaches need to have a good eye for movement, to be able to communicate changes and to be able to appropriately judge the ability level and stage of development of their athletes. Giving the appropriate amount of information to an athlete at an appropriate time in development is a skill a good Coach is constantly on a quest to improve.”
Whether coaching at San Francisco CrossFit or traveling for Compassionate Adventure, Post never ceases to be impressed by the sense of bonding and community that CrosssFit fosters. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from,” said Post. “If you CrossFit, you have some sort of connection to every other CrossFitter around the world.”