I said to them “I just need a place to do the Open workouts, I’m not looking to workout here. I have my own gym at home. I just needed someone to be affiliated with to do the Open”.
Luckily, Frank and Michaela showed to me the lack of judgement I would later learn through this experience.
Truth was I really wasn’t a fan of CrossFit as a whole. I thought the sport/athletic practice was full of a bunch of ego driven bros, with poor attitudes and unrealistic expectations of everybody. To be fair, my sample size was small. In 2007, when I was training athletes, I needed a stress outlet. So, I got into MMA, and started training in jiu jitsu at a gym next door to a CrossFit box. There were several of my gym mates that started doing CrossFit next door as a strength and conditioning program. What happened was it was one of these boxes where it didn’t matter who you were, the coaches were requiring RX weight and you needed to go hard. I quickly took this as the theme for all of CrossFit and as I saw these individuals constantly getting hurt my destain for the sport grew.
Little did I know this was really an isolated location with poor ownership/coaches, and CrossFit as a whole was all about scaling, conforming to your abilities and slowly building functional fitness at your pace.
As I did the Open workouts with the CrossFit community that first year I saw a completely different side than my previous experience. I saw less ego and more camaraderie, athletes at all levels, and a group that accepted me (the only wheelchair athlete they had experienced) with open arms. It made me desire to be a part of their community and I quickly shifted my attitude and began to train at Snake River CrossFit on a daily basis.
What a slice of humble pie, its incredible when I think about what I could have missed out on by being quick to judgement. I had completely closed myself off for years to something I realize now could have been such a huge part of my life, as it is now.
Remember in the last blog entry (in the beginning) when I discussed not always understanding our path? We sometimes think we’re led one direction for a reason, but turns out to be for something completely different. I never would have imagined my dream to train full time as a high level would be from a wheelchair. And more so, I never thought it would be CrossFit. It’s quite ironic to think the sport I excel at is one that I had such a bad taste for previously.
I thank God I was given an opportunity to have my eyes opened and my perspective changed. It has definitely taught me to look into the book, rather than immediately make a hasty view based on the cover. There can be more under the surface then we see. Heck, maybe our judgement is accurate?! But I know think I would rather no for sure instead of writing things, situations, people off and possibly missing out.