Practice CrossFit (OH).
Almost ten years ago I said, "I want to open a gym." Two short years later my Mom sent me a card that said "I know you will have your gym one day." I still have that card. Four years ago I opened Practice CrossFit in part because I never stopped believing I could, but also because I surrounded myself with people who believed in me.
The first day on "MY GYM FLOOR" was more special than I could have dreamed. I remember how the new rubber mats smelled, and now every time I smell fresh out the bag stall mats I think of that day. The sound of the first bumpers hitting the floor was better than any music I had ever heard. Throwing "MY DOOR" open on the first day, writing on a virgin white board, witnessing our first sweat angel was a feeling I pray my friends will experience. I pray I can help them experience that.
The second day on "MY GYM FLOOR" was less special. I learned what paying bills is. I learned what it means to sign a lease that favors the lessor, not the lessee. I learned what paying a loan back feels like. I learned what freezing your pipes costs when you try to save money on heat in the winter, in Ohio. I learned that everyone else expected me to run a business when all I wanted was to follow my heart.
Stubbornly I fought this by becoming a better doer. Even the midst of quality folks that I continued to meet everyday . . . I still did everything. I programmed, I trained, I cleaned, I payed, I performed maintenance, I negotiated, I wrote articles, I studied, I edited, and I created web sites. I did it all. All the things I hated, along with the things I loved. In my effort to shine, I overshadowed the light of those around me that I cared for. By spreading myself to thin I prevented others from spreading out at all.
"You canʼt teach class today, you have a meeting," my partner said after looking at our schedule." I broke. When I opened my box I said to myself, "No one will tell me what to do regarding my passion again," and yet there I was, letting myself be controlled because of my selfish actions. Here I was confining myself because I could not give up control, because I would not take the time to recognize the people around me for who they truly were . . . passionate humans, just like me.
That night I sat down and wrote out every position pertaining to running a CF. Then I wrote the ones I was unwilling to give up. Training athletes, writing, nutrition and having time available to be that therapist that every trainer is no matter what they say topped my "must do" list. Everything else, had to go. But to who?
Performing business task doesnʼt grow a business, it lets the doors remain open so the people within can grow their passion. I delegated tasks to my partner who should have had them all along. It was my fault he didnʼt. Other valued trainers were almost overjoyed when I approached them to help me, to help our community. But holes remained. Someone somewhere was not being utilized. I was still failing to take advantage of the potential everyone else had. The people I loved so much . . . my CFers.
The crack heard round the box . . .
At the very end of a day's worth of "Cindy" PRʼs, our pull-up bar snapped. Not like fell on someone snapped, like just a big pop and weird shifting of torque. Our pull-up bar holds 36 athletes . . . apparently it had carried its weight long enough.
A CFer of ours said, "Hey let me fix that." I actually paused. "I am suppose to help him, I'm to be the one with the solution, I am supposed to save." I tell people every day to leave their ego at the CrossFit door, yet I was the one who couldnʼt give up my own. "Sure," I finally said. The next day our pull-up bar no longer rocked. My friend welded supports to every location necessary and presented an interesting problem to me. Can I relinquish control enough to let someone else shine with something they were clearly meant to shine at? Better yet, can I help them shine more, like my friends so long ago, helped me?
A vibrant, yet unconfident athlete came to us some time later. She wanted the world as we all do. She wanted what she saw in CFers around her. She wanted better. Her shell began to fall by the wayside just as her layers and layers of clothes did, the better and better shape she became. In the past I would have loved that alone, but thankfully, I am so very different.
I recognized in her the ability to do all these things, while she can simultaneously make others believe they can do the same. Others, mainly women, who have never believed in themselves before. I nudged her until it became pushing her to be the leader she had always had the ability to be. I learned, I can just point the weapon, someone else can shoot it.
I began to pause long enough to see the truth my friends had inside them. The truth many were entirely unaware of, or worse yet, no one there to ever believe in them enough to let them use it.
Today we have grown a couple CrossFit affiliates from our box. We recognized others should be teaching CF to the world. We let them shine.
Today we have a manufacturer who customizes pull-up bars for CFs. He makes a rig just for them, and often times itʼs their first bar, for their first pull-ups.
Today we have a strong woman, who through CF, has learned her ability to consult and help others overcome tribulation. She is developing charities, and giving hope far past the WOD floor.
Today we have a baker who makes "Paleo-inspired treats." She is going into a chain store that will carry her gluten-free, Paleo-inspired goods. Sheʼs improving the world.
These are just some passions created within our doors. Doors that are no different than the 3000+ doors we have as one big community today.
The lesson I am most thankful for in my CrossFit Affiliate career to date, is getting out of the way. To teach a CJ is cool, to learn what burns inside of the ones you love is awesome, to throw gas on that fire and stand back to let it shine is blessed.Posted by Lisbeth at December 3, 2011 12:05 AM