7 years ago. I finished Blast Off and made Celia touch a barbell for the first time. She hated it.
Okay, it’s been 7 years. SEVEN YEARS that Rocket CrossFit has been open. That’s amazing to me. I can’t count (mostly because we’ve changed software systems a few times) how many people have been through our doors. It’s humbling. I’m even more humbled by the ones who walked through when we first opened, and are still with us.
I’ve learned a lot of life lessons. None of which are specific to running a gym, all of which seem to be good life rules in general.
Brady, getting a 15# PR on his clean.
SUPPORT THE DREAMERS. They’re the ones who will change the world. Rocket is, and always will be, the truest manifestation of my husband, Brady. We went on our first date the same week that he opened the doors to Rocket. As we sipped our first (of millions of) cups of coffee together, he rambled on about the power of community. About this workout that was efficient and powerful, but that was much more about relationships, and supporting each other. How people who live near each other but don’t know each other will create community and support each other outside the gym. About helping people through disease and injury and addiction. About how people of any shape, size and condition can be on a “team” together and that’s how we save the world. I’m always willing to admit that I thought he was a delusional (but smokin’ hot) hippie who was going to be very disappointed. 7 years later, he was right. We’ve done all that, and more. I have never experienced anything like this, and I’m hooked. We must always support the dreamers. If they can see it, find the path, and we support them, they will change the world.
Even our walls were broken, back in the day.
WE ARE ALL BROKEN. Our bodies are broken. Our souls are broken. I have yet to have one single person who didn’t have some sort of body or soul owie that we didn’t have to work around. The physical ones are easy, we can scale any move. Hell, I did CrossFit with one arm for almost 2 years while waiting for each shoulder to be surgically repaired from injuries I sustained long before CrossFit. The emotional ones are harder to scale for, until you realize that all you have to do is be there with an open heart. I literally cannot count the number of times people have cried in the gym. Sometimes from stuff happening outside the gym, sometimes from doing – or not being able to do – something in the gym. And then they go to our secret Facebook page and say “thanks for letting me cry” and dozens of people chime in, supporting them, and then I cry like a baby. Or like a grown ass adult who is moved to tears by the power of people being raw, honest and open. These are not things that I ever associated with a gym. I thought gyms were about shame, fear and towel-snapping.
First workout ever in Rocket, Ryan!
THE MYTH OF THE BEST IS KILLING US. As a society, we are totally focused on being the best. It’s an unnecessary hierarchy that inherently creates masses of people who feel like losers and a handful of winners who have to do anything possible to stay on top, lest they be treated like the losers they created. We focus on having more money, more muscles, more toys more….. It is killing us. We are stressed, depressed and in debt in pursuit of the myth of the best, as proven by having the most. At Rocket, we ask people to track their progress and workouts in an app so that they can be tuned in with their process. But we will often go months without writing scores on the ubiquitous white boards, because for many people, comparing themselves to others is really harmful. It will, physically, cause people to do sloppy reps in pursuit of getting the most reps. Emotionally, it can be a constant reminder for some of “not being good enough.” So we go back and forth. Personally, I always put a smiley face on the board, because I’m just happy, truly, to have this place.
Any random day at Rocket CrossFit, awesome people fitnessing together.
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE. I get bored really easily. I have not yet gotten bored with CrossFit, because it’s different every time. But also, repetitive stress injury is a thing. And no, we’re not immune to it in CrossFit either. But I believe, with all my heart, that the diversity of training in CrossFit not only reduces such mundane injuries, but makes us stronger humans over all. If I gave into my tendencies, I would do nothing but watch TV on an elliptical trainer every day. Because, my dirty little secret is that I don’t really like to exercise. But CrossFit is shit tons of fun, I don’t have to think, and I use my muscles and joints in ways that I wouldn’t otherwise. Which, in turn, makes me more able to do things I enjoy, like Paddle Boarding and gardening and….. my body is truly ready for whatever life throws at it.
When I look at my life right now, I am just blown away with blessings. I am so fortunate. I feel so connected to my community, so safe and empowered in my body. So much of it came from Rocket CrossFit. Hell, our daughter is in college on a Weightlifting scholarship because she discovered Oly lifting at Rocket. The people who make my daily life easier, happier and more fun, mostly came to me through CrossFit – both at Rocket and elsewhere.
Happy anniversary, Rocket. And happy anniversary to the drop-dead delicious blue-eyed dreamer with the most expansive heart I’ve ever known. You, Brady, are a beacon of love and compassion in a world that doesn’t seem to understand the power of either.
We are stronger together. All of us.