It’s been one year…

since the first session at CFCC.

Check out the month of January ’09 to see how it all started.
One year ago, Greg and I were sleeplessly getting CFCC ready – green-tinted walls and all – for the people we knew that would fill the room. We had found this space after Meghan Waldeck alerted me (Erin) to the possibility of renting it from the kids gym upstairs. Ross Wilken had been emailing me for a while to see if there was a CrossFit gym in Philly in the works. Patti had been blowing her competition out of the water in a CrossFit workshop I taught at 12th Street Gym – and Sam had been patiently pining for somewhere other than a park to learn the O-Lifts.

While Greg and I had both been doing CrossFit-style workouts for a while and using them with many of our personal clients we had both dreamed of someday having a space to call our own – and a place to give to all of these people. We did have some idea that all of you were out there, and we could only begin to imagine what might happen if we gave you a space, an arena, where you could grow, learn, lift, laugh, and get around to generally doing the impossible.

We could never have anticipated what this space would become. Besides the obvious physical expansions and member growth, we have had the absolute privilege of fostering an army of speedy power-lifting crazies out of ordinary people. No offense to those that prefer to do other things, but what we do in this room is extraordinary.

It is not ordinary to feel meaningfully attached to a sandbag – but we have many men and women here who have had to, with great ceremony, bid farewell to the 50, and hello to the 75.

It is not normal to spend two days after Christmas screaming your head off at some stranger you met in your gym who you REALLY want to PR – because now you know what it means to “PR”… and you’re pretty sure it means a lot to both of you.

It is not entirely typical to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to have someone teach you how to olympic lift – especially, pre-coffee. It’s not really any more casual to come in after a hard day at work before dinner!

It is not everyday that you see men and women doing pull-ups and push-ups with a sacred integrity – no matter how tired they are.

I don’t think it’s given that a person having pain putting their arms over their head could be close to pressing 2/3 her bodyweight within half a year, or that someone who could not sleep at night due to back pain could be back squatting, deadlifting, and pressing over 400lbs totalled.

You cannot expect your average person to simply accept something like “Eva” and continue on until completed at which point they will eagerly turn around and heartily encourage anyone not yet finished.

There are definitely moments when I wonder what would have happened if Greg and I hadn’t had that first conversation about whether or not opening a CrossFit gym in Center City was a possibility.

I feel like I would be less of a person if I hadn’t seen Shana, Jonah, Katy, Caitlin, and KD bust a move mid-WOD (you know you would be too). I swear I would be weaker having not met Nick, Angie, and Carol. Without Mike Protevi, well, life just wouldn’t be the same (there would be a significant lack of blue socks, Neko Case, and it would be even messier in here than it already is sometimes). I’m pretty sure I would not know how to properly lift a sandbag without Meg and Karis. I can’t imagine Rachel, Mike Price, and Dave Murray without pullups, Karol without front squats, or Maayan without a press. Liz, Noreen, and Lishego hauling through a workout alone just wouldn’t be right and Travis doing whatever he used to do before he entered his role of “quietest beast at cfcc” is just WEIRD. I really wouldn’t want to miss Wally’s improving squat, Kelsey’s giddy excitement at landing a perfect jerk, or Mike and Christine Mackintosh’s morning antics. I don’t really know what Brian and Ryan would be getting themselves into without CrossFit – but it definitely wouldn’t have been their signature shorts, or deeper squats. I can’t imagine not knowing Anahi’s courage under heavy weight in a metcon, or Niveen’s burning desire to be better.

It’s all stuff that I can’t imagine not having witnessed. And for all the new CFCC-ers, I’ve seen the beginnings of the same kind of stuff. All of you are coming in here to express, not only athleticism, but yourselves.

What we do is not normal, and it not for everyone – but for those that have wandered in here and found a place to call yours – we want to thank you for giving us the unmatched privilege of training you and training with you. There aren’t many things in life that you can count on to dramatically change when you put your mind to them, but this has turned into a community of people that are capable of not only creating change, but expecting it and, very simply, encouraging each other toward it. That’s huge – and a rarity… it’s not normal, and it’s not for everyone – but it is for those who want it.

Greg and I wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks AND congratulations… it’s been a year of firsts and so many things that we couldn’t have anticipated or deserved. You have no idea what a real pleasure it is for us to see you learn new things and tromp all over your weaknesses. We are absolutely ecstatic for year two, and cannot even imagine what 12 more months of CrossFit will do for some of you!

-Erin and Greg

“Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional.” – Unknown.

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