If there’s one thing that you’re taught when you’re working towards a Marketing Concentration in an accredited MBA program, it’s that strategic business decisions should be driven by data-substantiated consumer insights. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a business owner, it’s that many of the data-mining techniques commonly taught in B-School are completely and totally impractical in the real-world, and that few things better afford you consumer insights than a candid, casual conversation with one of your clients in which one carefully listens to what they have to say. Case-in-point: Prior to a recent evening class, I had the opportunity to chat candidly with one of our longest-standing clients. In addition to the normal pleasantries, we also were discussing some of the impressive numbers that’d been posted on the board earlier in the day. It was during this conversation that they shared with me a profound insight that both Meghan and I can honestly say that we had completely overlooked. While I can’t recall the exact words that were used, the general gist of the comment was something along the following lines: “We have a LOT of competitors now. Now that the focus (of the gym) is on competition, It’s a lot different than it used to be!”

In no way was the comment intended to a criticism of either our community or program. In fact if anything, the sentiments were complimentary. Nevertheless, they gave me pause, and have challenged Meghan and I to reflect quite a bit on our goals and mission.

We’ve never thought of ourselves as a Competitive CrossFit gym, at least in the sense that we don’t emphasize, prioritize, or promote competitive CrossFit Programming and training over general fitness and/or performance training. Do we offer programming for individuals whose goals include CrossFit competitions? Absolutely. We also offer training programs for individuals who:

  • Are looking to lose baby weight;
  • Seniors who’re combating the effects of aging;
  • Current athletes seeking to elevate their game;
  • Former athletes who no longer compete, but who want some of the competitive elements afforded by group/team training;
  • Are tired of slogging through hours on the elliptical, treadmill, or stair-climber, only to not receive the benefits they’re seeking;
  • Are looking for an exercise program that can serve as the catalyst for a whole host of life changes;

Along with everyone else in-between.

 Bottom-line: Our mission is to help anyone – from the 80 year-old grandmother trying to keep up with her grandkids, to the aspiring NHL hopeful, the the next CrossFit Games Champion – achieve their fitness and/or performance goals by providing both individual and group-training programs that combine scientifically-proven, evidence passed principles of exercise physiology with elements of the CrossFit methodology. We value and celebrate each of these goals equally. We DO NOT, in any way, wish to prioritize one type of training over another, or to create an environment and/or community that leads folks to believe that we cater to a specific crowd.

Currently, we have a solid group of individuals whose goals revolve around competitive CrossFit – more than we’ve had in quite some time. When combined with other factors like space, rapid-growth, and a growing coaching staff, it’s easy to see where folks could get the sense that our emphasis has changed, and that we’re amending our initial mission statement. To be clear: We have not; we are not. To ensure that we’re remaining true to our mission, we’ve begun instituting some slight changes to both the programming, schedule, and our class administration protocols. Some of you have noticed these changes, and have welcomed them. Others of you may not have noticed anything at all, which is fine too. None of these changes should really require anything more from any of you beyond what you’re currently doing. If we could ask anything of you, it’d simply be that you:

  1. Take a look at the post we’ve put up RE: Class Etiquette. The more familiar we are with our house rules, the more everyone benefits;
  2. Create new goals for yourself. One of the few drawbacks of training within an energized, motivating, and inspiring  community is that it can be easy to confuse your goals with those of your training partners. If you want to see improvements, then you need to focus on the things YOU need to do in order to become a better athlete, not the things that everyone else seems to be working on. Remember that everyone you are training with has their own respective weaknesses, goals, and strengths, and that they’re putting their needs first, just as you should put your needs first. Even in cases when you have the same goal as another athlete, recognize that what you need to work on might be different from what they need to work on. Example: Pretend you and a friend are both trying to improve your back squat. You may find that you’re having trouble getting into and out-of the pocket. They, on the other hand, have a decent range of motion, but can’t move much weight. Even though you’re both working towards the same objective, you each need to be working on VERY different things. They may need more core work and absolute strength, while you need to focus on mobility and positional strength. Accordingly, when squats come up in a workout, each of you should have a different approach. They may need more weight on the barbell than you do; you may need a modified movement, or to do drills and skill work in lieu of working with a loaded barbell. In order to help everyone stay objective with their goals, we’ve decided to make some changes in how we use the goal board. We’ve cleared it of all old/defunct goals: by the end of next week (2/20), we’d like to see it populated with new ones. We, your coaches, will help you track towards these goals. In addition to using the blog and Facebook to remind you of your commitments out of class, we’ll also ask you to check with those goals prior to each class. This will help remind you to FOCUS on the specific things YOU need to do in each workout in order to see the improvements you’d like.
  3. Be a Competitor…with yourself. Don’t get distracted by what other folks are doing. They’re working on their goals. Instead of looking at what THEY’RE doing, focus on what YOU’RE doing to achieve YOUR goals.
  4. Share your thoughts with us. We want to know what you’re thinking; we want to hear your feedback, good or bad. Does it feel like your training goals are being pushed aside? Let us know. If so, something is probably wrong, and we want to fix it…however we can’t fix things that we don’t know about. All of you contain the thoughts and insights that we need to take both your performance and our business to the next level. We can’t wait to get there with you.