Lots of roads lead to fitness and accomplishment. The "many ways to skin a cat" adage is accurate. Although I really hope no cats were ever skinned. Interesting, that statement.. Anyway the point here is the process, and the path chosen. I seem to have had an increasing number of conversations lately regarding the open source of CrossFit and knowledge. This theorem creates an phenomena where Ive never seen such a large group of individuals with collective knowledge, sharing and working together to move everyone forward.
Coaches, Trainers, etc fall into in my opinion; new and old method. The old method of training, coaching, and developing was an otherwise closed field in which you protected your knowledge because that is how you derived your value. What you knew made you special, and the degree of which made you valuable over the competition. The new method is quite the opposite. An open source model that I think many of you are unaware of. This, no matter what you do for fitness is unarguably the result of CrossFit, 100%.
Many will find success in simply training an individual. I can absolutely help you arrive at your goals with you being none the wiser as to how we did it. Except for some sweat, and personal breakdowns. The other option is to lead with education first, a why to every how. An explanation before declaration. This is how we do things, this is the CrossFit Model, this is the Paradigm Shift. This is not the norm outside these walls. Something I often forget or take for granted. Having met hundreds, or thousands of coaches from varying backgrounds serves as a reminder. The industry is changing, albeit slowly, but changing none the less. Some are trying to clone, copy, or emulate, others are changing themselves. The later creating far more success. This however isn't about other people. Its about what we think makes us different, what we think makes us Coaches and not Trainers.
A Confession, I've never been good at much, great at nothing. Ive failed at a lot of things, learned some lessons sure, but Ive never been "the guy". I certainly was not your definitive athlete growing up, I was just plain awkward. I never had abs, a muscular build, or any respectable amount of athleticism. Enter my 20's and that got worse. Bad habits went worse, and so did my health. Somewhere at rock bottom I found this website, CrossFit.com. Tried a workout, admittedly nearly died, got written up by my globo gym, and never looked back. That was 11 years ago. Obviously you're reading this on my website, clearly CrossFit changed my life. Just how it did that is the unique part.
Ive never been good at much, because I have the willpower of an addict, and attention span of dog. I love the beginnings, and never saw the ends. Big eyes and a weak heart I guess. I always fell in love with ideas, without the strength to follow through. ON EVERYTHING! Little did I know what a bunch of short miserable workouts would do for my character, my work ethic, my mental fortitude, and perseverance. This might sound "hokey" but its as real as I can get.
CrossFit first worked by breaking me. No, not injury, but Emotionally, mentally, egotistically. Growing up quite insecure, those insecurities created a false wall of arrogance. I hated myself so I never could bare hearing anyone else tell me what I did wrong. The funny thing about CrossFit is somewhere in those 5 rounds of something, no one needs to yell at you to tell you you need to be better. You become hyper aware.. Through years of struggle, came progress. Facing your weakness everyday will change a man. I often forget how easy the world makes it to avoid your weakness. Having faced myself for 11 years now, I have become a much better man. This is thanks to CrossFit.
CrossFit next worked by teaching me commitment. Easily one of the things I struggled with most in any goal. I never could stick something out. If it wasn't boredom that beat me, it was frustration, or arrogance. Showing up everyday was once the hardest thing I had ever done, soon it became harder not to show up. Not at all because it was fun, but because I began to learn that struggles and obstacles are the way. Any day I didn't show up, I made a decision to be closer to the old me, and I had done too much work to let that happen. This came as a physical reminder every time I let one rest day turn to two, then three and maybe throw a weekend in. Id walk in on monday, and by the end vow to never take time off again. Except I still did. Sometimes for months. Old habits die hard. I wanted to Hate CrossFit, I couldn't break it. Instead it broke me, taught me the hard way, the only way to accomplish anything is to work my ass off, and do it every damn day.
CrossFit next taught me patience. Id be lying if I said I didn't think I could do this for a month or two, get jacked and go back to being a slug. I wanted to do the minimum, absolutely. I deplored that no matter what the goal I set, CrossFit showed me that theres only one road to it. Virtuosity, and that road takes a long time. The hardest part was realizing how much of my life I spent trying to cheat the pursuit, hoping Id just arrive without the struggle. Every knew skill I learned quickly in CrossFit, I inevitably have had to relearn the "right way". Some skills still elude me. I am ok with that though, Im on the right road. Sounds kind of like "Life" huh?
CrossFit most importantly taught me. Not only was it changing me as a person physically, psychologically, emotionally, and aspirationally. It was also teaching me. Without an expanse of physical experience in my background I had to learn everything. Without being an athlete I had to learn everything. Without a coach, I had to learn everything. I didn't have the luxury of a CrossFit Gym 11 years ago, not like you guys do now. I only had the website CrossFit.com, the journal, and the Forum. Yes, a forum. This forum was for all intents and purposes my gym. This was my community that drove me forward when I just wanted to quit. This was my first exposure to an open source model of information.
At the time I was already a Gymnastics coach, and a self taught one. Trying to be an autodidact in the Gymnastics world, is all but impossible. No one ever wanted to teach me anything. I just didn't have a choice, I had to learn. The struggle was real. Then when I found CrossFit, one of the most surprising parts to me was just how forthright not only Coach Glassman was, but all the coaches I came in contact with. Everyone wanted to help. I needed to be a part of this community more! This is where my transition started. Much of what you all know of the Tony you know now, is largely due to the years of exposure to this CrossFit model. People like Jeff Tucker were instrumental in my success, development, and subsequently my transformation. This is when I learned one lesson, that formed the mission statement of Paradigm. Education before presentation.
Whether its aware to you or not what we do here physically isn't ground breaking. Its not "new" by anatomical, or physiological standards. It is however different in that we want you to not need us. Yes, I want you to not need to be here to continue your growth. I do however want you to want to be here because you respect your personal growth within these walls. My only goal is to educate as to why we do what we do, not just how to do it. If this all ended tomorrow, I enjoy knowing that you all are irreversibly better people for your time youve spent here. This is the Community we have built. A co-op of experience and education all assembled with the infallible goal of moving forward together. This is, at its core, the CrossFit method.
I hope you too can gain control over this feeble thing called life, understand your health is a choice, not a set of bio-markers, and that your goals are within you capacity whether current or future. In 11 years I haven't accomplished much in competitive standards of CrossFit, my time invested didn't earn me a spot to the CrossFit games, nothing here is given, its earned. This includes my health, for the first time in my life I have control of my health and happiness, this is all I can ever wish for for everyone of you!