I am: Strong!

Lets start with a story shall we? Once upon a time... Ok, maybe not that extreme. Few people know the background story to Paradigm, and in order to tell this story, Im going to need to start there. As an 11 year CrossFitter, I was approaching my 5th year in CrossFit, my 9th year as a Gymnastics Coach, and Gym owner. Naturally the two had a perfect segue into each other. My athletes were doing CrossFit, I was inspired by them, so I was doing more CrossFit and ultimately that landed us at an impasse. They needed more so they could continue their athletic progress, and I had the space. So I put down all the money I could come up with and created this Paradigm Idea. The original intention, and where we are now couldn't be any different. Much of this responsibility lies in one interaction. 

After assembly of the equipment, Paradigms model was to develop athletes. As an aside I thought it would be of value to train a couple of athlete-parents to help offset some of the cost. This mostly happened when I was approached for help and knowing what I knew about CrossFit I knew I could help. 

Amy Papke was one of those core parents. (literally) She is my longest standing member, and has been here since the beginning. This story is about what she did for me, the business model, and in exchange herself. She will likely kill me for this post but here goes. Amy was not some success story waiting to happen. She wasn't morbidly obese, de-conditioned, or otherwise decrepit. No, she in many ways was a perfect depiction of the masses, easily identifiable as attractive. What Amy was perhaps was more inspiring to me. She was a pretty woman, in her prime, seemingly fit, and otherwise happy. However it wasn't until she found CrossFit I saw her truly light up. Those things on the outside were honestly only a glimmer of what I saw come alive in her. She found passion, youthfulness, health, happiness and a place she called home. This to me was earth shattering. I knew I could teach fitness and movement, I wasn't so sure I could create humanity, community, or relative happiness besides goals though. Amy showed me a different path, an opportunity I couldn't Ignore. Amy has and will always serve as my Icon of Community. What I saw Amy accomplish in her personal growth crushed her physical goals, and my expectations for her. I was never going to look back. Paradigm was for the people from this day forward, not just the athletes. We were going to change lives, not just trophies. I owe to this to Amy. 

I don't want to sell Amys success's short either. In her 6 years here, she's accrued over 1500 classes, she's smashed quantifiable fitness goals, and to be honest looks way better having done so. She's squatted almost twice her bodyweight, Deadlifted more tonnage than some forklifts, decreased her mile time, has muscle ups, strict pull ups, perfect push ups, Hand-stand push ups, and Clean and Jerks like a boss. All while smiling and looking incredible doing it. I clearly am very proud of her, maybe I don't tell her enough, but thats because I think she's still just beginning.. Amy is an Icon at Paradigm, and our first 1500 member. Lets let her tell us what Paradigm means to her: 


Friends, Fitness, Support, Fitness, Motivation, Confidence, Healthy


These are all words that describe Crossfit Paradigm Performance. The last month for me personally has been very strange and unreal to me, I never could have imagined this situation. Spending two weeks of the month in the hospital, having two unrelated surgeries in a week and not being able to work out has been very frustrating and stressful. The support myself and my family received from my friends at P2 during this time has been unbelievable, without them this month would have been even more stressful. From my friends texting me asking me how I am doing to them asking if I need anything to them just letting me vent about how stressed I was and at one point how scared I was.  Jen Ignizio starting a meal train, all the people who provided dinners for us for a week, I’m still in awe, these people are true friends. If I had not been fittish while going through all this, my recovery time would have been much longer. We are a family, there is no judging, only encouragement no matter what.  Because of P2 being a family I had the confidence to come back even though I’m not where I was a month ago, I’ll get back there and beyond. Every day I was on face book looking to see what the workouts were and no matter what they were, I wished every day I could be there for every one of them. I thought about the normal everyday discussions we always had the gym standing in front of the white board about how bad the workout was going to be for some reason or another.  Every day I laid in that hospital bed I realized how lucky we are to have the ability to work out, no matter how hard or how easy we are lucky to be able to do it.  I also realized how different it is when you choose not to work out for one or two or three days or however many it may be than when you have no choice. There were days I cried because I just wanted to get up and get to the gym but could not and not by choice. As you can tell P2 means a lot to me for multiple reasons, the friendships old and new, the coaches and the support, encouragement and motivation that is given by all at the gym.  I cannot thank everyone enough for everything they have done and the support they have given me and my family.

This is what Paradigm is really about. The community, the friendship and the support. None of this would have been possible if Amy wasn't one of the first ones to ever ask for my help. Amy chose Strong as her word for "I am __" To most they would assume that just meant physical, to her, to us, we know it relates specifically to every aspect of her life now, not just her performance.