“I’m sick of all these crappy CrossFit gyms opening everywhere.”
“They are ruining CrossFit’s reputation.”
“They are hurting people and hurting my CrossFit gym.”
“They are destroying my brand!”
I opened the first CrossFit gym in my city about 5 years ago. Not the first in my general area mind you, but it sounds cooler to say it like that. Now there are 7 located in Costa Mesa alone and within 10 minutes of my gym, there are 9 affiliates. Go out another 5 minutes, and within 15 minutes from my gym you can find 14 official CrossFit affiliates. And guess what? I know of at least 4, maybe 5 more that are in the affiliation process right now as well. So let’s just round up and call it 20.
Within 15 minutes of my gym, the first CrossFit gym in Costa Mesa, there are now 20 different CrossFit gyms with 20 different owners and coaches all teaching and instructing people with CrossFit methodologies to the best of their ability.
Now comes the fun part. There is no official governing body to make sure CrossFit gyms are competent. There is no standards of excellence these gyms must follow to maintain their affiliated status. They paid for and passed a weekend certification, applied for an affiliation, scraped up some money, bought some bumper plates and barbells and rolled up their garage or warehouse doors, open for business.
What are the chances that every single one of these 20 gyms is doing an amazing job? Is it possible that some of them really suck at coaching CrossFit and potentially causing injury to good clients? Are some of them even doing CrossFit?
I love the trap of hypocritical arrogance that comes with time. I have a poster in my lobby that shows a picture of my original garage gym. You see, I was one of those people. One of those weekend certificate-holding affiliates with zero coaching experience and I mean zero. But I had fallen in love with CrossFit. I knew I wanted to do it for the rest of my life and I knew I wanted to open my doors and do it with other people.
So it started slow and overtime I got a few clients. I lost some too. People would come in and they did not dig what I was selling. And it was not because I was in a garage; it was because I was not really that good of a coach yet. But I got better and guess what? I got more clients. I learned and developed as a coach and what do you know? I got more clients. Then I could not handle the number of clients we had in my garage so I scraped together some more cash and we moved into a warehouse. The rest as they say, is history.
Let’s just call a spade a spade for a moment and have a moment of clarity together. The part of us that bemoans the new affiliate opening down the street from us. That’s the crappy part of ourselves we need to keep starving until it dies. That’s the insecure, fear-based, scarcity-model belief system we have inside us it’s a crappy way to exist. That is truth and we know it. When we stew on things outside of our control, like the new affiliate coming into town, we lose sight of the person in front of us waiting to be coached. We spend all our time looking outward, blaming others for our problems instead of looking in a mirror and seeing the real person to blame.
I am sitting here right now watching a CrossFit level 1 certification seminar happen in my gym. Of the 60 people in attendance I see some trainers getting prepared so they can coach classes at their gym and I also see a ton of potential new gym owners and I am pumped.
I’m pumped because it’s reminding me why I do what I do here. It’s reminding me of my love for people and for CrossFit. It’s reminding me of what is really important.
I’ve got no more time to waste on what others are doing. I’ve got people to coach, members to love and encourage, workouts to do, and personal improvements to keep making so I can be the best I am capable of being.