Do you remember when you bought your first car?
That car spoke to you, it enticed you with it's color, the smooth lines reminded you of the most beautiful scene in the world. The interior decor was exactly to your liking, whether it had wood trim or a carbon fiber dash, it was so comfortable when you got in the driver's seat, it fit just right. The plush leather (or cloth, or vinyl) wrapped itself around you and you felt comfortable.
Oh, you thought this was a blog about your car? Think again. . .
Let me tell you a little bit about CrossFit Relentless. Located in West Hartford, Connecticut, it's tucked away in a industrial parking lot. This is similar to a lot of other CrossFit's. It's 6,000+ sq ft interior makes a small voice (such as myself, ha!) become louder than the lightning strikes in the spring in Connecticut, which coincidentally, can be extremely loud. Walking into it, you can easily get intimidated, 18 ft ceilings, and space. To the left, the blue walls host a banner about 10 ft above the floor, with small squares stating "Crossfit Relentless" underneath them - spaced out. To the right, beyond the black rubber mats on the floor, is a brown wall that memorializes athletes in a moment of glory as there 5 ft x 5 ft pictures hang on the wall. Adjustable weight racks line the wall underneath the photos.
The weights are stacked against another wall, next to a bay door that when opened in today's environment, usher in the unyielding cold New England air. Pull up bars of two heights tower in front of the weights, and next to the weights are 5 kegs - yes, I said kegs. No beer, just sand. And the kegs range from 50 lbs to 125 lbs, the perfect CrossFitting toy - and there are other toys as well, but not right here. The pull-up bars have the chalk outline of hands, as if the person who was last on it left a note to say that they would be back for more. Next to the kegs lay the kettlebells, black as the night, sitting and waiting to apply their own just punishment to the next individual who dares pick them up.
All is not intimidating as a friendly face pokes out from behind a counter, whether it be an owner or a coach. Regardless of the time that you come in, it's work time. Music plays in the background, a class could be going on, childrens or adults. Next to the left of the counter, strange upright machines, Ski Ergs, 6 of them. They look harmless, but they pack a wallop when utilized as part of the workout. To the right of the counter, a blown out room, 15 Concept2 rowers line the wall with three more weight racks roughly 15 ft in front of them.
Just in front of the counter, huge Atlas Stones! Strongman atlas stones, similar to the one's used by the World's Strongman Competitors - Magnús Ver Magnússon, Mariusz Pudzianowski, or Bruce Wilhelm. Don't be intimidated, there are little one's (35 lbs) around the massive 231 lb one. . . .
Beyond the Ski Erg's, it looks like an Adult Playground of sorts, 4 built wood walls, ranging in height from 1 ft to 8 feet! A monkey bar set hangs from the ceiling, rings in another corner and just beyond the high, handmade wood wall, a cargo rope net that descends from a metal pole in the wall, 8 ft high. Lining the wall, are athletes names and times to individual records held, times for named workouts, and times for Hero Workouts.
So why the description of the gym? What about the whiteboard that hosts the WOD (Workout Of the Day)? Oh, it's all there, and a whole lot more! But the reason I speak of this is the same reason I spoke of the new car. It's pride. You see, each CrossFitter is proud to be a part of their box(CrossFit terminology for their gym). It's the place where people are shaped into the athlete's they have always wanted to be, the athlete's that they are today, and the athlete's they will be tomorrow.
Our athlete's pour heart and soul into their workouts, they respect themselves and they respect others. They are proud to be a part of what has been dubbed the "CFR Family", the CrossFit Relentless gym. They represent themselves outside of the box as a part of CrossFit Relentless. I write about it, cause I am proud of it, cause it's not just the gym. It's about the people that are housed within it and how they work together for each other and themselves.
"We are rarely proud when we are alone."