When we were younger, we always had the role model/hero. Sure it could have been our father's, mother's, brother's or sister's, but what I want to speak to is what goes beyond that. As a child, new to a sport, we would most likely watch whatever sport we were interested in and there they were, our "idol/hero" was on TV, the opportunity to meet them ever in life slim at best . . .
When I was younger, my oldest brother idolized Deion Sanders, the dual sport athlete who competed in Baseball and Football. He was agile, strong and could jump really high - oh and he was flashy, but my bro was enamored by him when he played.
It's very interesting to see the fame of CrossFit rise so fast. I can recall last year sitting with Rob Orlando as he brought up his first set of Atlas Stones and Kegs to CrossFit Relentless. A laid back guy who found his niche in CrossFit through Strongman workouts - and don't forget his ability to move weight (a 3 rep max Clean & Jerk of 300 lbs), plus countless videos including one arm Fran and some super heavy backsquats with Dave Lipson.
Some folks are humble about their written word, the daily intense entries of Lisbeth Darsh and the eloquent writings of Kevin Daigle.
It is always exciting to meet someone that you have looked up to, and low and behold this weekend, I got to meet someone that from a business and CrossFit perspective I look up to. The Beast of the East was brought to New England in part by SICFIT , and their co-owner Jeremy Thiel, is someone I have seen in the CrossFit community for quite some time. You see, back in September of 2009 an Article came out in the CrossFit Journal regarding an affiliate that had over 500 members and a monthly revenue that made a lot of eyes open really, really wide. The article is here, in case you want to read it. I was approaching the end of my Master's degree and had a rude awakening regarding the small business model and the corporate world. The small business thrives on efficiency, and what better way to explain that then through CrossFit? Jeremy has a passion for helping others and that passion has shown itself clearly through his business.
What is a hero or an role model? It ends up being someone that you want to emulate, however, the path that someone took doesn't necessarily mean that it is the path that you must take. To each their own, we can learn from others, but we also have to experience things ourselves. The most important thing I find though, is to have someone to look up to. And it doesn't even have to be a big name individual - it can be the lady in your class who can handstand walk 300 yards without stopping or the person new to CrossFit who has an incessant need to finish what he/she started and that type of motivation is inspiring.
CrossFit is a lifestyle, we have clearly drawn that line in the sand. There are eating habits associated with it, clothing, and activities. We can do research on-line for days and never satiate ourselves. We can travel from gym to gym (or in our terminology - box to box) and always want to go to another one. Competitions are starting to become available on a weekly basis and an event is never far away. And wherever we go, you may find someone you look up to somewhere, so go up and say hello, be yourself, cause in our CrossFit world, we are all striving for the same thing.
"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence."