A Sense of Belonging…

The first time I ever stepped into a CrossFit box, I felt like something was right.

Although my journey in the sports and fitness world is a bit off the beaten path in comparison to some athletes, my focus is the same. All I ask of myself is to keep learning, keep training and keep an open mind.

Growing up as a youth in South Jersey, I lived a very active lifestyle. Always somewhat of an introvert, I preferred solo sports to team sports and opted for BMX riding, skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing instead of soccer and football, both of which only lasted a couple seasons. I spent my summers commercial fishing with my Poppop and winters hunting with him. No, I never went to a sport summer camp, and yes, I almost failed 9th grade gym class (punk skater kid) but over those years of extreme sports I developed a sense of mental fortitude and work ethic.

A brief stint in jiu-jitsu started a fire that has only been satiated by one thing, and that’s CrossFit.

After asking myself the simple question “Why am I not  doing this?” I tried CrossFit.

We all remember our first CrossFit workout. For me it was an AMRAP of pull-ups, wall-balls and double unders in Coach Kenny’s gym. How did it go? Well green bands for the pull-ups, a ten pound wall ball, and singles so atrocious they were comical. Oh, and I could barely squat a 45lb barbell.

How did I feel after? Defeated…

… But there was a new challenge in front of me and then began the journey, a journey I am still on and working to improve everyday, piece by piece.

That feeling I had in the jiu-jitsu gym; the smell of the mats, the hard work, the sweat, the mental chess match, the victory of getting a submission, it can all happen at the box. The smell of the rubber floors, the chalk, the 3.2.1 go, the mental game of 1 rep max, and of course the sweat.

For me, there’s a void that is getting fulfilled and it feels damn good.

As an athlete, we all have goals. That may be getting your first pull-up, muscle-up, double under, toes to bar. It could be hitting a number on your clean and jerk, snatch, squat or deadlift. It may be participating in a marathon, 5k, Spartan race or Tough Mudder. No matter what that goal is just remember, hard work WILL pay off and you being a part of this community is what matters, not how much weight you can lift, not how fast you can do Fran, or what your mile time is.

You showing up everyday, fighting those mental battles, pushing yourself to your limit and putting forth your best effort, THATS what matters.

And yes, you do belong.