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How Did We Get Here?

The first time I ever stepped into a CrossFit gym, I instantly felt a connection.

My journey in the world of sport and fitness is unique and not necessarily a path I foresaw myself traveling. I am constantly looking for opportunities to gain more knowledge, experience new things, and push past my perceived boundaries.

Growing up as a youth in South Jersey, I lived a very active lifestyle. Being 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 short weeks. I had a love of the outdoors and spent my Summer commercial fishing with my Poppop and Winters hunting with him. I never attended a sports summer camp (until Power Monkey Camp 2016) and yes, I almost failed 9th grade gym class (punk skater kid.)

A short stint in jiu-jitsu started a desire that only one thing has ever satisfied. That has been training CrossFit and strength and conditioning.

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

Most of us remember our first CrossFit workout. For me, it was an AMRAP of Pull-ups, Wall-balls and Double Unders in Kenny’s home gym. How did it go? Well green bands for the pull-ups, a 10# wall ball, and Single Unders so atrocious they were comical. Oh, and I could barely squat a 45lb barbell.

How did I feel after? Curious…

There was a new challenge in front of me and I wasn’t about to let the fear of the unknown or the fear of failure dictate my next steps. My decision that day to take on a new challenge started a major shift for me. It changed my approach to taking on new experiences, it changed my thought patterns and way of thinking and it changed my life.

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 in the gym. The smell of the rubber floors, the chalk, the 3.2.1 go, the mental game prep of a workout, and of course the sweat.

As humans, we all have goals. That may be getting your first pull-up, muscle-up, set of double unders, or toes to bar. It could be hitting a new PR on your Clean and jerk, Snatch, Squat or Deadlift. It may be participating in your first marathon, 5k run, Spartan race or Tough Mudder. No matter what that goal, remember that hard work and consistency will pay off. Being a part of this community is what matters. Not how much weight you can lift, how fast you can do Fran, or what your mile time is.

Making an effort to be at Off the Grid, setting tiny goals, training with an open mind, achieving the stimulus of the day and putting forth your best efforts, THAT’S what matters.

And yes, you do belong.

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