Chance Encounters

Atom at the NOVA Open


Tonight, although it was late, I decided it would wise for me to stop by Xsport Fitness (Membership there for the pool and hot tub) so I could soak my body in some heat for some recovery. As I laid there on the side of the tub, dozing off, I could see a man working out in their “CrossFit area” right outside the pool trying to do Air Squats and it got me thinking about how that move is the basis for all that we do. I lightly said to myself as I got out, “If he’s still there once I dry off I should go offer to teach him”. After all this move DOES start everything we progress through in CrossFit…I could also have just heckled him in my head and been done with it.


When I came thru the doorway he was finishing and packing up with his girlfriend so I changed my mind due to not wanting to risk any possible embarrassment bravado, but when I got on the escalator (Yes, they have an escalator…stupid) she walked away. I had a lot of thoughts on that ride up…


“It would be wrong of me to NOT go teach him at such an opportune point”


“Maybe he will tell me to piss off so why waste my time?”


Or, “ I could teach him this easy thing and he will join a CrossFit gym somewhere, and…”


…and then I turned around and went back down.


“Hey”, I said, “I noticed you were trying to do Air Squats over here? Would you like to take 5 minutes to learn how to do them right?”…


“Oh, you saw that? Well, I WAS towards the end of my workout”…


“It’s nothing personal”, I said, “I own a CrossFit gym and thought you might be willing to take a few pointers”.


So I helped him. He was trying to do what we do. Doing it wrong? Yes, but because he was an ass? No, because nobody ever taught him how to do it right. I once had to be taught how to do it right. He was trying to be better, just without any guidance. It took me 5 mins to show him the most basic pointers that I give away every weekend for free anyway. I felt better, and I could see that he genuinely felt better. We parted ways and I doubt I’ll ever see the guy again. But because of that 5 mins just think of what he COULD become…


So do you think this story is to show you how great I am because of what I did ? (Some of my members do…Pricks, jk) No. Here is the point, and the amazing thing I re-learned tonight (Or was blessed to be reminded of). THIS kind of thing is what CrossFit is about, all of it. It’s how CrossFit started and then grew before the days of REEBOK and the CF GAMES being on ESPN. It’s not about endorsement deals. It’s not about me only looking after the members that are my gym’s bad-asses because I want to make them even more amazing so they can win me competitions with my gym’s name on their chest.




If anything it’s about me training you a bit less BECAUSE you’ve already given the gift of being called a bad-ass by so many of your fellow members. Maybe the guy walking in the door for his first WOD needs me a little bit more. It’s not about YOU beating everybody on the whiteboard. If you beat everybody on the board but only gave 99% of your heart to do so and the guy in last place gave me 100% then you DIDN’T F*^ING WIN, he did.


It’s just about you giving your ALL, whatever that is today. And I know some days are harder that others, some days you feel beat up, tired and weary. Just your “ALL” for that day’s situations…but I can tell when you’re just slacking too…


I took this CrossFit Journey a long time ago and found that MY “All” is to be skilled at being a Coach. I took the steps and training to be qualified to teach CrossFit to, what? Waste it or only give it to people who pay me? That’s not right and that’s not CrossFit.


I’m pretty glad I turned around and went back down the escalator…





Comments on Chance Encounters

  1. Mike Y says:

    Nice story.

  2. Tom Wojarsky says:

    If you read up on Ruck Runs for the average person they are not recommended due to the excess stress on hips, knees and ankles and risk of injury to these joints. If in the military you may need to hump that weight to live, so yeah it only makes sense those forces would train a movement that may save their life. For the everyday person seeking fitness, it is not a smart move. As a former Ranger, heavy rucks ruined my knees. Just silly.

    • Coach says:

      The lack of strength training in your legs as a Ranger ruined your knees. The Army has NO strength and Conditioning program. Running doesn’t strengthen your legs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>