On May 17th CrossFit AMRAP will celebrate its tenth birthday. No doubt, when Javier and I discussed my writing a blog post to help commemorate the event, it was a small piece in a much grander plan to celebrate ten years of fitness.
When I began brainstorming the piece, I wanted to make the most of my air space. But what was most difficult was determining where to start. Would I conjure a picture of the space’s transformation from an auto garage to a gym? Should I begin with a review of the gym’s many success stories? I could use a quote from Greg Glassman, CrossFit’s original founder, or I could simply start with our initial vision for AMRAP. All were viable options, but none felt right.
Perhaps, in midst of the pandemic, it is because there won’t be a large party to celebrate AMRAP’s tenth year; there won’t be a special, elaborate WOD to commemorate the event; there won’t even be people in the gym on May 17th. The whiteboard will be clean - free of the weekly attendance, PRs, news and upcoming events, motivational quotes, and WOD. It is not the birthday party anyone had in mind.
The pandemic has shifted our worlds and the world itself. (Understatement, I know.) However, in the midst of uncertainty what the whiteboard represents, and what the gym represents for those who occupy it has not faltered nor changed. Both remain a symbol for and a facility of change.
Whether it was a change in mood - turning a bad day into a better one.
A change in scenery - escaping from a cramped office to a space that allows you to move.
A change in your approach to fitness - transforming the “cardio queen” or the “body builder” into a well-rounded athlete.
A change in lifestyle - surrounding yourself with others who have the same desire to better themselves.
A change in health markers - throwing out the Type II Diabetes medicines because you no longer need them.
A change in mindset - feeling that moment where your mind shifts from “I can’t” to (OMG) “I can”.
A change in perspective - understanding that fitness is not about how you look but rather about what you can do and how it makes you feel.
Over the past decade I have witnessed all of these “changes”. During my time at the gym, these moments were the most special among thousands of truly incredible moments I was
fortunate to be a part of. The whiteboard did not record these instances. It recorded workouts, times, personal records, attendance, friendly jabs, news and events. But the space itself saw all of these shifts, no matter how subtle, and the effect was felt in the atmosphere. There is something more than barbells, rowers, and pull up bars present here. There was and is goodness and growth here.
It will sound stupid to many, but during this pandemic, other than being able to spend time with my family and friends, I miss the gym. I miss the workouts, sure. I miss the daily challenge and competition. But I miss the people more - their encouragement, their laughter, their determination. What makes AMRAP special has always been the people that inhabit its space.
So while no one may be able to be physically present to usher in its tenth year, I know the people that have experienced the greatness and growth that occurs here will still be celebrating in their own way. And, as we all know, while it might not be what was planned, there is still no better way to spend a birthday than with friends.
- Brittany Lohmann