On STILL Being An Asshole

I would like to publicly apologize.  I would like to say that I am sorry.  To the faceless keyboard warriors, master trollers of the CrossFit’s Facebook & IG, and to the “It’s All About Me All-Stars”; I am still an asshole.  I would like to apologize one by one about the assholey things that I do.  I was told that in today’s society, all you need to do is publicly apologize and all is forgiven and then you are totally marketable human again.

I am sorry for being so serious and so passionate about your training.  This is my full time job.  This is also my hobby.  I am sorry that I take my job of athlete development via evidence based fitness to be serious.  I am sorry that I have given up hobbies that I used to put hundreds and thousands of hours into like playing video games and fantasy football and instead have chosen to scour the internet for a legit article from a credible source related to training every day.  That instead of running mock drafts for hours and days on end, that I work on the application of fitness theory.  It is my fault that I am so passionate about beautiful movement and it’s application to regular humans.  It is my fault for believing that there are few things as marvelous as watching barbell poetry in motion.

That being said I’m sorry for running “a serious CrossFit box.”  How dare we set forth a set amount of work that could be accomplished in an hour.  How dare we be able to scale that work down so people from their early teens to people in their 50’s and 60’s are able to accomplish it.  I am sorry that I believed that chasing actual performance and achieving results via weight loss or body composition changes were more important than “having fun“.  I feel that  actually achieving things is fun, and the stagnation that most people experience when they start a “new” exercise program or diet was why they quit.  I believe that training in itself is fun.  I am sorry that I believe you can train as a hobby, not to compete; and it still be fun in itself.  It is my fault that all of that was taken so seriously, and that gaining confidence from reaching goals could make people happy and that in turn could be considered “fun”.

I am sorry that I thought people were paying around $200 a month for training, coaching, form correction and the betterment of their fitness.  I did not realize they were looking to pay $200 because they were just lonely and just wanted to buy some friends.  I did not know that people would pay that much to have “unimtimidating happy fun time shortened range of motion self scaling why even program anything people just want to sweat but not make progress with the dopest DJ playlist and then go out for drinks” group classes three times a week.  But we can add those classes to our schedule if you are willing to pay.

And CrossFit Ibiza has open gym from 5pm-9pm

CrossFit Ibiza has open gym from 5pm-9pm to coincide with happy hour specials.

I am sorry that I believe in evidence-based fitness.  I am sorry that phrases like “Range of motion is non-negotiable.” and “Don’t be the affiliate who has people embarrass you when they drop in other places with sloppy technique and shortened ranges of motion to win a workout.” stuck with me from an early date.

I am sorry for following the older tenants and ideas that CrossFit was based upon.  “Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch.” -Coach Glassman.  It is my fault that I took this to mean that I should get as many athletes as I could into actual powerlifting meets and weightlifting meets.  It is my fault that I prepared, attended, and coached these athletes through countless local meets.  I studied the rules, I spoke with more experienced coaches about the nuances of these meets that could not be learned through internet osmosis.  I shameless worked to prepare my athletes enough to qualify for meets on a bigger scale of the national and international level.  Then I did more research.  Learning the rules of a sport, applying them, seeing the sport played and judged, and handling athletes through the said sport has given me a deeper understanding of the movements we are applying in CrossFit.  I am sorry for this.

“Mechanics —–> Consistency —–> Intensity —–> Virtuosity”-Coach Glassman.  It is my fault that I believe this to be true.  We have built a long progression for everything we do, starting with the most basic movements for the most deconditioned or immobile or advanced in age athletes.  We start with the BASICS and build on them when they look good.  I dug deep into every progression that the CFJ put out.  I searched forums on elitefts and bodybuilding.com to look for modifications to every tweak and injury out there.  I spoke to coaches I looked up to from every field I could to gleam gems of cues both verbal and tactile to steal to better impart what I needed my athletes to correct.  Paying for certifications and seminars with coaches and athletes much more knowledgeable and experienced than myself was the fault of only myself.  No one else is to blame for this.

I am sorry for studying up on common overuse injuries.  I am sorry that these injuries are common to all types of training, not just CrossFit and the sports it draws from.  It is my fault for over-preparing in the case that these things may strike myself or some of the athletes that I train.  I am sorry that these things are so common, most people come into the box deconditioned and STILL suffering from these things.  It is my fault for talking with physical therapists, massage therapists, doctors and chiropractors and getting basic assessments to look for these injuries and stop them from becoming chronic.  I am sorry for putting my athletes on probation for certain exercises if they feel a tweak in a certain body part and refuse to use their insurance to get said tweak checked out.  How dare I put their well being first instead of the workout I have prepared.  So selfish of me.

I am sorry for treating my box as a fitness classroom.  It is my fault for wanting my athletes to understand what they are doing and why.  It is my fault for wanting my athletes to be able to explain what they are doing when some says “So tell me about CrossFit. . . . .. ”  I am sorry that my athletes know the difference between powerlifting and weightlifting, between strongman and highland games, between bodybuilding and weightlifting; and that they are all contested and have their own set of rules (except bodybuilding-which is subjective), and that anyone who doesn’t compete in an actual (not mock) contest is not a competitor.  I am sorry for trying to create an all inclusive Strength & Conditioning program based on the methodology of CrossFit with a focus on building the necessary skills and strength to get better in the program and thus achieve goals.  I am sorry that we include mobility and nutrition in our fitness classroom.  I am sorry that as a coach I feel all I can provide is a template, and that the athlete must believe and commit to it.  I am sorry for realizing that all of the well thought out speeches, all of the loud music, all of the YouTube clips, all of the cheering during burpees, and all of the terrible Facebook motivational rainbow pictures cannot compare to planting and watering daily an intrinsic desire to be better.  I am sorry for feeling like a guide on a fitness journey, and that my athletes did the work to better themselves and all I can do is give them the tools for fitness success.

I am sorry that I am a better coach than a business owner.  I believed that excellence was obvious to everyone, and if we improved our coaching and our programming our business would improve drastically.  It is my fault I so aggressively pursued these two things instead of just taking out a $100,000 Rig Finance loan and buying a used Zeus from the Games.  Sorry I didn’t take out a loan against my house to pay for commercial space and instead pay for industrial space, I didn’t know air conditioning, curved 3-D 4K TVs,  and towel service was more important to clients than results.  I thought that the grass roots fitness revolution that CrossFit started was a rejection of bourgeois commercial gyms where most people just gathered for smoothie drinking and  #beastmode check-in Facebook status updates.

I am sorry that I am confident.  Apparently, this can be mistaken as arrogance.  I have never known not heard of an unconfident leader.  And I am NOT trying to be the first.  I am sorry that confidence is one of the things that is most easily read on a person.  I am sorry that confidence gained from time training bleeds over into daily life.  I am sorry that belief in one’s self creates confidence and that I believe in myself.  It’s almost like one would need to be confident to take a group of  individuals; from different backgrounds, with different real life shit going on, who are all good at their individual jobs and most likely haven’t been told what to do in many years; and mold them into a community by teaching them and telling them what to do, so that they then believe in you and your program.  I am sorry that confidence is needed for this task.

Sorry, this is still true.

Sorry, this is still true.

Speaking of confidence, I am sorry that I think we do CrossFit better than our competitors.  I am sorry that I point to evidence to form this opinion.  Medals on the wall, trophies won, totals achieved, records held, weight lost, results that are lasting,  competitions attended, and long term athlete development are all just some of the things I draw upon as this evidence.  Since we are still evidence based right?  Also with evidence, my confidence and experience allows me to feel that we can better teach, coach, program, evaluate, and reprogram better for any athlete who steps in our doors better than our competitors.

With all that being said, I hope you guys can forgive my STILL being an asshole; because even after apologizing for these clearly unforgiveable traits, I do not plan to change.  In fact, I kind of like being an asshole.

12 comments on “On STILL Being An Asshole

  1. Charles Robinson says:

    This is the follow up to the article that Sam wrote that my wife had me read to get back in shape. This Asshole motivated me to get back off the couch and start competing and training again. I was close to 380lbs when I arrived horribly depressed from not being able to play football anymore and surgeries from it. He convinced me to get back in shape and find a new sport (Strongman) and the rest is history. I love the Box and the coaches in it, I found a desire to compete and train to help bring trophies and awards to their gym and they allow me to compete under their banner. Sam and Lonnie have helped change my life for the better and have been nothing but friends and motivators the entire time.

  2. Jonathan Ruhl says:

    I’m not sorry that this asshole taught me everything I know about fitness and helped me through some very dark times in my life. #lifecoach

  3. Caitlin says:

    I still contact this asshole for help, advice, and coaching when I need it. Cause him and his coaches are always there to help a friend and a former member out, and they are smart and educated in their craft.

    Oh, this asshole also helped me crack top 10 at the American Open in 2014.

  4. Mike says:

    THANK YOU. I am a garage CrossFitter. I did my L1 in February 2004. I went to a Reebok store this week and saw a big lifting glove display and T-Shirts and shorts that cost upwards of $60-$80.00 a pair. I felt like I was in a different world. Reading your blog I feel like someone else understands my world and the CrossFit that I grew to love.

  5. Fierce Girl says:

    Reblogged this on Fierce Girl and commented:
    This is excellent.

  6. Reblogged this on CFB Athlete's Corner and commented:
    Soooo legit

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