By Ali Johnson
CrossFit is a great way to lose weight, get in shape, gain muscle and otherwise live a healthy lifestyle. In the spirit of remembering 9/11 this week, I think it’s important to point out that CrossFit is about more than just doing pull-ups and lifting weights. The CrossFit community is legendary for the tight-knit relationships among members, for their patriotic spirit, and for their support of the local community, military, and first responders. Here at CF3P we work hard to promote these values in a variety of ways.
CrossFit promotes patriotism.
All CrossFit boxes are different, but they often share one thing in common; they’re not afraid to show love for their country. If you walk into CF3P, one of the things you might notice right away is the huge American flag displayed on the back wall. There are also flags that honor each branch of the armed forces, as well as a POW banner. The owner of CF3P, Joey Paladino, is a proud member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, but he makes sure that all branches of the military are represented and honored within the gym. Many CrossFit boxes are owned and/or operated by current or retired military veterans, and veterans are always welcome to workout and typically make up a large percentage of memberships.
CrossFit encourages “Hero” WODs
Another way CrossFit honors our country, the military, and first responders is through Hero WODs. A Hero WOD is a workout that’s been designed to honor a specific (or group of) military veteran(s) and first responder(s). Hero WODS are typically significant in the number of reps or rounds performed; for example, the “Hotshot 19” workout honors the 19 Arizona firemen who lost their lives fighting the deadliest wildfire in Arizona history. The workout is 6 rounds of 30 air squats, 19 power cleans, 7 pull-ups and a 400 meter run.
6 rounds- the firemen were killed in June
30 air squats- the exact date was June 30th, 2013
19 power cleans- 19 people were killed
7 pull-ups/ 400 m run- it’s determined that their time of death was 7:40pm
A Hero WOD is about more than just RXing a workout- it’s about enduring and persevering through a struggle that’s nowhere near as difficult as those for whom the workout is named.
At CF3P, We Wear RED on Fridays.
At CF3P, we wear red on Fridays to “Remember Everyone Deployed”, including our fearless leader, Joey. Not only does this tradition show our support for Joey and his team, it also demonstrates how as CrossFitters we value our military members, we honor their sacrifices for our country, and we appreciate all that they do so that we have the freedom to come in and sweat every day. By wearing red we show unity as members of our box, and it helps to bring us together to show support and solidarity for our friends and family members. As a military spouse, I find it extremely comforting to see how much the CrossFit community cares about the military. I know if my husband were to be deployed, or injured, that I could depend on this awesome community of people for whatever I might need. CrossFitters take care of their own.
CrossFit brings communities together.
In addition to supporting military members and first responders, many CrossFit boxes go one step further to venture out into the community and participate in events and charities. CF3P members often get together outside of the box for dinners, brunches, baby showers, and even Sunday Run-days. We participate in community workouts, mud runs, half marathons and more. When a member of the CF3P Teens class unexpectedly lost his mother and his father became ill, members of the box rallied around him to raise money for his family. When I had a baby, I could barely keep up with the amount of meals people were dropping off at my house.
CF3P works with the Pensacola, Florida community specifically by sponsoring a Saturday workout once a month for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department. Their head of HR, Adam Carey, recruits employees from all departments to come workout one Saturday per month, and CF3P works with them to provide a discounted rate. The first time they all came in we completed the Hero Wod “Moszer”, and we all had a blast sweating with our new friends for a great cause! We look forward to having them join us every few weeks.
Crossfitters have strong community ideals, and you can learn a lot from them about building relationships celebrating the achievements of others, and supporting those who are struggling.
So in case you thought that CrossFit was just a workout, and that CF3P was just a gym, I challenge you to come out and experience it for yourself. You’re guaranteed to get a good workout in, and you might just find a newfound love and respect for your country, its servicemen and women, and the awesome people in your community.