The summer of 2015 began our 4th year in business! There were a lot of “goings-on” in the beginning part of 2015 that I’ve missed up to this point though, so please excuse the extra time travel.
Late in 2014 and going into 2015, we began offering CrossFit Kids classes! Denee and Dana were first to get certified, and I was relegated to “helper” duty. It’s important to have coaches that have been trained in how to work with young kids, as it is very different than running an adult class as you may have seen, or can imagine. Both Dana and Denee have bubbly, energetic personalities so they are natural fits to coach kids’ fitness, and Dana being a middle-school teacher really helped as well!! I, on the other hand, find the need to “jack up” my personality a bit when I interact with kids, but that’s fine – it keeps me on my toes and I love the challenge of working with all these little dudes and dudettes!
In March of 2015 a few of us got ourselves signed up for another GORUCK Challenge. This would be the first for a couple of our “Ryan’s” (Grantham and Matis), and while the rest of us from CFKI (Craig, Denee, and myself) had already done at least one, you always get a little bit apprehensive as the date draws closer. That apprehension grew to dread as with just a few days to go, the weather forecast looked straight-up crazy for March – lows at night in the teens, and a lot of snow and ice on the ground from a very recent storm. I tried to back out, but was pulled back in by Denee and Matis, who reminded me that these events were called “Challenges” for a reason.
Before we started, we met one person that we didn’t know yet – David Oliva, who lives on KI but hadn’t yet been to the gym! David ended up being an absolute animal during the ruck, and has since become a regular member, eager to constantly improve. The event itself was all that we had feared it would be – long, dark hours of trudging through snow and up the very slippery Baltimore-Annapolis trail all the way to the northern end of Severna Park! We had very few people to carry a lot of extra weight, and it was the toughest but most rewarding GORUCK Challenge I have been a part of.
Early in 2015 we also secured the help of a great local photographer and web design expert, Krista Jones. Krista was a gym member along with her husband, Davey, and we started talking about redesigning our website and getting some professional shots of our coaches. I’m so glad we did this, as Krista made our new website so much cleaner and easier to navigate, as well as a great site to look at. We continue to work with Krista on updates to our site, and probably owe her and Davey a lot of money for how many times we’ve asked for their expert knowledge!
I’m also really glad we got this great picture of Lori, one of our first coaches and the person you will most often see coaching at the gym except for me. Lori came to us after coaching bootcamp classes locally and wanted to get into CrossFit, knowing all about it because her husband Josh was a CF-L1 coach back in the day (administered by Dave Castro himself!). Lori has been an amazing stabilizing influence for us, not only coaching and improving all of our athletes’ movements and especially core strength with her extra Pure Barre cash-outs, but also with her management of our inventory and her Instagram prowess. Odds are, if you see an Instagram pic from CFKI, it’s Lori behind those creative hashtags. Lori and Josh have also become our personal confidants, vetting important decisions and letting us know the current opinions and feedback from gym members. Thanks so much for everything you contribute to the gym!
Another group of members that deserve special credit are the Little’s. Andrew, Drew, and Maddie came to us late in 2015 after doing CrossFit on their own for a little bit. They needed some coaching on Olympic lifts, and with our help they have thrived and become amazing athletes. Drew (pictured doing a split jerk here) plays competitive hockey, and his sister Maddie plays lacrosse and volleyball. They have grown from beginning weightlifters (or not wanting to lift at all 🙂 ) to competitive CrossFitters, placing very high in the CrossFit Games Open in the teenage division last year. It is so amazing to see not just one athlete but a family develop into proficient, confident athletes, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings!
Finally, 2015 began my incorporation of SEALFIT methodologies into our daily programming. Most of you that have been around CrossFit Kent Island have heard of SEALFIT, but if not you may have experienced it. Have you ever started a workout you didn’t know if you would finish? Have you ever been asked to do weighted lunges for 400 meters, or a 1-mile farmer’s carry? There is something about entering into an extremely difficult crucible and successfully coming out the other side that creates character, heart, and toughness. SEALFIT training aims to forge these qualities by exposing you to difficult workouts or events, and also by practicing techniques that will help you thrive in them, like breath control, positivity, and goal setting. If you hear you CrossFit Kent Island coaches teaching and developing these ideas in class, it is the result of my SEALFIT training and our CFKI coaches’ education. If you find yourself in a workout that seems “way too long” or “can’t be done”, it’s because I want you to know it’s not too long, and you can do it.
Year 4 was a great one just like all the others. I’m already looking forward to poring through Year 5 photos, and I hope you enjoy our look back as we continue to move forward.