Joe, Carlo, and I had many meetings, over many years, to discuss the idea of opening up a gym. We would talk about how we would do things. What we wanted to bring to the table. How we would coach our members. What we wanted them to get out of it. What we wanted to “get out of it.” We would talk about how we would incorporate the community aspect of CrossFit with our own beliefs, experiences, and philosophies that we each have formed over the years. We had a lot of meeting. We talked a lot.
I don’t think there was a conversation that got more animated then when we would dream about hosting our own “competitions.” Over those meetings, I began to take great pleasure in watching Joe’s excitement grow as he went into great detail about the competitions he had in mind. Joe would paint pictures for us of the workouts he already had in his head. Ones that CrossFitters have not seen before. In describing those workouts, he started to also paint the picture of the facility we would need to keep in mind if we ever got up from the table and began to look at gym spaces.
We hosted AIO’s first in house “competition” – 1st Annual Joe’s Wod-A-Mania.
There were no gender categories. No age categories. No scaled division. No competitive division. No finishing times. No judges.
Just all in one.
It didn’t matter if you did pullups, banded pullups, or ring rows. The exercise choice was simply a representative of your “current state” and everyone did what they could do. Everyone pushed themselves. Everyone tried to perform well for their partner.
All in it together.
Joe and Carlo started out the day drawing partners from the list of athletes. There were some predictions taken place between groups of people on who they would pick as “the favorites” for the heats, but the tone had a touch of admiration or inspiration.
I do not remember in our conversations over the years of Carlo ever coming up with the idea of actually coaching people before, during, and after the workouts during our competitions, but Carlo took it upon himself to be the one to fill in that role. It was nice to see, and if I may project, “so Carlo.” Carlo’s knowledge and emphasis on technique is on par with the top coaches out there. What separates him toward the top of that group is that he, unlike some, can put himself in that ideal movement himself if you are more of a visual learner.
After the first workout was complete, new partners were drawn for the Workout #2. This time, teammates would share a rowing distance to achieve together, and then onto a run while each held one end of a short rope. This means that you had to pace off of each other, and had to complete the run two-gether. You went through the ebb and flow of the workout together, sharing in each other’s efforts and perhaps discomfort.
Workout #3 was a group workout called “Death by Burpees.” Complete one Burpee on the start of the first minute, two Burpees on the second minute, and three Burpees on the third minute, and so on until you can no longer complete Burpees for the number of minutes on the timer.
During our weekly Partners Meeting, we all felt it was exactly how the 5 of us wanted it to unfold. We each shared comments our members shared with us over the next few days. The excitement that competition generated allowed us to not need as much coffee that week. We were buzzing from it.
Thank you to everyone who came out and making one of our dreams come true.
“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson