Yesterday afternoon I was surprised to find a letter to the editor in the Daniel Island News from one of our own, Pete Ricciardi. His kind words were very much appreciated. Pete eloquently captured the spirit of our gym and the effects of CrossFit training on mind, body, spirit and community. As we head into 2011, it seemed instructive to share his thoughts here. We come in every day striving to provide all of you with the kind of experiences he talks about. It is a great pleasure to work for you. You are willing to come in our doors and give it a go, whatever the challenge, day after day. Thanks for an amazing year.
|Letters to the Editor – December 30, 2010
Dec 29, 2010 – 8:47:36 AM
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Flash back to last New Year’s Day when this 50-plus Daniel Island resident prepared himself for another year of excuses mixed with empty resolutions. I had ‘em all down.
“I’m not in that bad a shape.”
“I’ll go on a diet this spring.”
“I’ll start a serious workout regimen once my work situation is a little less demanding.”
“This will be the year I actually use the gym equipment that currently occupies prime space in our FROG.” Sure I would. If you’d asked my wife Kathleen at the time, “What’s the chances Pete would first find and then commit to a daily regimen and accompanying lifestyle that would change his world forever in 2010?” she’d have been lying if she didn’t say zero. I certainly would have if I was being honest with myself.
Enter Robert VanNewkirk, a very special human being and one crazy enough to believe he could help his neighbors get healthier and happier, even when they weren’t sure they wanted to or even could. So much so, he opened a modest gym here on Island Park Drive, based on a proven approach to fitness and lifelong health, CrossFit, that he passionately believed in. So after friends constantly suggesting that I “just try one or two of Robert’s sessions,” last April, I finally gave in. Or should I say, I finally allowed myself the opportunity to receive some of the most valuable gifts I’ve ever received and that certainly says a lot. Gifts from working out? Yeah, and lots of them:
1. A legitimate chance at a longer life. Who can argue that more muscle, less body fat, improved posture, increased energy and decreased stress can’t help any of us have a better chance of accomplishing that?
2. New friendships. You come to really care about the people that smile and scream and sweat with you. I know I really have. Adding 20 or 30 wonderful men and women to your circle of friends is as gratifying as deepening the relationship you already had with some of your fellow CrossFitters before you began working out together.
3. Higher expectations, an improved work ethic and lots less excuses. If I can undo decades of excuses, what can’t I accomplish? Oh yeah, if you live or work with me, I’ve raised your bar, too.
4. A chance to be a better parent. Parenting is largely about modeling behavior. Are there many better lessons than taking accountability for yourself and your choices? Does it get any more gratifying than getting consistent compliments from your wonderful 7th grade daughter?
5. Keener nutritional understanding. There’s simply no way you are going to escape Robert’s grasp without a better understanding of food as fuel. Wish I’d begun fueling my body instead of feeding it some twenty pounds and twenty years ago.
6. Better endurance. Being mentally tougher and more anaerobically fit translates to increased accomplishment in virtually every phase of our lives.
7. Improved self-esteem. Concentrating on what you can do works miracles. Looking in the mirror without cringing is becoming a welcome relief. Living a life without excuses can’t help but make you feel better about yourself.
8. Appreciation for others. I’m awed by what I see being accomplished every session. Awed by relentless work ethics, awed by wonderful acts of kindness, awed by something new from someone else virtually every morning.
9. A more fulfilling relationship. When you’ve been in love with a woman who has kept herself in terrific shape for the twenty years you’ve been together, it can’t hurt to finally offer her less excuses, increased energy and a more fit persona, can it?
10. Overall happiness. If #1 through #9 can’t make you happier, you probably don’t have a pulse. Fortunately, I do. And that pulse beats a little less frantically each minute now, thanks to Robert and all of my workout partners at Crossfit Discovery.
Warm Up: 500m ski, Med Ball Relays w/pushup, Plyos Across the Floor
Skill: Pullup and Lunge Posture
WOD: 15 min AMRAP of
10 K2E Mountain Climbers (r & l)
15m Walking Lunge
Cool Down: Goat Hunt–your choice of MWOD