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Goals. Do you know how to identify and define your fitness goals, and then do you know how to wisely structure your life around them so that you can say “no” to tempting things that don’t move you toward them, and enthusiastically say “yes” to things that do? Coach Tom taught me how to do this, and the importance of doing this. This lesson, above all others, gives me focus and perseverance.
A little background…I bought into CrossFit almost five years ago. Looking back, I can see that I was lucky to have landed in a brand-new gym where Tom was in charge of programming. I was a 57-year-old spinning/kickboxing/Bikram-yoga-ing refugee, mother of 5, self-competitive and self-effacing healthy and moderately thin woman. I enjoyed very good health, but could see that if I kept gaining 10 pounds every decade, I wasn’t going to like myself much when I was 70. I was hands-down the oldest member of the gym, and while I felt a little awkward when conversation turned to modern music and beer pong, I didn’t shy from working out with the kids. I had done my share of reading about CrossFit and I was convinced that everyone could benefit from it if they scaled appropriately. My goal at the time was to be a stronger, healthier, age-resistant woman as I moved through my second half of life.
Self-competitive. That’s me. And as I saw my strength and skills grow from CrossFit, I let out the athlete in me. As a kid, I had an older very athletic sister and I was the bench warmer to her first-string self. But she wasn’t at my gym, and I was moving through daily WODs with much younger people yelling “uncle” long before I did. I began to sense that I needed a more narrow goal, so I vowed to become a runner. 800 meters used to feel like a marathon, but soon I was running in organized 5K races.
Now, back to Coach Tom. I remember I had a “goal” race on my calendar, coming up in a couple weeks. The gym was having a fund-raising event, “Fight Gone Bad”, and I was considering signing up. I actually DID sign up. Then Tom approached me. He asked me what the heck I was doing. He asked me how participating in that event, that beat-down workout, was going to support the accomplishment of my personal goal. I withdrew my entry: the first time I consciously said “no” to a temptation to move away from my goal. Tom could have left me alone, and then I might have learned the lesson when I ended up not succeeding in my race. Tom understood my goal and he helped me focus on it. Knowledgeable, hungry to learn new things, genuine, perceptive…those are things that describe Coach Tom. Above all else though, Tom is a teacher. As a teacher myself, I can see that Tom knows how to affect each student. He knows how to motivate all levels of students. And he knows how to support the goals of each student.
CrossFit DTP is a great gym because it is Tom’s vision of what a gym should be. I know a lot of the folks who workout there, and I know the staff. Above all, it is an incubator for people of all fitness levels to identify and define goals, and get support to accomplish them.