What brought you to Crossfit?
Christmas holidays, very late 2016, I am a 53 year old American male in Basel Switzerland. I was out for a run and saw a Crossfit sign. Walked in out of curiosity, had never heard of Crossfit before. Incredibly, it was an ‚Open Gym‘ period, no one was in there except for one Coach – Daniel. He had the time to tell me what Crossfit is and invited me to a trial class. I attended and was hooked.
What was your first impression?
First, the Coaches are good and they have the right attitude. They are invested in the athlete’s success. They expect us to do things right and they take the time to explain. Another impression: Crossfit itself has „broken the code“ on fitness and health. I have engaged in many athletic pursuits and have never gotten a sense of deep conditioning and fitness anything close to what I get from Crossfit.
Has your first impression changed after 7 months of training?
Not really. I started with two classes a week. I later upgraded to ‚all you can eat‘ because I wanted more classes. For a 53 year old whose most difficult regular athletic pursuit at this point in my life was an 8 or 10 km run, who was overweight and felt deserving of regular doses of red wine and scotch, and who had little if any weight lifting nor gymnastics background, the first couple of months were tough. However, there is a „hump“ you get over, my body adapted, and I reached a point in which I was eagerly anticipating the next workout. In 7 months I have lost about 7 legitimate kilos, and I have done that while also gaining back some long lost muscle. Success is infectious. Success creates positive behavior cycles. When you start losing weight without some silly diet, when you have to punch new holes in your leather belts to keep your pants up, and start feeling the physical fitness, it breeds better behaviors. I want to do well in tomorrow’s class, so instead of that bottle of red wine, I have a glass.
What do you like about CrossFit HelvetiX?
There is simply a great group of people at CFH. I have not felt judged about starting out a bit chunky and being one of the older guys. I don’t speak Deutsch and they have still accepted me. All of the coaches are good, without exception. I have never felt so supported by both Coaches and Athletes. I’ve made friends there.
Your most memorable moments at CFH?
#1: Coach to a late-arriving Athlete, „You’re late, 20 burpees.“ (He let him off after 10 burpees)
#2: One „Suffer Saturday“, I was paired with a guy who was seriously hung over. He did not make it through the workout, and just disappeared mid-way through. I kept going as a one-person team. The Coach was totally shocked and furious and after class I think tried to find the unfortunate dude. The Coach was furious not because the guy couldn’t perform, but because he did not stick around to encourage me, his teammate.
#3: The first time I completed a Workout of the Day at full Rx level (the fully recommended level. You can scale down the difficulty of almost everything), which involved weight lifting. I finished with 17 seconds before the cutoff point. Was prouder of myself than I have been in a long time