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A Few Words by Ben Riddle

I have been an athlete for most of my life.  I have traveled a lot, seen many sports, participated in many and at many different levels – ranging from fun/intramural to national level competition.  I haven’t lived in a single dwelling for more than a year and a half for the last decade.  As a result, I have been to many, many gyms, and seen/contributed/trained at many gyms with many teams – some are even famous and highly competitive (Power and Grace – Spencer Arnold).

When I came to local, some things immediately struck me….  Initially, it was how welcoming the community was.  I am someone that initially tends to be very quite, choosing to study a situation before I lay my cards down.  Your community instantly tore that sentiment out of me, and it was very welcomed, as the coaches and members were all so engaged with each other.  I was instantly making friends.  This was nice because even though I grew up in Chapel Hill… it had been over 10 years since I returned as a resident… so I was almost starting from scratch again.

Another thought is that, for awhile, I have been thinking a lot about where CrossFit is headed… and whether or not I appreciate its direction that many tend to take with it… and that is the Sport of Fitness. In my own opinion I think there is too much pressure put on beginners, and really most people participating… to be this pinnacle of athletic fitness and as a result there is an immense amount of pressure put on the times, the reps, the rounds… at the cost of fun and even good movement (I have fallen into this as well).  While I believe competition to be a great thing, in my mind, there is a time and place for it… and I believe many sign up to become stronger, or more healthy… and then lose sight of this.  I do believe CrossFit to be an excellent general Strength and Conditioning program as a whole when used correctly.

You, CrossFit Local, use this correctly.  The atmosphere in Local is one of enjoyment.  While there will always be those that are very competitive (both in healthy and unhealthy states) that will wish to take things to an extreme… that is not what I feel there, or felt there, as a member.  Your establishment is very down-to-earth and promotes a very healthy and fun environment for your members to train in.  I believe this to be in no small part a direct result of your influence there.  You have a great way of communicating what you wish CrossFit to be, and guiding your members in that direction.  It isn’t about becoming the next Rich Froning… it IS about bettering yourself and becoming more capable in your life, as well as more knowledgeable about your body and healthy habits.

Of all of the places I have ever trained, and with all of the people I have ever trained with, your establishment has been my favorite.  Local is a real blessing, and I think properly displays what CrossFit should be.  I wish I had sent this earlier.  It wasn’t until much after I had left that I realized I could simply put it into words and send it to you.  One day I hope to return to Chapel Hill… and you can bet I will be walking back through those doors on a regular basis again.  Keep it up guys, and thank you.

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