Why the OGs (Original Gangstas) Keep Coming Back to Local by coach Kelly
I was thinking the other day how awesome it is that we have some members who have been here literally since our bay doors opened. They’ve been here since way back when we used to park in the back, keep our desk in the gym, have only one bay to workout in, have unpainted walls and use a chalkboard! The majority of our member do not have this lifespan with us so it made me wonder, ‘why have they been here so long?’ So I asked them and wanted to share their thoughts with you!
I’ve been a member at Local long enough that I got to celebrate its first birthday. So it’s reasonable to ask why. I’ve played team sports since I was 5 years old and now I find it hard to function without that sort of energizing community in my life. I like to exercise – it makes the day better. I like to come in and see people smile. CrossFit offers a team like atmosphere without the need to coordinate 20+ people’s schedules. It’s fun. Also, now I can climb a rope. Thanks Local for keeping the simple things simple. – Beth G.
Tried a lot of different gyms/workouts over the years and nothing has taken with the exception of Local. I love the supportive environment fostered by the coaches and athletes at Local. Never feeling like you are on your own keeps me coming back. The white board – love the white board. The ability to compete against yourself and others gives you that extra little push you need when you aren’t on your game. – Ryan W.
Hmmm…why for so long? Well, it’s pretty simple. I love exercising and CrossFit combines all the things I like into one…weight training, high-intensity cardio, competition, and skill training. I joined 4 years ago and had a once per week membership for over two years. I would perform WODs and other workouts by myself at the Student Recreation Center at UNC, but they were never as intense and I was limited with the equipment and space (plus, I couldn’t take my shirt off ). I’ve exercised my entire life and I’ve always been fit, but Local changed my perspective on what it means to be in good shape. I just turned 42 and I am as strong and lean as I’ve ever been. At a recent doctor’s appointment, my heart rate was measured in the upper 40s (they assumed I was a distance runner or a cyclist). So, yeah, I think 4 years of CrossFit has something to do with that.
The ironic part is that I bumped up my membership to 3 times per week because of an injury. A meniscus tear in my knee two and a half years ago while playing basketball took away my first love. Since my retirement, I replaced basketball with more CrossFit. CrossFit has a reputation for causing injuries, but every major injury I’ve ever had has been from basketball. People always say to me, “Don’t a lot of people get injured from CrossFit?” And I say, “Yeah, people get injured but no more than people who play any sport…basketball, soccer, even running. – Joe C.
I surprised myself by joining Local in the first place. As many folks know, I have never participated in sports, and before joining Local I don’t think I had ever picked up a barbell. The idea of working out beside a bunch of extremely fit, knew-what-they-were-doing people was extremely intimidating. But what kept me there and what kept me coming back was:
- a) I improved. From starting with a 6 lb. wall ball and a black band for pull ups to a 14 lb. wall ball and kipping pull ups, almost every movement has improved for me.
- b) No one judged me. I never felt anything but encouragement and pride from the other members and especially the coaches as I improved.
- c) It’s actually fun and (shockingly) addicting. You come to crave that heart-pumping, I-don’t-know-if-I-can-do-another-rep thrill that only CrossFit gives you.
- d) The people. These are some seriously nice, funny, inspiring, accomplished athletes. – Marian F
When I first pulled into the parking lot in front of Local (which is now the back) that May afternoon, there were a bunch of weirdos working out outside on concrete and it was HOT out. I was intrigued. I went inside for my Intro and only signed up because Chad’s ‘office’ was literally IN the box, so I knew it was legit. Coach Griff got me hooked on the barbell. I renewed when I found out there was going to be a smoothie bar & tanning booth put in with the expansion but instead showers were installed. I renewed anyway. I still parked in front (which is now the back) for the longest time 🙂 Seriously, I stay because of the people and the community they build. Everyone from new recruits to the OGs and the coaches all actually make me look forward to going to the gym. How many people can say that and mean it?
– Claudia B.
CrossFit Local is a unique place in so many ways. I’ll talk about just one very important aspect. One of the reasons I have stayed a member for so long is because of the people. In a globo gym it’s very unlikely that you would make friendships that will last a lifetime. It’s a meat market, people judge you, and if you make the mistake of trying to talk to someone they think you’re hitting on them or want something other than conversation. Local has introduced me to people I can rightfully say are my good friends. They support me and I have never felt judged by any of the people there (coaches or fellow athletes). I can say that I am going on my 5th year of membership and I am proud of it. Local has gotten me in shape to do incredible things, things I never thought I would be able to do. And even though I am currently down and out, I still consider myself part of the box. – Stephanie H.
Many factors go into my reasons for staying with Local this long (4+ years now). Here are my thoughts:
- From my first day at Local, people have been welcoming and supportive. I discovered CrossFit “backwards” – I saw World Class athletes doing things I could never have imagined doing (at Games in 2011) and didn’t think there was any reason for me to even try CF. By the time I was convinced to give it a shot in May of 2012, I wasn’t so much intimidated as I was wondering why even bother. But I stopped by Local and met Chad, who seemed certain that CF would not only not destroy me, but would likely be good for me 🙂
Whether I’m taking a class, working with a coach one on one, doing my own thing, or whatever brings me to Local on any given day, I know that I am part of a community, and more, a family, that cares about me, and wants me to succeed. And I feel the same about everyone in there. Outside of being home with my wife and the girls, there is no place I would rather be.
- Comfort! I feel like I fit in at CFL. Though I have been a CrossFitter for 4+ years, I still get nervous when I drop in to other gyms. Local is like home – I know where things are, and I feel confident I can do whatever is asked of me. No one is judging me (except during the Open :-), and people are happy to help. Beyond that – I feel like I bring some value to our gym. I have been around long enough that I can help others with tips and am happy to stick around and work with folks on their goals. Nothing makes me feel better than helping someone get that first pullup or PR a lift.
I also really enjoy the “hang out factor.” The office is a great place to chill after a WOD, and catch up with people. The fact that we never feel like we are in the way when we are hanging out is a serious positive.
- Kelly and Chad have become much more than just gym owners to me (and the Roth clan). They are family to us, and that relationship makes Local more than just a gym to me. I enjoy all the time I get to spend with them, and Local is a nice place to spend some of that time 🙂
- Ease of use – especially given my schedule, it would be nuts for me to try to find a new gym and become part of the fabric there. – Rothy