Guest Post by Travis Woods

First, what kind of A-hole titles something like that?! This Guy! And I use a lot of exclamation points. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, here we go. (!!!)

I have been involved in Crossfit for just over two years. For a majority of that time I considered it a lifestyle for myself but never competitive. The reason I came to Crossfit in the first place was because of watching the 2011 Games on some random late night on ESPN 2. In this competition I watched a competitor finish the Work Out, then immediately walk over to the guy who was in front of him in points and cheer him on through the rest of the Work Out. It took me a moment to process what I was seeing. I know sportsmanship is “taught” in competitive sports, but in practice I have seen few among the many who I could look up to. Now, here I was seeing men compete in the exact way my friends used to in high school gym, except there was one fundamental difference to me. I experienced the social dynamic of competitive sports as a pack mentality that tends more toward culling the weak and refining the gifted. These were men following through on the principle of support and celebration as modes of motivation. And they were doing this for their competition. There is a huge difference to me between a half ass hand shake at the end of a game and finishing Nasty Girls sucking in a breath of air and finding the guy ahead of you in points and cheering him on to move faster. I was sold.

First thing I needed to do was find a place. I didn’t start this process for a year. My fear was the everyday community wouldn’t be so open and encouraging. So I put it off. When I found myself resting for 5 minutes before I put the groceries away after climbing my stairs, I decided I need to cut the crap. So in 2012 I take my first fundamentals class. I had an amazing group of people starting right of the bat. Three of those people I am happy to say are with me now at Brit. Everyday I try to chase down Brian, Monica and Dan’s scores. So my first fear is unfounded and quickly washes away the people in this community are just like the competitors. Encouraging, dedicated, motivated… inspiring really. This makes me come back.

A very short few weeks goes by and some British Guy shows up with a list of credentials and certificates so long if you actually read them they read like a licensing agreement. All I hear is he programmed for Royal Air Force and been Crossfitting since the Renaissance. I begin to worry again. Maybe he’s a serious Crossfitter and the Brian, Monica and Dan’s are just a fluke. I probably would have relaxed if I had read those credentials and saw one of them is for speed walking… he has one, seriously, ask him. But again my fears were crap. Now after two years of training under Coach Sham I have participated in my first Crossfit competition!

You would think after that I would need to then thank Sham first, but no. The first person I need to thank is the love of my life, my partner in life and at The Fling – Casey. Thank you so much for being my rock, my foundation, and the center of my world. You are my Sun and the only reason I was able to move as fast as I did was because you were with me. So thank you so much, I love you! (And maybe next time, slow down just a tad so I don’t look like a total punk! :P)

Sham, thank you sir for a whole laundry list of things. I can’t really mention them all as this would get boring and lose the silly edge I’m going for. So instead I’ll simply say thank you for being a role model and a guide and a teacher. If I do anything at the gym that in anyway helps anyone else, it’s because you taught me a solid base. I know I’m not finished learning, won’t ever really be and I thank you for it. (Looking forward to the next 2 years at least!)

Ah Crossfit Brit, you crazy, beautiful, wonderful little family of mine, how do I thank you appropriately? Special Mention for Rhi and Mike; Rhi you are one of my standard bearers at the Box. You make me want to become as good as you. I loved watching you compete and being able to see you and Sham beside Casey and I really made the event for us. Mike, you are the best Camera man ever, also thanks a ton for being there and present all day. You supported all four of us the whole time and while I haven’t been able to go through all the photos, not every one is of the rafters! Every single one of you at one time or another has pushed me to pick up the bar, sprint that last bit, tack on just 5 more pounds. And you have all done it with out saying a word. You come in, regularly. And you use that time to make magic. I see you all make magic everyday. I feel you all push me faster when I workout next to you. You make me want to comeback the next day when I see you fight for everything as I coach through class. Every one of you gets me past the point where I tell myself I should stop and give up. I am able to fight because you all do. I see you all struggle every day and then you come back! You are all amazing! Thank you so much! (I promise I’ll develop a less in your space coaching style)

Finally a thank you to the Crossfit community, with a special mention to Crossfit Vibe and Tien. This was an awesome turn out. And a really fun event with great people participating, running and judging it. I saw athletes of all different levels compete and everyone was inspiring and a joy to watch. With out the whole community supporting and cultivating this atmosphere it wouldn’t have been half as fun. So thank you to Crossfit Vibe, ALL participants, judges, volunteers and family and friends! YOU ALL MADE THIS THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!!!!

More photos to come!