• COACH

Strength Is Measured In Cha-Cha-Cha-CHANGES

Updated: Oct 17, 2018



Part of my intro to our gym, our community, the lifestyle and myself always has been and always will be, “I’m going to do you a huge favor right off the bat…. you are NOT going to the CrossFit Games. Now that we have that out of the way, lets focus the stuff that matters.” Maybe I’m a psychic, because as per my prediction no one went to the Games (or Regionals, if you dig what I’m saying). When the day comes that a member of FFE makes their way there, then that’s just icing on the cake and we will be there to cheer that athlete on. My point is that THAT doesn’t “WOW” me. What DOES blow my hair back is what I’ve seen in the 9 short months we’ve been open.


The changes that I, as well as the rest of the coaching staff, have watched unfold have been absolutely mind blowing, and frankly, so vast that I’m at kind of a loss as to where to begin. I think a logical place to start is confidence, as this is one of the very first things we see change in people at the flip of a switch. I absolutely love watching someone go from a completely intimidated state, to “Wow…I just did that. I CAN do this!” The only roadblocks to progression are excuses, and not keeping your side of the bargain which is self-sabotage. If you feel like you might fit into one of those categories, then you likely do. Good news—it’s NOT a life sentence.


I am going to do a little name-dropping and story telling, but before I do please know that there’s a ton of you that are amazing stories. I’ve told SO many of your stories but this blog would just get STUPID long if I tried to get everyone on here! That’s why we started the Heavy Hitter of the week. We want to show off each of you who has been digging your heels in and grinding. We are damn proud of you.


You all know Terri. Oh, Terri. Haha. Terri came to us a few months in, with NO intention of joining. She just wanted to see this cool new gym her daughter (Traci) joined. She gave me every excuse in the book as to why it was impossible. “I haven’t exercised in forever” and “I have bad knees” and “this stuff looks too hard” and on and on and on. We started light, extremely light. After about a month, Terri texted me from a dressing room….”James! I’ve lost 3 dress sizes! I love you!” Then came watching her run during workouts. Then came watched her absolutely crush a 330lbs tire flip. Then came her telling us how her doctor said her blood pressure is now a non-issue along with other things. Is there a bigger victory than this? I sure as hell think it’s more impressive than the CrossFit Games. She transformed her life, and dramatically improved her health, which is way more impressive than competing in anything.


Vanessa and Alana—god, I love these ladies! To say they were apprehensive the first time they walked through the door, would be putting it extremely mild. They looked at all the gear that’s organic to our workouts and their faces said “oh hell no.” Then I watched Coach Tracey guide them through how to perform the movements properly and safely, and the look of fear turned into the look of fun! Vanessa performs some of the most perfectly executed cleans I’ve ever seen in my coaching career. Alana absolutely lights up when it’s time for yoke carries. That is just two examples; they are crushing everything in their workouts. In addition to the enormous physical strides they are making, the look of fear has turned into giant smiles every time I see them, which is fact and evidence to me.


Keyan! Dallastown High School represent! Keyan has lost 45lbs since starting with us. That’s amazing—but, let me tell you another little something about this young man. Keyan is the epitome of playing through pain. A few months ago, he sprained his ankle BAD on a fast descent off a rope climb. Even though, I don’t think this dude missed a single day of training. Sure, we had some things to work around for a while, but training doesn’t stop. This would have been a very easy point for him to make an “excuse”, and he went the complete opposite direction. That is how we move forward. NO EXCUSES.


Meghan Sandora has overcome a super gnarly back injury she received from another place. Zach Wyncoop has found his passion for competitive strongman. Robin Greene is kicking Lupus and Fibromyalgia to the curb, and saying, “hell no. This is MY life, and I choose to be strong”. The list goes on and on.


Guys, there have been almost too many positive changes to list. Let’s keep building on this list, and show the world who we are.


--Coach James

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