Tough People for Tough Times

A black and white image of an empty CrossFit gym during the COVID-19 crisis.

“This shit’s hard.”

I’ve heard it a lot of times this week, and I’ve said it, too.

No one is having a lot of fun as the COVID crisis continues to disrupt our lives.

The leisure activities we enjoyed are gone, our favourite stores are closed, and we’re stuck in line-ups for lettuce. We can’t see friends and family members, and the government isn’t giving us a lot to go on.

Shit really is hard.

But so are you.

Burpees and Backbones

Over 11 years of coaching fitness, we know tough people when we see them.

Tough people are easiest to spot when you get a large number of people training for us with for the first time. This doesn’t happen all that often—usually at free demonstrations or in corporate programs we run from time to time.

In every group, you’ll spot a few really tough people right away. They’re the fighters. The ones who will push through hard stuff when their peers tap out.

I remember one guy in particular, a Winnipeg Police Service recruit we trained about six years ago. After watching him gut out a workout, I said this to Crystal: “That dude is going to be bad news for criminals.” I’m sure he is today.

We had another tough guy in the first Standard Aero program we ran about a decade ago. Name was David Boyd, and he’s still around.

And then there are all of you. It would be very easy not to work out right now. But you’re still going. That’s because you’re hard AF. We saw it in your eyes every time you stepped into the gym.

Just Another Workout

It doesn’t matter what you lift or how fast you run or how many pull-ups you can do. What matters—what’s always mattered in our gym—is that you show up to do challenging stuff. Doing that day after day has prepared you for the current situation.

Just like a tough workout, you’re going to need to slog through this period. But you will get through it. You always do.

I’ve said it many times, but I’ll say it again: You’re the toughest person your friends know. Believe it.

When I get frustrated right now, I think back to stories of the Great Depression and World War II. Those trials lasted many years. We’re about six weeks into the current challenge, and things definitely suck. But we’ll get through it.

Here at 204—virtual 204—we want to give you an hour a day when you can turn your brain off, banter with your friends and feel good about what you’re accomplishing. We’ve got online workouts for that, and they’re great.

But what we really want to provide in this tough time is accountability, customization and support through your personal coach. We want to know how you’re feeling and what you need, and we want you to know we’re here for you. Now more than ever, it’s important that you feel like someone cares about what you need.

We know a lot of people are asking a lot of you. So when your coach checks in, we’re not just there to serve up a personalized workout suited to your goals. We also want to check in on you as a person.

Because this shit’s hard.

But so are you, and we’re only too happy to remind you of that every day.

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