I stopped in at the new CrossFit place that is right between my house and CrossFit Summerville. They are opening today because … I don’t know why since they are obviously not ready to open. They have been leasing the place since October and the contractor is slowly getting around to getting the place ready. Today is a “soft opening” and I have no idea what that means. But the guy said it many, many times.

The co-owner and his brother are from New York State and both are probably in their late 20s or early 30s. (I don’t really know anymore. Everyone looks so young.) The guy I talked to seemed really nervous. He asked if I knew anything about CrossFit at all and I said I did. I asked about the concept of all open gym times and he told me it would be nice if people could come in any time and work out but that people generally came at the same time each day so they would be having a class together.

I know people and I know that we aren’t really all that keen on warming up or mobility because there is nothing fun about that. It is important as hell, but not at all sexy. So, I figure people will show up about quarter after the hour, jump into the skill (if there is one) or the WOD and get hurt. But, maybe I’m just cynical.

I asked if he planned to ever have actual classes and he didn’t think that would be necessary. I asked who would do his programming. He and his brother would do most but with some borrowing from CrossFit.com. That means, to me, there is no overarching program and it is just willy nilly.

He told me it would be mostly Met Con because people like to lose weight. I was standing there in my size two loose skirt and just blinked a couple times. I did not flex.

I asked where I would go to run a quarter mile and he took me out back. That is beautiful. Very nice spot for running. While we were outside, he asked how I knew about CrossFit. I told him the truth, but not the whole truth. I told him my son owned CrossFit Hilton Head. I did not mention I was a CrossFitter.

There were no racks or pull-up bars or anything. There were six to eight bars, a stack of weights, some med balls and some kettlebells. I went over to look at the equipment and all the bars looked the same size to me. I’m still sorta whiny about not having lighter bars at CrossFit Summerville. Craig has ten and fifteen pound bars. I would have killed for a ten pound bar when I started. There are still some times when it would be nice to have a bar lighter than the 22# we have. All the bars were 45# bars. He had just unpacked them this morning and thought he was supposed to have two sizes. I’m guessing the other ones will be 30 pounds. I did tell him I had a 30# bar in the garage, leaving him to think I was a garage rat instead of a gym rat.

As we were standing there, I noticed all the med balls were 14 or 20 pounds. However, the KB selection looked like it was from 45 to 20 pounds. I guess he isn’t really marketing to the frail old lady market. There were no slam balls. Tehre were no dumbbells. There were no jump ropes. There were no PVC pipes for warm-ups either. There were no mobility foam rollers or lacrosse balls.

To be fair, they obviously aren’t really ready to open. There were no mopboards or covers on the electric outlets. There were no floors in the bathrooms or window in the office (or framing or whatever).

There was no white board or place to write out a WOD, but he did tell me that today it was four rounds of 400 meter runs with KB swings and squats.

I didn’t ask what certifications they had, but I can guess it isn’t beyond Cert 1. They seemed nice and earnest and kind and helpful and clueless. Mostly clueless.

I know how much of the renovation work that Craig and Dayna and their friends did. I know how much work this is. I know how hard it is to get a new place ready. I know that six months into a lease, you really need to stop bleeding money. What I don’t know is why two young men couldn’t have gotten more of the work done themselves or pushed their contractor to deliver – unless it is a friend who is doing the work in his/her spare time.

The space itself seemed quite small. It couldn’t have been wider than our living room and kitchen side by side, although it was longer. Once the racks go in, there will be room for one line of people with barbells. There were no rowing machines, either. But there wasn’t really any space for them. Or tires. No tire flips for a while, but there would be room for those outside the back door eventually.

I wish them well, but really … a market study might have shown that moving in so close to an established box might not be beneficial for all those involved. The new guys are giving away memberships to all veterans and have a ridiculously low introductory monthly price (good forever) for the first fifty people to sign up. (That might also eventually bite them in the ass.)

I can’t see any members from The Anvil moving, but maybe I’m an idealist. I can see some people who have a different price point going ahead and trying this out and finding it unacceptable and thinking that CrossFit is bad and not that this isn’t really up to par. That’s the saddest part.

Craig works so hard to make sure that his athletes are well cared for, growing, and having fun. I would like to see the brand upheld. Ryan today was concerned, too, with making sure the new programming will help athletes move to higher levels and having scaling that will allow us all to succeed at the levels we currently inhabit.

I guess only time will tell. It is important to remember that not all boxes are created equal and each is allowed to define what CrossFit is for them. I don’t know how to let newbies know that there is nobody making sure that standards are upheld. It is an honor system and it isn’t that some people lack honor, it is that they don’t really understand fitness.

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