My first CrossFit box in 2007 was only the second affiliate in Los Angeles and the 27th in the world. By 2014 the number of official affiliates had passed 10,000. Today, you can walk outside blindfolded in North Hollywood, throw a tennis ball and hit a. an acting class b. a nail salon c. some pretty good Thai food or d. a CrossFit box. In fact, if you pick the right strip mall and get a good bounce you’ll probably hit all four.
In HQ’s libertarian view, the marketplace should determine which boxes survive and which go the way of the bad Thai joints. They set no limits of how many affiliates there can be in a given area. Further, as “affiliates,” not “franchises,” we are pretty much free to run our thing our way as long as a. the head coach is at least a Level I certified CrossFit Coach, b. we carry sufficient insurance and c. we pay HQ for the privilege.
In other words, McDonalds makes their burgers the same way worldwide; we’re free to tweak the recipe as we see fit.
Needless to say, this allows for a vast disparity in the quality of coaching you’re likely to receive at a given box. I personally had been CrossFitting for three years and had qualified for my second Games berth before I got my Level I, but there were folks there who did their first WODs at that Level I. Being in the gym business, they pragmatically made a habit of getting “certified” in each new thing that came along. Many also featured everything from yoga to pilates to Zumba at their respective “fitness centers.”
Which is all well and good, and sound business practice. Still, if it’s CrossFit coaching you’re looking for, I humbly submit that you’ll do pretty well at PCF. At 61 I’ve seen the pendulum swing back and forth many times along the diet/exercise continuum. I’ve been an ultra-distance trail runner, martial artist, rock climber and all-round fitness fanatic since I could walk. My clients range from 7 to 67, from folks my age with two after-market knees to young guns with Games aspirations. Chances are, whatever your goals or issues, I’ve been there.
There’s been a lot of talk about the “99%” lately. For me, the 99% are the folks who want to get that pullup they never got in gym class, or lose that last 20lbs of baby weight that just won’t come off. They have three months to fit into a wedding dress, get in shape for the Spartan Race or hike the Grand Canyon. They don’t consider themselves athletes in the competitive sense, but all are what I call Human Animals: natural athletes from birth, gifted with bodies that only need a little maintenance to function almost perfectly right up to that moment when we all shuffle off our mortal coils and run our last race.
If you are part of that 99%, then I’m for you. I’ve been there and done that, and I can help you get there and do that too.