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Ok. So, if you know me, you know I love CrossFit. It’s changed my life. Intense, short workouts that guarantee results, excellent coaching, and competing against myself and others are just a few reasons why it’s worked for me. My gym has all of the things said in the previous sentence. But you know what makes it really great? It’s the people. With CrossFit, the feel is very tight knit community-ish (or it should be, at least). Coaches should lead the way in this because people aren’t just a monthly payment, they are someone who has the potential to get better. My gym has this down. I’ve seen it for three years.

All of our classes are tight, but there’s something really special about our 6 am class. I used to go to 6 am class so I could get a workout in before going to work. Now I go because these people are some of my best friends. Five days a week (well, not always on Friday), we sweat together, we lift together, we celebrate together, we laugh together, and we watch each other get better. We also check up on each other through text or snapchat (ha) when someone doesn’t show up when they said they would.

I can remember when Brooke got her first bar muscle up after class, and a group of us stayed and cheered her on, or when Suzanne Collins got her first kipping pullup before she turned 40, which was a big goal of her’s. I remember when Meghan split jerked 135# after not even doing CrossFit that long. I can keep going, but you may not even have any idea what these things are, and that’s ok. I just want you to see that we celebrate each other. But we laugh a lot too– over things like deciphering rap lyrics, or falling on our faces while doing muscle up progressions. This sure beats running (actually sprinting) by myself on the treadmill like I used to do at another gym in Anderson. Gross.

There are a group of girls at 6 am class that push me to try harder, be better than I was the day before, but most importantly — to laugh. The driving force behind this at our little 6 am class is my good friend, Brooke Taylor.

Brooke started CrossFit back in June 2014. She will tell you that she came in the gym with me on her lunch break just to check it out AND to make fun of CrossFitters (that little punk). But Nick, the owner of the gym, connected with her over Clemson and Collegiate Diving, and THAT is why she came back. Nick wasn’t being fake. He genuinely asked her questions about herself because he was being a normal human, and he’s nice (most of the time). Needless to say, sweet little Brookie changed her mind and started CrossFit — and got good – like really good! She’s one of the best. And she’s lost over 20 lbs since starting CrossFit! She’s really humble though, so she prob won’t admit to you that she easily split jerked 175 pounds just yesterday morning, or that she can walk on her hands, or that she can string together bar muscle ups and butterfly pullups like it’s nothin’, or that she won a competition this past July!

But you know what Brooke is best at? Encouraging the people around her. And laughing. I’d rather be good at those things than good at working out any day. 

Brooke and I were friends and all before she came to CFEC(we worked together and went to church together), but now we’re close. She’s been a big influence in my life. She’s generous. I’ve experienced that first hand. She prays for Daniel and me. I know because she tells me. That’s a friend (one that tells you they’re praying for you and you know they really mean it). In the past several months, more than just a couple of times, I have VENTED to her at the gym about something or someone (sorry, just being real) and she pretty much won’t say anything bad back about the situation or the person. She just listens. That’s a friend.

I tell you all of this not to bring attention to Brooke (well kinda, she deserves it) but for two reasons:

  1. To show you a real person making a difference in the people around her through CrossFit.
  2. To convince you that working out in a group (hopefully with friends) wins all day, everyday vs. working out alone. I may not know you, but here’s what I know about you: If you have a group of people around you that encourage you and push you through your workouts, you’re more likely to stick with it. Life is just better that way. Make some new friends(that aren’t weird) and get a good workout in to make you more fit. It’s a double win.

I wish everyone could experience our little 6 am CrossFit class at CFEC, and I hope you have some sort of community that’s just as good, if not better. If you don’t, come hang out with us at CFEC. 6 am. It’s definitely worth getting up early for.

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**See, look. 3 blog entries in, and I’m making your life better already.**

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