The beginning of CrossFit took place in a sleepy surfing city of Santa Cruz, California. People walk around even today in flip flops and greet the occasional visitor who drops in hoping to catch a glimpse of Coach Glassman. It was weird as I drove down from San Jose, CA where I just finished taking my Level 2 Crossfit Certification and arrived in Santa Cruz, CA. There was nothing at all that would let you know that world altering fitness evolution that began from this place in the last 10-15 years.
Where CrossFit Began
My first stop was CrossFit Santa Cruz Central. I researched and knew that Coach Glassman shut down his final gym. He then split it into three different gyms all over Santa Cruz. I popped in to speak with Annie Sakamoto- (who is a CrossFit Legend who trained from the beginning with Coach Glassman). She is the head trainer at Central which fits inside what looks like an old Firestation. It has huge bay doors and is shaped in a U- most of the class WODs outdoors anyway. She had a few minutes before a class and was more than willing to point out to me where the first gym had been located. The 400m turn around when she used to train with Coach was at her current location.
I was humbled to meet Annie and was inspired by her humility, contagious spirit, and eagerness to help. I walked quickly up the sidewalk and cut through a parking lot to arrive at THE SPOT. And I have to say- it’s a bit of let down. When you open a CrossFit gym on the far side of the world- you almost expect the birthplace of CrossFit to have a mystical aura, a black stone, or perhaps some golden statue somewhere noting all that has happened. (perhaps those things will come in time?).
At the same time, its comforting to know that the strength behind CrossFit is nothing more than the community, the elegant but simple workouts, nutrition guidelines, and the results that people across the world and cultures are discovering.
CrossFit West Santa Cruz- Box #2 From the Beginning
After CrossFit Central I walked into CrossFit West just like I’ve walked into many CrossFit gyms. They greeted me immediately and asked which class I’d like to join. I loved the open area and the open people. (I haven’t found all of California to be this way!).
Its a great open space with more great coaches. I can’t imagine the pressure they must feel when people drop in from all over the world and expecting the Angel Gabriel to be coaching them! After spending a few minutes here soaking in the feeling and view- I turned to leave with a newfound courage. But courage for what? To keep going in my own CrossFit journey and to see CrossFit’s results impact the Middle East.
Where will CrossFit Go Next?
This is an interesting question. The sport of CrossFit is growing like crazy. CBS Sports signed a new agreement to air the CrossFit Games. There are close to 15,000 Crossfit Affiliates around the world now. CrossFit is beginning to take on the big sugar and soda companies that have wrecked the general health of America. I know for me personally, I hope to mentor several more CrossFit gym owners and help them bring physical, emotional, and spiritual health to far more people in the Middle East. I can see dramatic improvements in my own health and fitness in the last three years. And I’m watching it happened in the lives of my members. I can’t wait to see what happens in the coming three years!
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If you are new to Amman, or just starting your journey in fitness in Amman, you should check out our 5 Fitness Tips for being in Amman. We can help make your transition smooth!