This May, we celebrate our one-year anniversary at CrossFit Heerlen’s second location. May 1st was actually the day we started for real as a CrossFit BOX. It’s hard to believe a year could go by so fast, yet here we are… older, wiser, FITTER, and blessed beyond belief.
We’ve seen incredible growth in membership, the coach team now counts 4 instead of 1 coach, members making huge progress towards their goals, our own successful trailrun event and new and exciting classes like our improved Fundamentals program and CrossFit Kids. However, it’s the faces that walk through the door each and every day that have made the past 365 days as a CrossFit gym so special.
Don’t you just love walking through that door? It’s so exciting yet terrifying all at the same time. You see sweat-covered warriors leaving with looks of victorious pride on their faces, and the nervous grins of anticipation on the faces of the members warming up for their turn at the day’s WOD. You hear the sounds of laughter and cheers mixed in with the clank of barbells being returned to their racks as music plays in the background with the purpose of keeping everyone pumped up and ready to move. You immediately feel the sense of community among the members and the pride they have for their box. It’s an experience most people could never imagine having about a gym and one of the reasons new faces are constantly showing up at CrossFit Heerlen.
How was the first year? Incredible. Just incredible. It’s been the journey of a lifetime.
So many people ask me if I ever imagined CrossFit Heerlen being so successful in its first year. Sure! I imagined it. I also imagined what it would be like if it failed, too. I’ll be honest with you. It was scary in the beginning! But, in the end, the fear of NOT doing it and NOT sharing CrossFit with the Parkstad area was a way scarier proposition. I knew we had to do it. Getting started was an adventure unto itself. So many things all came together to make it happen. I began the process of affiliation and after I’d met all the qualifications we moved to our own facility we didn’t have to share and became CrossFit Heerlen.
We knew instantly that our members were enjoying themselves, getting results, and telling their friends. Before we knew it we had to move to add square meters… we needed more room! It was so much fun to see how we were growing. In fact, over the past year, we’ve had to expand not only the square meters but also our training schedule and group size (to max 10 persons per class). That’s one of the most exciting things to come out of this first year… We’ve grown to the point now that we will soon begin construction on our new 1000 square meters CrossFit facility right across the street! We are so excited! It’s going to be amazing.
Shortly after we were about to outgrow our current box we had to figure out what we wanted to do. It was scary! I can still remember talking to my wife. Again, something in our gut knew there was something special about this place and so we took a leap of faith and did it! What was this “special” thing about CrossFit Heerlen that made us take that leap? THE PEOPLE!!! Each and every one of you reading this now! We have the greatest members anywhere. Trust me, I’ve worked out at all kinds of places in my life, but at NO PLACE have I ever met people like we have at CrossFit Heerlen. We are people of all ages, all skill levels, and all walks of life and before I knew it we were like family and one big happy community. Everyone would show up, and as a team, conquer their fears and support each other and help each other make it through each and every WOD! It literally gives me goose bumps when I think about it! On any given day you can walk in our box and see people cheering each other… COME ON! YOU GOT THIS! I love it! It’s something special to watch. I can’t even express how amazing it is to be a part of something so special. So rewarding.
It’s funny. People ask me all the time about our success. How did you do it? Honestly, I measure success on the results our members are getting. If I see someone improve the number of double unders (rope jumps) during warmup… we are successful! When I see someone climb the rope for the first time in their life and they are amazed by themselves because they NEVER thought they could do it… we are successful! When I see people that, some months ago were having trouble making it through a WOD, setting a goal to compete in the Open next year… we are successful! Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled that we have over 150 members. I’m thrilled that we are the only box in Heerlen. I’m thrilled we are the largest box in the Parkstad area. That, however, doesn’t make us successful. CrossFit is about changing lives. We do that! We do that, daily! That makes us successful! The amazing thing is that the more we focused on helping others change their lives the more CrossFit and CrossFit Heerlen changed our life! CrossFit is about community! I can’t imagine a life without it, now! This past year I’ve developed so much more than better health… I’ve developed relationships with some amazing people both here and at other CrossFit Boxes. These people share our philosophy that CrossFit can do more for people than they could ever imagine. Our little country now has over 185 affiliates! Just to give you some perspective… there are countries that don’t have any! We’ve got 185! I will tell you this. We talk, we share, and we attend events together. These folks GET IT! I always hate to hear stories about cities that have a Box which doesn’t understand what the CrossFit community is all about. Those people, however, have a way of isolating themselves and ultimately they only end up hurting themselves. The COMMUNITY of CrossFit is stronger than that and the success and growth of CrossFit Heerlen is proof! No doubt! CrossFit has changed my life so much. I can’t imagine a life without it, now!
Recently, a lot of people have asked me where CrossFit Heerlen goes from here. I don’t have an exact number, or building size, or member count that determines where we want to be. My wife and I and all our coaches, just focus on helping people change their lives. One at a time, two at a time, five at a time, or fifty at a time! We just want to share CrossFit! We love it!
CrossFit Heerlen has the BEST coaches anywhere! They are so supportive to our members and they are so critical in helping CrossFit Heerlen make it from day to day. I can never thank them enough for all their hard work and the fact that they take such pride in being a coach at CrossFit Heerlen! They are amazing! I couldn’t do it without them! I must also thank my wife. She has supported me through it all. I am blessed to have her and love her dearly and sincerely thank her for the sacrifices she has made so CrossFit Heerlen could become a reality.
Finally, I just want to say thank you, again, to everyone that has been a part of this amazing journey called CrossFit Heerlen. CrossFit WORKS! Don’t get me wrong… just signing up won’t get you in shape. You have to commit to it! If you stay consistent, work hard, push yourself past your limits, listen to your coaches, and count every rep… you will achieve more than you ever imagined! You’ve all made this the journey of a lifetime… OUR journey of a lifetime… each and every one of us! We all have so much to look forward to over the NEXT 365 days!