[laughs] There is a group of peers that…We’ve entered in the next generation of individuals who doesn’t know CrossFit before a certain point. There’s a CrossFit before the Open. There’s a CrossFit before Regionals and then there’s a CrossFit before Sanctionals and that was Regionals.
Now we’re getting way back, the sectionals he was competing at. I saw these photos on, dude, that is cool man. I’m like, I should get into that stuff. I started doing it in the gym in the House of Representatives, and then I liked it, I enjoyed it, but I was unfamiliar with the community aspect.
I’m still just a solo rider. I was just like 9 or 10, sometime late 9 or early 10. Once I did step into a community, I was like, “Holy crap. This is wild and I love it.” Fire-breather, totally to the max back then. I was like, “Can’t do no less a thousand reps today” mentality and just loved it. It spoke to my competitive nature, loving to push myself, and being flat on my back.
I was one of those early…I’m a type-A…shocker that I like to push it hard and feel that result. I saw those results, and I loved it. There were two big things that I found that I really, really loved. One was family. A lot of people have spoken about this not only to us or we’ve seen these stories pop up on Instagram and other people sharing it.
Family was this new concept because on Capitol Hill everything is transactional. Even your friends are transactional. You’re like, “This person works for so and so office, and you know, yeah, I’ve got some inroads here. This person works for the White House.” You’re like, “OK. You know I’ve got connections all over the city.”
You’re at Happy Hour with them. Your friends are transactional. Your roommates might even be transactional. You like the people, but you also recognize that there’s some mutual benefit in you all knowing each other.
CrossFit wasn’t like that. It was also something that was outside of this sphere of politics for me. I didn’t know anybody that didn’t work in politics. That’s literally the only people I knew were Democrats and Republicans. That was it.
That was how we were defined as. What your role is, it was in the party. You’re a press secretary. You’re a legislative aide, etc. I met teachers, first responders, and workers across industries. Very few people that were there worked on Capitol Hill or worked in politics even in general.
It was this cool thing where I was making friends outside. I’m like, “These are people I never would have met and they are way outside of my sphere of influence. They’re also way outside of my typical demographic.”
I was 24 years old when I walked into the gym. Some of these people were over 30, some people over 50. I was like, “These are cool people and we’d hang out, we’d get brunch, sometimes get drinks together, and we developed family,” and that was really cool.
The second thing that really drew me to the community was its strength and beauty concept. That’s something that we as a publication have tried to consciously nurture is a strength and beauty concept. There was this time when people were now recognizing that strong is beautiful, and that what the body can do is somewhat more important than the aesthetics behind it.
This conversation was really invoke and I was like, “That’s meaningful,” because we’re changing the way that the next generation is going to view physical details about themselves. That’s a really important thing. I was like, “The fact that you can see all these women here going, you know what? I’m not interested in looking like that, I want to be able to do that.”
I was like, “That’s a powerful message.” I think that was really awesome. It’s continuing to play out all across the globe, as we see that happening more and more. That was right when that was happening. Becoming to be a really popular conversation, that’s another thing that drew me to the community.
It’s something we want to champion. I took that the passion that I had for those messages and said, “More family, more messages like this for our young guys and girls that are growing up, and the ones who maybe are even struggling with body image issues themselves. I want to make those things more known and more acceptable in this community.”
Those are two things that from day one, I’ve just loved about CrossFit.