“Once a runner” is my motto when I think about all the miles put in during college (more like all the trials really).  I ran cross country and distance events for Grand Valley State University (Go Lakers!), and one of the things I reminisce about is what people in cars would yell at us as they drove by:

“Run Forest, Run!” (this was by far the most popular one…tells you how long ago this was)

“Put some clothes on!”

And probably my favorite was

“Eat a cheeseburger!”.

But aside from people yelling at us from their car, I also got “Why would you run for fun?”.

Running competitively for GVSU was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and one that I will always consider a “fun” one.  How can a sport so grueling as Cross Country be considered fun?  It’s because there were ways to “ascend”.  A new personal record, your team making the podium, and putting insane amounts of training in the off-season knowing that you have a team and community counting on you.

ASCEND by definition is to “rise up or climb”.  And at CF 7070, it’s a big part of who we are.

In fact, there are 3 main foundational principles that make up who we are.  They are:

  1. Elevate above barriers
  2. Community
  3. Ascension

(We’ll be writing about each of these so stay tuned).

This is what our coaches take into everything.  Of course we’re going to be relentless when we coach our athletes, but we want to make sure this is the lens of which we do everything.  Let’s dive into what “ascension” is.

The joke goes “Q:  How do you know if a CrossFitter walks into a room?  A:  They’ll tell you”.  It’s because when you’re excited about something, naturally you want to tell everyone about it.  And early on in the CrossFit years (early 2000’s), it was so evident that these CF people had “drank the Kool-aid”.  And why get so excited about “exercise”?

Because the early adopters of CF had a way to ascend.

It was called competition.  There was the Open.  There were sanctionals.  There was Regionals.  And for many (at the time), there was even the CrossFit Games.  There was always a way to ascend.  And we need that platform of ascension to be excited about CrossFit (or anything for that matter).

It’s how our brains work.  No matter how good our deadlift is, we need goals!  We need a way to rise up or climb.

At CF 7070, we start our new members with an On-Ramp program.  A program that teaches our new members how to CF safely and efficiently…so that they can ultimately get fitter quicker.  We point out bright spots so that we can hit the next one.  It’s always a “What’s Next” mentality.  Always a way to climb.

Johnny just got his first high knee raise.  “That’s great! Next it’s gonna be a leg raise”.

Johnny just got his first leg raise. “Awesome!  Next it’s going to be a toes-to-bar”.

Johnny just got his first toes-to-bar.  “Wow!  Let’s see if we can string them together now”.

And the list goes on.

At CF 7070, we have the Level Method.  We assess exactly where our members are so that they can safely work out at their level.  They’re also getting fitter in the process because they’re hitting the intent of the workout much more effectively.  You’re never stuck at your level (even though some of the categories are very tough to progress through).  There’s a road-map to get you to what’s next.  A step by step process that gives our coaches a chance to coach the heck out of you so that you can hit that next bright spot.  This is all about ascending our athletes…to make them the hero in this whole process.

There’s a bright spots board.

There’s a CF Games Open Intramural.

There are local competitions.

There are In-house competitions.

There is a community counting on you.

There is a means to stay engaged.  We need that!  Not only to make CF fun, but to ultimately make CF a meaningful experience.

Distance running is hard.  CF may be even harder.  But IT IS WORTH IT.  Sure, we already know about the health benefits.  But it wasn’t the health benefits that kept me running at GVSU.  We lived and trained at a college that was amidst corn fields.  Running through corn fields can be cool for about 17 seconds.  And if someone told me to keep going solely because it’s healthy for you, I would have found something else.  But I stuck with it.  There were too many opportunities to ascend.

Be a part of that ascension at 7070.  Keep hitting bright spots.   And guess what?  You’ll be darn healthy as a result.

See you in the gym FitFam



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