It was mid-2013. I ran into a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in awhile. Except now he was all jacked.
“Dude, don’t take this the wrong way, but you look amazing…” I said to my buddy Ryan. “What have you been doing?” Ryan was once a little bit chubby and not muscular. Now he looked like an action hero.
“Crossfit” he replied, grinning.
“I’ve heard about that. Seems cool. But don’t you need to be super jacked to do that stuff? I can’t even do a pullup.”
“No. Not at all. Just try it out and see if you like it. The workouts are scalable, so anyone can do it. Not well, but you’ll get into shape fast if you stick with it. I was super out of shape when I started. You remember…”
“But isn’t Crossfit just some stupid fad like Zoomba or Tae Boe?” I asked.
“No. Basically, they play the music real loud, you just do what the coaches tell you, and if you do it a few times a week you’ll get in good shape. It’s a mix of cardio and heavy weight lifting. Fun as hell, sort of like playing outside with your friends. Some of the dudes at my gym even compete and get real serious about it. I’ve seen some guy lift over like 300lbs. I’m working to get there…” he said. “You can take it as far as you want to go.”
“…are you trying to get me to join a cult?” I asked skeptically.
“Nah. But you’ll definitely meet some cool people, and the girls are all hot. I met my girlfriend there, and picked up some decent clients. Call it whatever you want, but it’s the best money I spend all month.”
Hmmmm…. I could just give it a try to shut him up, I guess…
Reflections from 2014
I’m sitting on my couch right now sore in places that I didn’t know could be sore. Or should be sore. Today at Crossfit Novem we did a workout called “Jenny.” 20 overhead squats, followed by 20 back squats, followed by a 400 meter run. For 20 minutes, and as many rounds as you can do.
I spent a lot of November and December traveling, put on a few holiday pounds, and this was my first week back in the gym all month. Having some downtime with the holiday is a good time to retool, and reevaluate things in your life.
How did we get here, anyway?
When I started Crossfit in November of 2013. This is what I looked like:
That’s a double XL dress shirt. A 48 portly suit. Both of which have been donated to the local thrift shop because they look stupid on me now.
I’ve always been kind of fat. Last year I was chatting over email with Mike Cernovich, a former fattie turned action hero, who writes Danger and Play for some advice. Later Mike discussed his own routines, that are similar to Crossfit. (If you haven’t read D&P and are interested in improving your life in any way, well, go do it. Mike does not advocate doing Crossfit.) Mike also has a nice podcast on losing weight via intermittant fasting if you’re interested in the subject, and a whole lot more.
By July of 2014, this is what I looked like doing Crossfit a few times a week, maintaining a paleo diet, and doing intermittent fasting per Cernovich (basically, eat less, IF makes that easy):
Still have a ways to go, and now I need to knock off the holiday weight gain. Nothing too daunting at this point. Just be dedicated to hitting the gym and eating clean.
Cool. What does this have to do with lawyering? Start a fitness blog or something.
I’m sure by this point you’re reading and saying to yourself “Cool story bro. Jordan joined a fancy gym and lost a few pounds. What does this have to do with lawyers?”
You would be surprised…
Today everyone is complaining on Facebook today about the “resolutioners.” Apparently traditional gyms are overcrowded with people who will go for a month and then quit.
While I appreciate anyone trying to get into shape for any reason, using any method, that sounds annoying.
Thankfully, I wouldn’t know. Today at Crossfit it was the same group of people I usually see, most who have been members longer than I have, plus a few new faces. Interestingly, most of the new faces tend to stick around. The classes are capped at a certain number, so it was neither more or less packed than usual.
This morning I got to the gym a few minutes early, which I usually do. While waiting for my session to begin, I chatted with another local business owner who I’ve got to know pretty well. Yesterday I bumped into an architect I’ve become friendly with, where we discussed potential business stuff. I’ve also gotten countless referrals from other members.
This has become common.
I used to workout at Planet Fitness, which is close to my house. This was my routine – put in my headphones, hope the machine I wanted was available, and then try and lift weights for 45 minutes in solitude. I was a member of the gym for over a year and I don’t think I ever met a single solitary person there. I spent more time waiting for machines and listening to music than working out. I never pushed any of my limits, and often it just felt like a chore. It wasn’t fun, but I felt it was necessary.
Case in point – you’ll usually see the same folks at Crossfit. But instead of putting in your headphones and keeping to yourself, you’ll actually talk to them. More than once. From there, you might even become friendly with them, or do business with them. At a regular gym, not so much.
But Crossfit is expensive!!!!
Advice from a successful lawyer friend of mine last month:
“I work out at the Philadelphia Sporting Club. Yes, I know, it’s the most expensive gym in the city. You know why I go there? Because it pays for itself and then some. Plus I get to workout.”
Crossfit total cost: $1800 a year.
Yes, it is expensive compared to Planet Fitness. One month of Crossfit will set you back more than a year at Planet Fitness.
However, this also means you’re hanging around other people who make enough money to spend it on a gym that costs $150 a month. Not $10 a month.
Who do you think will make better clients? Who do you think will have better referrals?
Also, if you get one decent case or client, it’s paid for itself in a year and and then some.
Plus you got to workout.
Crossfit is dangerous! Everyone gets injured! You’ll shoot your eye out!
Yeah, I’ve heard, apparently the only place you’re safe from injury is sitting on your couch. I should be in the emergency room once a month or something.
It’s never happened.
You can get hurt doing any physical activity. Riding a bicycle (particularly in the city), playing soccer, once I even fell down the courthouse stairs while running to a hearing and hurt my knee. (irony – people were like “You got hurt at Crossfit, didn’t you?!” “That would be a good story. No, I got hurt running to a hearing and carrying a briefcase…”)
I have never gotten injured at Crossfit. Sore? Yes. Injured, nope. My biggest injury last year was the courthouse incident. Next time I’ll take the elevator, which I’m sure is safer.
It’s a trend!!!
Yeah, I know. I remember when Starbucks was a trend. And then craft beer was a trend. Yoga was a trend. Yet today none of you could imagine going back to Folger’s and Coors. More and more people do yoga.
Unsurprisingly, Crossfit gyms continue to grow. Probably because going to a regular gym kind of sucks.
My quick view of the world? Traditional gyms are becoming outdated. This is simply a better, more fun, and healthier way to workout.
It’s a cult!!!
Or it’s just a bunch of people who workout together, and sometimes end up hanging out. And have stuff to talk about. “Dude, the WOD today was killer. I could only do three rounds. I saw you snatch 100 kilos last week. Niiiice…”
People who do a common activity together talk about it.
Meet some cool people. Maybe do even business with them.
And get a killer workout.
Wanna ramp up your law practice? Consider Crossfit.