Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

Cape Cod

In Memoriam CrossFit Bingo, nee Comet CrossFit

The dreams are weird, man. If I dream at all I rarely remember them, but it’s been one dream after another these last couple of nights, and I awaken with a memory of each one as clear as if I’d just walked out of a theater. They all follow the same pattern, though the details of the story differ a bit. I’m invited to join a group that’s far outside my usual fare. We combat others outside our group who wish us harm, but as the group grows internal turmoil brings danger within, and some I once knew as colleagues become something else. It’s always dark, sometimes with a faint brown or yellow tinge, but always too dark to see more than a city block ahead. In that block’s worth of view are people, both in the group and out, who look to me for…something. To stay or to go? The dream always ends the same way, my back to a door closing behind me, a nearly unlit street filled with these people ahead.

Friday marked the last day for our family’s Affiliate CrossFit Bingo/nee Comet CrossFit.

We finished up a week of CrossFit benchmarks with “Fran”. It was eerie: everybody PR’d. 15 hearty souls remained of the more than 200 who became CrossFitters at Comet/Bingo, joining the 50 or so who’d started elsewhere. It was hard to see the clock; I kept getting something in my eye.

Parts of this story have been told before. 4 1/2 years ago my sons opened a Box far from where they’d grown up, opting to strike out on their own while at the same time respecting the zones around the 2 Affiliates then open in the area. It was a much more innocent time in all ways CrossFit. The CrossFit Games had just moved to LA from the Ranch. The 5,000 or so Affiliates were still spread out, buffer zones between most, at least outside of SoCal. Coach Glassman ¬†told The Boys “It’s fun, and it’s easy!”, and by and large it was both. “What’s CrossFit” was the first question you answered for 95% of the people who walked through the door. It wasn’t so much a business as it was a bit of a calling, really.

As parents it was a thrill to see our boys working together, although we knew that part of it was surely temporary. My oldest Dan was the leader; he found his effective voice while launching Comet CrossFit. “The Heir”, despite his vehement discussion-ending declarations that “this is my career”, soon enough found his true calling in the law and headed off to Law School and Business School. Comet/Bingo gave him the time and space to learn a bit more about who he was and what he was meant to do. Beth and I are forever grateful that Comet/Bingo and his brother were there for that, for him.

For Lil’bingo, though, we were quite convinced that this was it. That this CrossFit thing was what he was supposed to do. In many ways we were right, and in many ways he would agree. Randy, you see, was more than a bit shy around people he didn’t know, and not quite sure of himself in new settings. But boy, could he coach. From the very start he had an exceptional eye for movement, and an uncanny ability to present just the right cue to his athlete to effect the change necessary to improve. In time this repeated success brought a greater, broader confidence to him, one that made him defer less and be more willing to share his mind in all aspects of his life.

And like so many other instances of transference in CrossFit, where lessons and actions in movement translate into similar behaviors in life, we saw that strong desire to help manifest itself literally every waking moment in his life. His repeated success as a coach has given him the confidence he lacked when he graduated from high school, and now he will take this newfound confidence with him to college. We, his Mom and Dad, are forever grateful for these 4 1/2 years of personal growth for him as a gym owner and coach.

So was Coach Glassman right? Was it fun and easy? Well, like most things, the answer is yes and no, and that’s probably where my dreams come from. Beth and I had a chance to be coaches at our sons’ gym, and there’s no question that the coaching is fun. It’s just a thrill to see people get better, to go beyond what they ever imagined for themselves. Physical changes and newfound abilities translate to a confidence in self that is nothing short of amazing, and we got to share that sense of accomplishment with other trainers who can trace their lineage to that gymnast in Santa Cruz. No doubt man, that was fun.

Our sons have both grown into the next version of who they are destined to be, helped along in the process by the priceless experience of running a business whose sole purpose was to make their clients better. Each of our boys in turn is now a better version of their potential selves for having done this. As parents we are grateful for this, for CrossFit.

And what of us? Well, for me and my dreams, I’m going to go with that door being Comet/Bingo and leave it at that. Those folks in the dreams who seemed to wish me harm because of my association, whatever my mysterious group may have been? Well, they may or may not be real, and since I can’t really see them clearly in the dark and the mist, I’m not going to look too very hard for them or at them. No, I think the dream is really about those folks in front of me who seem to be looking for help, or maybe looking with a bit of sadness as they, too, watch the door close behind me. I feel what they feel. I’m pretty sure I’ll always feel what they feel.

If you’re wondering, I’ll aim for that little bit of faint yellow in the sky beyond the mist, beyond my view. Maybe some of those friendly souls in my dream will follow. I really have no idea what’s there, just a sense that there’s a next for me too, something that I’ve grown to be from having Comet/Bingo. Like my sons.

I’m pretty sure my darling Beth is already there, waiting for me.

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