The Box Is Where My Heart Is


It’s nice when we get positive feedback. It’s even nicer when that feedback solidifies our commitment to our athletes. This week’s post was sent to us in the form of an entertaining “thank you” email from Focus fan Matt Riva. In the short time he has been with us, Matt has made a big impact on our team. It’s good to know we’ve made a positive impression on him as well. Thanks, Matt.


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It was the Thanksgiving holiday, and for the first time since August, I found myself away from home and in need of finding an alternative gym to do my daily workout. I first looked for a CrossFit gym to visit, but due to our family schedule, I couldn’t make that work and decided instead to drop in at regular globo-style gym.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was a regular member of a globo-style gym. I’m not one to take things for granted, but my visit to this particular gym made such an impact on me that I felt compelled to share my thoughts and experiences from this experiment with all my CrossFit friends. As my fitness is a very important part of my life, I especially wanted to express my thankfulness for everything I have with my CrossFit home.

The truth is, once you commit to a serious training program—one with instruction and education, and goals and accountability—you find anything else to be seriously lacking in substance.

1. YUCK! – As soon as I walked into the gym I smelled something. Try as I did, I couldn’t pinpoint the source of the offensive odor—was it sweat, chlorine, bleach—but I didn’t like it. I immediately missed the “non-smell” of Focus.

Thanks everyone for keeping the Box so clean and organized.

2. Rowers – Next, I was ready to begin my typical warm-up. After some searching, I was able to find one semi-functioning rower. The resistance lever was stuck on zero and the foot straps were broken. Clearly the Globo Fitness staff couldn’t care less about the rower. However, the 25 Elliptical machines they had on site looked to be working perfectly.

So, thanks for all the functional rowers lining our wall.

3. Pull-Up Bars – The rest of my warm-up was okay, except for the lack of a proper pull-up bar. They do have one pull-up bar that was in the middle of the Cable Station. You know the one I’m talking about. This machine has two options: one super wide and one super narrow. Neither of which would work for me or anyone else for that matter. Instead, I jumped on the TRX apparatus that wasn’t meant for pull-ups, but it did the trick.

Thanks for having plenty of spots to do proper pull-ups.

4. Lighting and Bars – I scanned the darkly lit room for a rack and couldn’t find one. Oh wait…there it is, way back in the corner of the room. I grabbed the rusty, coarsely gnarled bar and went to work. Olympic lifts never feel great on the hands, but I really missed the high-quality bars Focus supplies for all of us. Also, did I mention that there was no grunting or dropping of weights allowed in the “gym.”

Thanks for having awesome bars and weights and allowing us to throw them around.

5. Wall Space – The entire gym was about 10,000 square feet and I found one 4-foot wide area to do handstand push-ups in.  I wedged myself in between the dumbbell rack and a steel beam. It worked, but I was really missing Focus by now.

Thanks for having ample open space to work on all the skill movements I’ve come to love (and sometimes even hate).

6. Mirrors – One reason I couldn’t find suitable space for my training was the place was full of mirrors. At first, I was glad as I thought it would help me with my form, but all it did was distract me. It drove home coach’s point that Olympic lifting is very much about seeing the lift in your mind’s eye and ‘feeling’ the effects of proper technique.

Thanks for being great coaches and NOT having mirrors in the gym.

7. Do you even lift, Bro?! – Other lifters kept talking to me and pulling me away from my workout. How do these people get anything done with all their talking and walking around? I developed a new appreciation for my fellow Focus members that embody our motto: “Work Not Words.”

Thanks coaches for keeping everyone on task and in line.

This entire experience reminded me of just how lucky I am to have found such a quality facility with great coaches and awesome people. As I’ve said before, this is my Meca. I’m proud to call Focus my home.