Putting A Focus on Heroism


CrossFit teaches us a lot of things. Not the least of which is to be prepared for anything. When confronted with the unknown or unexpected, some people act while most others react.

One of our members–Brianna Cichoski–is a national sales rep, and she travels quite a bit. As you can imagine, this makes it a challenge to maintain a regular training schedule. So while on a recent business trip to San Francisco, she dropped by a local box to squeeze in a workout between meetings.

“Class was well under way when I noticed a guy hanging around the front door of the gym. At first, I thought he was just checking out the class. But then I noticed him paying particular attention to the bags and purses lining the floor of the gym. Everyone had just tossed his or her stuff along the front wall.” Brianna says the guy “kept coming and going as if he was checking to see if anyone noticed him.” That’s when she got really suspicious. “Nobody else noticed him. Then, suddenly, I saw him pick up a couple of bags and a cell phone and start walking out the door.”

That’s when she sprang into action. “At Focus, we always train at such a high level…I guess that’s why before I knew what I was doing, I was running down the street after him yelling for him to stop. And when he turned around, I knocked him to the ground and wrestled everything away from him. He ran off and I walked back to the gym to finish my workout.” Needless to say, she was so pumped on adrenaline, she reports that she “totally killed that WOD!”

And was she afraid? “It wasn’t until after I walked back to the gym that it hit me. But actually, I think he was more scared than I was.”

As Brianna’s coach, I’m very proud of the athlete she has become. I can only imagine how shocked that guy was when he realized a woman was kicking his butt. I’m sure he’ll think twice about stealing from a CrossFit gym next time—especially if he sees Brianna in the class.

Although we don’t encourage our members to act like superheroes, we do discuss three fundamental situational rules: 1) Be alert 2) Be aware 3) Be prepared. We call this ‘Perpetual Preparedness’ and it’s not just about being physically prepared—it’s also about being aware of your surroundings.

These days, everyone has his or her nose buried in a screen—oblivious to what’s going on around them—instead of on a swivel. But not Brianna. She was paying attention. And we’re all very proud of her. Except for one poor San Franciscan who’s still nursing his bruised pride.