Why Did You Start?

Normally when we meet someone who has been doing Functional Fitness or comes to us for the first time we ask them why or how did you find Functional Fitness?  We all have different reasons for starting Functional Fitness; it’s something different, weight loss, better overall health, improving athletic performance, a friend or loved one wouldn’t shut up about it etc…  Like a lot of people I was talked into trying a WOD for the first time, and like many peoples first experience it was horrible.  Not horrible in the way that I hated it, but horrible because it showed me that I had huge “weaknesses” in my fitness.  This introduction to Functional Fitness changed my world.

I bring this topic up, because around this time of year “The Games Season,” I think we all can have a tendency to lose sight as to why we first started Functional Fitness.  The Functional Fitness Games have become amazingly popular and have brought a ton of publicity to this great sport of ours.  However, The Functional Fitness Games or the competition side of Functional Fitness is an extremely SMALL side of Functional Fitness.  Yes this side of Functional Fitness appeals to athletes and bring new exposure to the sport, in my opinion and experience this isn’t the reason most Functional Fitnessters begin doing Functional Fitness.

As athletes progress and start to realize that they have ability in this sport, the aspect of wanting to compete usually comes up.  I personally think this is a fantastic goal and is a great thing for all athletes to try at least once.  We compete on a daily basis inside the gym, whether that competition is with our fellow athletes participating in the WOD or competing with ourselves.  Don’t get me wrong there is definitely a right time and place for every athlete to compete for the first time.  Just like a first time endurance athlete, it probably wouldn’t be the best situation to sign up for a full Iron Man race for their first competition experience.  The goal of competition at times can lead athletes away from the true reason why they found and fell in love with Functional Fitness.  The pressures of wanting to perform at a particular level can be overwhelming especially if it’s the athletes first competition.

Personally when Functional Fitness first found me, the Games were extremely small and honestly weren’t even a glimpse in the big picture of Functional Fitness.  The mission of Functional Fitness has always been to elicit a program that would challenge elite level athletes but would also improve the fitness of novice individuals because it allowed for universal scalability.  In my opinion Functional Fitness didn’t start with the intention of becoming an international sport, it’s amazing that it has grown that much but the “Sport” of Functional Fitness is nothing more than a SMALL, SMALL, segment to what Functional Fitness is.

I know this has been a bit long winded but I guess the point I’m trying to make is, we as athletes are on a life long journey that never ends.  This journey has brought Functional Fitness into our lives through a variety of reasons, that you can only answer yourself.  Our journey with fitness is the same as life; it will have it’s ups and downs, perhaps some set backs along the way, and we may not enjoy it all the time. However it is ALWAYS important to look back and remind ourselves as to why you first started Functional Fitness!

Please post to comment as to why you first started Functional Fitness and if any of this sounds familiar.

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19 Responses
  1. davoss212

    Getting into Functional Fitness

    For a long time I have been what some would call a “Gym Rat”. I would go to the globo gym at least 3-4 times a week and knock out bench press, maybe some leg work, back work, and of course some curls for girls. I hardly did cardio based working out because let’s face it, as most of you know I can’t stand running. I never saw the results I wanted, that whole Men’s Fitness look that you can get in 12 weeks or less. Ha, what a sham. I found Functional Fitness on accident, by catching a replay by ESPN of the 2011 games. Instantly I thought to myself, “Wow, I think I could do that.” It didn’t happen right away though, because of my job I tend to travel a lot. However, once I was sent to Denver and realized I was going to stay for a while I knew I had to find a gym. Lucky for me one of my co-workers was going to Surge.

    I talked him into taking me along on a Saturday for a free test workout. To be honest, I can’t even remember what the first workout was, but I can remember that I was soaked in sweat before the stretching was done. We went on to kill ourselves in some kind of partner workout and I loved how much people cheered each other on, encouraged everyone to get every rep they could and not quit. I was hooked and told Courtney I would see her on Monday.

    By the time I got home (about a 10 minute ride) I could barely walk up to my third floor apartment. The next day wasn’t any better, but it was the best pain I have ever been in. It was the first time I had truly felt like I worked out in my life. I have never stopped since and I annoy most of my friends by how much I talk about it and try to convince them to join a box near them. It has been one of the most important life altering decisions I have ever made and I am so greatful to the coaches at Surge who have never stopped encouraging and working with me through failed double unders or changing my weights during a workout (NEVER AGAIN, ha). I’m in the best shape I have been in since my feshman year of high school and today ranone of my best mile times ever at 7:12. This is all after only 4 monthes of high intensity training.

    Last but not least in my rambling, I love the entire Surge family. The most important part of Functional Fitness is the community that is being developed. Whether it is working out together, sharing food recipes, encouraging others to try for a PR, or cheering on the team at the games or local events, there is nothing like the Functional Fitness community. My goal is to share that with as many people as I can. So please don’t stop saying hello to everyone who comes in, being positive as much as you can, and encouraging everyone to meet their personal goals no matter how outlandish they may be.

    Thanks for everything!
    Dave Voss

  2. Rachel

    I started Functional Fitness because, my brother was so excited about it.

    Thanks for posting!

  3. JustG

    I first started cause Brandon was my trainer at mountain side and he already changed the way I worked out. I excersize for fun and we all know as evil as breathing later can be, it’s a freakin blast! I truly started because I saw Brandon as the man I once was and always wanted to be. Then I met Courtney and saw that that was the kind of woman I wanted to find. Then I met the people of the gym, it made me realize that this was where I was going to make my friends. I moved from Hawaii to create a new life and new friends, ones that don’t just sit around and smoke weed and surf. Because of crossfit I have accomplished all my goals in moving here. It’s crazy how life works out sometimes! Get it “works out” hahaha that’s a knee slapper!

  4. afromeatball

    Well said Justin!

    As for me, I think the original reason I gave crossfit a try was just curiosity. Two friends from work were doing some crazy exercises and I wanted to try it too.

    The reason I continued was Surge. It’s pretty commonplace and even cliche to say it, but the community aspect is HUGE! I am reminded of that everytime I step inside our box. It’s more than exercise. It’s more than camraderie. I don’t think I have the vocabulary to explain exactly what it is, but I love whatever it is.

    This is a great question, and I’m eager to read all of your answers. Have a good day friends!

  5. amber

    I really like this, I think it’s important to remember what Functional Fitness is all about for each of us.

    The reason I stayed in CF is so much more than the reason I started out. I started out because I wanted something different that would keep me interested. I have tried a lot of different gyms, classes, sports, and I always got bored.

    I stayed with CF because of SO many reasons. The atmosphere, and community are the biggest reasons. At other gyms and classes, I always felt so self conscious, and sortof out of place because I believe the focus was not necessarily on improving fitness.
    At CF I couldn’t believe how supportive and encouraging everyone was. It’s not about staring at your biceps in the mirror (which has been entertaining to watch at other gyms!), but it is about getting better and stronger, and realizing how much more you are capable of achieving, and improving your quality of life.
    I have met so many kind people, and they help me every day to push myself. CF has totally changed the way I view health and fitness, and I can’t say enough about it.

    The competition aspect of it is fun too, but definitely a tiny part of it. CF has helped me to not be such an insecure person, and realize that I am capable of more than I thought. It is the only thing I have done that I know I will stick with, because it is about so much more than just “working out”.
    I haven’t even been doing it very long, but it really has changed my life, and I have a hard time summing up the reasons I love it in just a few paragraphs!

  6. Jess B

    I started with Brandon as my trainer at Mountainside a really really really long time ago 🙂 I swear I was one of his guinnea pigs for being a crossfit trainee! I started because I followed Brandon into it….then I kept doing it because it makes me feel good to workout and push myself to limits I never knew I could reach! Functional Fitness is my hobby, my time alone and my time to focus on me for that 1 hour a day….no work, no kids, no husband, and no thoughts about anything other than ME ME ME MEEEEEE!!!

  7. amienshea

    Wow! I love all the powerful words and stories … I started CF because of Courtney. I spent all of my 20’s being over weight and lazy… Then 3 years ago as I was out with some girlfriends stuffing my face with a beer and a calzone my life changed for the better..I was dragged and I mean dragged to a Boot Camp Court was doing at a park the next day.. When I first met Court I had a list of things I could not do.. Running,jumping, are to name a few.. Court looked at me and smiled and said awesome. We will do what we can. After training with Court at boot camp I later hired her to train me at home. We had a great time and I lost like 20 pounds.. After that I felt comfortable enough to go to a gym to workout.. Court would ask me everyday if I lifted weights yet… I would always giggle and say NOPE. In my head I was thinking I hate lifting weights. Anyway, shortly after a few months at the Big Box gym I was introduced to CF. I love what CF has done for not just me but for my family. I get so excited when new people join because they bring so much enthusiasm in. Courtney and Brandon have changed my life in so many positive ways. Bottom line is at Surge we all share one thing in common. We all want to be better then we were the day before.. Ok enough about that.. P.S. I typed this all from my phone.

  8. Wow, I am literally laying in bed at 9:30 supposed to be sleeping cause it was a really long day. But instead of sleeping I am reading your responses with tears rolling down my cheeks. That being said please ignore my typos…I’m on my phone and my eyes won’t focus lol. First I will answer the question of why I started CF. Well the short answer is I was a bored trainer and an athlete stuck in a rut. I still loved working out and was kind of enjoying doing triathlons but I never got the kind of changes I was looking for. I watched Brandon at Mountsinside for months before we really ever talked. I even witnessed the birthday WOD he put Rachel Parker through but had no idea what a birthday WOD was. Once we starting hanging out I convinced him to give me a WOD to do. Ironically, considering yesterdays WOD, “Cindy” was the WOD he gave me and my best friend to try. I did assisted pull ups and pretty sure I was doing 1/2 depth squats and push ups. At minute 12 I wad dead and hooked! It didn’t hurt that I was head over heels for Brandon and loved being around him for any reason 🙂 which still happens to be true today!

    Fast forward 2 1/2 years. Never would I have thought that we would open a CF gym 6 months into dating and only 7 months after my first WOD. However, we opened the gym to change lives to help people become healthy because it’s what we love to do. Little did we know that you all would be the ones changing our lives! We knew that CF had an amazing community but we never really experienced what it was like to be part if a box until it was our own. We had no idea the blessing that we were walking into and to be lucky enough to call home and to call all of you family. We never expected to meet so many amazing people and to make some of the best friends that we have ever had! I just want to thank each and everyone of you for making Surge an amazing place to be, to grow to excel and to change both on the inside and out! We could not be CF or Surge without you! Thank you guys for your posts and making me cry! Always a great reminder that even with long hours some days I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  9. Aaron Ferencik

    Well I’ve been to your gym all of about three times but my wife has been going there (Kristin Ferencik) for about a year now so I figure I will share my story with you guys.

    I started Functional Fitness in May of 2008 before I went to Marine Corps bootcamp. I did it by myself with little training; I showed it to my dad, who is still a Functional Fitnesster. I showed it to my then 16 year old brother, who still Functional Fitnesss. After bootcamp and School of Infantry I never stopped incorporating Functional Fitness into my workouts. I deployed twice to Afghanistan; the first time as a new guy, I was a gym meathead and would work out on my six hours between post and patrol. I did WODs off the crossfit main site, I deadlifted, squatted and pressed anything I could find.

    Before my second deployment I used Functional Fitness, in addition to distance running and hours in the gym (like I said, I am and will always be a meathead-yes, I look at my biceps in the mirror :D) to get in the best shape of my life and earn a position as an infantry squad leader. It was then I met my beautiful wife. Right before my second deployment I introduced her to Functional Fitness and she was hooked-she joined your box shortly thereafter.

    This time in Afghanistan I was on a remote hill in southern Helmand, and conditions were very harsh and very hot. With nowhere to go that was cooler that 110 degrees, I still did Functional Fitness. I moved patrol bases and did two or more WODs a day. I led over 200 patrols and still found time to work out. I’ve jumped canals with huge weights, carried other Marines in combat and done countless other things I couldn’t without the conditioning Functional Fitness gave me.

    Nowadays I do more powerlifting, strongman and traditional weightlifting. But soon I’ll be back to Colorado, working out in an environment where I can push myself and meet my goals with a great group of people and most importantly, the love of my life.

    Thanks for posting this. I read your site daily and though I don’t always do your WODs I always get something out of it.

    -Aaron Ferencik

  10. Bigbamboo

    I am the quintessential nerd who loved to eat. Chess club president, took band to get out of PE, always the last one picked to play ball…immigrant parents who were in the restaurant business stressed academics and not athletics. Food was my solace, my celebration, my reward. As I found success in school and career, my self-indulgent, gluttonous self grew to near 270 pounds, suit size 52, and waist 46. My life was work, family and 5 star restaurants. I did realize as I approached age 40 that a change was necessary and started joining community recreation centers, big box gyms as well as put in a home gym. Did the classes, worked out on my own and even had personal trainers who remain very good friends. There was success but eating kept getting in the way. In 3/2011, P90X was supposed to be the answer. A coworker (now my bff) said to me “hey, my gym does something like P90X, why don’t you come check it out”. After 2 weeks of procrastinating, I met Courtney and Brandon who has changed my life. By the 3rd class, I was hooked even as I walked up to Courtney and asked, “how does this jump rope thing work?!?” The conversation that still resonates and motivates me was an early one with Courtney. She asked “why did I want to do this” and my answer of course was “to lose weight”. She looked at me and said “how about getting fit instead?” Now as I approach 50, the Surge Elite Performance & Fitness family, the Paleo lifestyle, the WODs have and will remain an essential part of my life.

  11. Bananna

    Um wow, it is tough following up Courtney’s post but… I learned about Functional Fitness when i was doing Krav Maga in Broomfield and we did many modified Functional Fitness workouts, but I LOVED it and it hit on all of the areas of working out that I loved and none of the boredom I found working out at the gym. I was in a rut and 40 pounds heavier than i am today and crossfit reinvigorated me. I then moved to Arizona and worked out at Hammer Functional Fitness, which is when i started doing REAL crossfit workouts which I thought was as good as it was going to get, although we did not workout in groups, we showed up individually and were lucky to workout with one or two people. THEN i started at Surge thanks to Jamie:) It was at this time I learned of the community of Functional Fitness, not just the workouts. Not only have i progressed in the more technical lifts/endurance/attitude/humility:), but i really really enjoy working out with everyone and have made true friends. I am so excited to be part of the Surge family and watch it grow and enrich other peoples’ lives like it has mine:) Thanks Brandon and Courtney!

  12. Jeffbshea

    I have a feeling this may be long-winded so I apologize before hand. So Amie obviously found Functional Fitness before I did. She was hooked from the first day. Not long after she recruited Jason to go too. I had know Courtney for many years through our passion for soccer, and alot of mutual friends. As Amie said she had been training Amie for a while ad then got Amie into Functional Fitness. I have to be honest…at first I just didn’t get the whole Functional Fitness thing. I thought it was some sort of fitness cult or something. Amie and Jason were addicted to it, almost to the point where I questioned if there was heroine in the drinking water there or something. After a few months I saw how it was changing their lives. They were motivated, eating healthier, looking better, and raving about their success. At first I thought I don’t need Functional Fitness- I am not overweight, I was active, and I thought I was in shape. But I finally decided to try it after seeing how far Amie and Jason had come.
    My first workout was Chelsea. I think I made it to the 8th minute. I was spent! At minute 8 I quit and thought it was done. What I didn’t realize is that Brandon and Courtney wanted us to keep woring for the whole 30 minutes. I was at the water dispenser when Brandon said “Come on Jeff, keep working.” My first thought was this guy is crazy, I want to puke and go home. But his motivation got me back on the pul-up bar for more (don’t think I got too much more work done the rest of the time). It was then that Brandon made me realize that we are capable of more than we think. Every part of me wanted to quit, but seeing the others fight through it, and with Brandon’s motivation I was able to keep going. I also realized that day that even though I “looked fit”, I was far from it.
    When I started CF i drank a 12 pack of soda a day and smoked. I ate whatever the heck I wanted because I didn’t gain weight so why not? I soon realized that my perception f fitness was dead wrong. It is not how you look, but rather how you feel. I was “drinking the kool-aid” in no time. I had found something that was challenging and made me a healthier person every day.
    Growing up I played many sports and sportsmanship was something I valued greatly. What I loved about Surge and the athletes there was the comraderie. In other sports we are often rooting against our competition deep down inside. At Surge, and in the CF community as a whole, I noticed that the people cheer and root for their opponents. I began to love not only the sense of joy I got from my own successes, but also the feeling that I got watching other people’s successes. Even if someone beat me badly in a WOD, or got done well behind me, I noticed that I enjoyed watching them succeed and accomplish things that surprised even them. I enjoyed cheering them on and loved it it when they did the same for me. I soon learned it was not always about “winning” the WOD, but rather “winning at life.” I saw that we are all winning at life by our accomplishments, big and small. Getting better every day is all we can ask of ourselves, and I loved watching myself and others get better every day.
    Surge, and Brandon and Courtney especially, have changed my life and my family’s life tremendously. We are not only in better shape and eating healthier, but our attitudes and confidence in ourselves has also changed for the better! Functional Fitness is alot like life- it’s not always easy. Let’s face it…it’s damn hard at times. But if you have friends and family there to help you share in your triumphs, and also pick you up during the lows, you can make it through anything. We have all had our highs and lows at Surge, our successes and our failures, but at the end of it all we all survived with the support of each other and the incredible motivation and coaching of Brandon and Court.
    Thanks to you all for going through this journey with Amie and I. Thank you Brandon and Court for changing our lives forever.

  13. cfchick77

    I love reading all of these!! I started Functional Fitness on sort of a dare! I was looking for a challenge and I definitely found it!!! I have been hooked ever since and it didn’t take me long to drop my gym membership like a bad habit!!!! I love that I know I will be challenged EVERY time I walk through those doors AND I still have a blast!! I agree with Jeff, one of the things that keeps me in crossfit (besides the daily challenge) is the camaraderie and support- it’s the only sport where people cheer just as hard (or harder) for the athlete who finishes last as they do for the athlete that finishes first!! We have such a great group of people at Surge and the most fabulous couches!! In every competition that I have competed or been a spectator, no other box has as large a cheering sections as Surge and no other gym has their couches on the sidelines throughout—-and we are probably one of the smallest boxes out there 🙂 – even when just two athletes are competing, people still show up to cheer them on. I do have to admit that I am super competitive and LOVE the competition aspect (I’m sure that’s a big surprise to everyone lol!!)—but I greatly appreciate that my greatest competition in crossfit is myself and I thoroughly enjoy testing myself and seeing if I rise to the challenge with each WOD!! I also love what crossfit has done for my body- I get asked often what I do and I’m always very proud to announce that I do crossfit and I’m even happier to point anyone and everyone in the direction of Surge!!

  14. My wife Sara had wanted a Lifetime Gym membership for quite a while so when one opened up nearby we joined. I was enjoying it and actually found myself sticking to a pretty regular routine, which I’d never done before. I was comfortable doing their ‘Total Conditioning’ class and felt like I was in pretty good shape. However, I wasn’t gaining weight which, at the time, is what I’d wanted. Lifetime recommended a high calorie diet (drinking weight gainers non-stop) and I started lifting some heavier weights and cut-down on the Total Conditioning classes. I’d put on 20 pounds at one point and while I felt like I looked better (or at least less skinny), I wasn’t feeling better and my cardio was clearly falling behind. I ended up losing my workout partner and didn’t feel comfortable lifting the heavier weights without a spotter and things started getting boring. I sorta hit a wall and was just going through the motions.

    Bobby and Christina had taken some classes at Surge and really seemed to enjoy it. I finally scheduled a time to come in to see what it was all about. I pretty much knew right away that this was exactly what I needed. Motivating coaches, great people to push me to be my best and workouts that made me stronger mentally and physically. I’ve lost the 20lbs that I’d gained at Lifetime but I’m much stronger and feel I’m a bit more defined physically which isn’t a bad thing. My strength, stamina, running and overall health have greatly improved.

    I get pretty upset when I don’t get into Surge, not only for the workout, but for the comraderie. It’s great to see everyone progressing and being able to sit down with friends after a workout and just chat.

    Brandon and Courtney have also pushed me to really look at nutrition in a whole new light. Working out is now just a part of my healthy living and I feel it’s getting better every day thanks to Brandon, Courtney and the entire Surge family.

    -Scott B.

  15. bigbro

    First off I’d like to say how proud of my lil’ bro (Brandon)for being such an inspiration to not only the people he coaches but, to me. It makes me laugh when I think back, I was there when he was brought home from the hospital and he could fit in a shoe box (runt) and to see the man he has become. I was 18 years old and drew him a picture for his bed room “BE YOUR DREAMS” and when I was back in Colo. last year and saw that same pic. hanging in his office I had to go and hide in the restroom for a few. I’m a big O’ softy. I believe that Brandon has lived his life by that moto and I know he putts his passion into the people he has at Surge. you are lucky to have such an awesome human pushing you everyday. I live in FLa. and was back to watch Brandon and the surge team compete in the regionals and even came in sat. to do partner WOD w/ my lil’ bro and it kicked my ass. I found out real fast how much my body enjoys oxygen at sea level. I work as a lineman for a power company and we are “Industrial athletes”. and now know i’ve got some work to do to be “fit”. I would follow Brandon and Courtney’s WOD’s on this web site and do what i could in my garage and at the high school where I coach wrestling’ but never knew of the drive that the crossfit community has I am joining a box this week and am really excited to see what I can do with this vessel GOD has given me. Once again I am very proud to call Brandon my brother, if you could ask my coworkers they would agree, I think they might be a little tired of watching vid and me bragging of what he has acomplished(so far). I Love You “B”

    Wish you and Courtney the best, you are an awesome team. hint hint.

    Your Big Bro

    P.S. answer your damb phone or at leaste return a text lol

  16. tylerjw

    I started crossfit at the Krav Maga in Broomfield. I quickly got bored of the martial arts stuff but enjoyed crossfit. Once I got out of my contract there I went looking for real crossfit box. Surge was the closest to where I live so I dropped in for a WOD and enjoyed it. I’ve done WODs at other gyms how good the coaching is here.