Jeffrey Goes to the VA, Part 4

Adam had been following my interest and entreating where Gym Jones was concerned.  He could tell how excited I was and was getting very interested in the whole extreme group workout thing and noticing some of that in himself.  (It fits into our “look what men’s men we are” idea of ourselves.)  So when he found out that the lady at Gym Jones had told me to fuck off, he was disappointed as I was.  But as happens so often in life, things work out the way they’re supposed to and my anxiety level will be markedly decreased if I will only be willing to relax into the flow.  Adam showed up one day and said, “Hey, Alan’s been going to this thing called Crossfit.  It sounds kinda like that other place you were looking at but less cultish.  I think I wanna roll over there and check it out.  Wanna come along?”  Of course I wanted to come along.

As it turns out there are a couple of Crossfit affiliates in Salt Lake.  It’s not a chain per se and I’m still not really sure how the gyms that practice the Crossfit philosophy are linked.  Adam could probably tell you.  I’m pretty sure that their principle connection is in philosophy and technique and there’s a shared wisdom that seems to connect all of us who are following the Crossfit workout strategy (and somewhat by extention, the Crossfit way of life) no matter where we work out.  I’ve since only every worked out at our Crossfit gym but I’ve talked with other people who come to work out there while traveling through Salt Lake, who come from other Crossfit gyms and I’ve also done a little snooping around on the Internet to find other Crossfit gyms but I’ve yet to work out at any others other than my one in Salt Lake.  But on that day when we first went down there to check it out, I gotta tell you that I felt like I’d found what I was looking for.  We found the address near the Gateway mall in downtown Salt Lake.  We parked and went in the front door.  There was a workout nearing its end and there were about ten people, very fit, finishing up with their last few exercises.  Those who had already finished were encouraging the others.  Most of the men were stripped to the waist.  Their tattoos let me know that a few of them were Marines.  Everyone was fit.  Now when I say that, you shouldn’t get a picture of a bunch of bodybuilders.  In fact, that’s exactly not the thing you should picture.  There’s this “gym bunny” look that can be accomplished from going in everyday and pumping up one set of muscles are another; singular goal being to make your muscles bigger.  That’s not Crossfit.  These people are athletes.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of big muscles in the room but that just doesn’t seem to be the goal.  The place is basically an empty warehouse; no mirrors on the walls, no where to sit, no carpet.  There’s a huge American flag on one wall and hanging from the ceiling on the other side of the room are the Navy flag, the Navy Seal flag, the Army flag, the Air Force flag and the scarlet colored flag with Eagle, Globe and Anchor of my Marine Corps.  There are medicine balls, elephant boxes for jumping, kettlebells o plenty, Olympic barbells with lots of manhole covers, a rope to climb, pull-up bars all across the far wall, rowing machines, jump-ropes, and a digital time clock on the wall.  The music blasting from the speakers- plugged in from somebody’s iPod was hard driving rock.  The place smells of determination.

I looked at Adam.  Adam looked at me.  We knew we were home.

About this entry