Why Not CrossFit? Why CrossFit Strong!

There has to be something to this whole CrossFit thing! It is changing lives around the world. It is evolving and becoming something more than a fitness program. I quit a successful job to do this full time.


For me, it all started with my friends in my garage back in 2008. We had no idea what we were doing. I vividly remember doing Fight Gone Bad—but jumping over a cooler of beer because we didn't have any boxes. One day we pushed a truck around a parking a lot and made up a WOD some of you may remember called White Trash Trucker. CrossFit Strong had humble beginnings, but we had a great time.

Like most things in life, change happens, but there’s been one constant through all these years: CrossFit Strong has connected, influenced, and changed so many people. Myself included.

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(this was probably 5 months into doing CrossFit. Those pullups bars are the red ones you see in the picture below. And the scrap iron in the back of the building.)

The reasons I do CrossFit have continually evolved. In the beginning, it hooked me because of the competitive aspect with my friends. Then it captivated me because of the incredible changes it made in my life and in my friends’ lives. After all these years, I’m sold: It’s more than a fitness program. It works. And we can do this into our formidable senior years (I think I am into those already).

No matter your age or ability, there is a competitive aspect to this thing! It doesn't necessarily mean you’re competing against someone else all the time. You compete with yourself. Can you do that one extra rep before you rest? Can you run a little faster? Do a burpee with less "pause" on the ground?

For me, I enjoyed trying to do a little better than my friends. It’s fun! But then, as my friends and I continued to go head to head, day after day in the garage, something else was happening that I didn't notice until a few months later. My friends were becoming more confident in other areas of their lives.

This is actually one of the primary reasons that made me start to consider opening a CrossFit gym. I couldn't figure out how a fitness program could bring self-confidence to someone, and I’m not talking about that false bravado you get from doing a pool pump before you hit the apartment pool. I am talking about that deep-down gritty character. Eventually, I figured out that the psychological aspect of CrossFit—the everyday success and overcoming these extreme challenges—made some of the tasks outside of the box less daunting.

(I could write an entire separate blog post about this, so I digress and will get back on point about how CrossFit just works.)

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(The bald guy in the middle is the same bald guy below :)

The cool thing about CrossFit is that you don't need to know much about it or why you are doing it, just that in the long run good things will happen. All you have to do is follow the definition: Constantly Varied, Functional Movements, executed at High Intensity.

I learned that CrossFit has more to offer than just performance and psychological benefits. Our health markers were getting better. It was making positive changes in my life and in my friends’ lives. We were building a hedge against this dirty word called decrepitude. It means that my boys (and soon to be little girl) won't be putting me in a nursing home anytime soon. I fully intend to be doing CrossFit until I can no longer wrap my fingers around a bar. Everyone can do it. Everyone should do it. 

I do it for more than a fitness program. There are not many fitness programs where you invite your "workout partners" to your son's first birthday party. You don’t ring in the New Year with the guy at the front desk of globo gym.

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I read a shirt one time that said, "’I miss my globo gym!’ said no one ever!” It couldn’t be any truer than that! I am humbled to know I can be a part of group that has such a huge impact on people's lives—that CrossFit Strong is a motivating factor if they buy a house or choose a job, or is what they will miss most if they have to leave Dallas.

It is more than a fitness program and not all CrossFit boxes are created equal. The members and coaches have created something really special at CrossFit Strong, and that’s just one more reason why I continue to do CrossFit!

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(This part of our fam-uh-lee and why I CrossFit at CrossFit Strong!!!!!!!!!!!)


BryanWatson BryanWatson's picture
Mon, 11/02/2015 - 15:42

Man, great post. We're all luck to have an owner like you who puts his heart and soul into a place we enjoy on a daily basis. 

PaulF PaulF's picture
Mon, 11/02/2015 - 18:27

Great post Gale!! love the fact that you mentioned White Trash Trucker!!

Maybe you'll resurrect some of the old wods back from the dead! Salt? Pepper? Air Force? The Chief? The Indian?

Maybe even Cat's bday wod; which is still the worst ever!


Glad you and Ashley have kept the doors open all these years. You are making a difference!!

AlexNegron AlexNegron's picture
Mon, 11/02/2015 - 20:39

Even though Justin and I are pretty new to the Fam-Uh-Lee, you all have made a huge impact on our lives! So thankful you and Ash Gale :) 

Galeyocom Galeyocom's picture
Tue, 11/03/2015 - 09:44

Those are some classics Paul! Pepper is still daunting. Salt is just silly! Cat's WOD is one of the OG's! I vividly remember doing it the first time at the old box.

 Bryan and Alex although "newer", you guys are huge impact already! HUGE! Alex now that you are a nurse, I feel more comfortable doing workouts around you...I just feel safe if I fall over!  

Watson, I hate doing wod's around you! SLOW DOWN!

JamieMaxedon JamieMaxedon's picture
Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:20

Fun fact for the day... the first time Brett and I came to Strong was the day you guys did White Trash Trucker (which terrified me to no end). Brett was immediately hooked. It took my three years before I finally came back (I finally got tired of the globo gym group classes) and absolutely loved it. I can't imagine being anywhere else. Thanks to you Gale (and Ashley) and the amazing staff you have for making Strong such a great place!

Galeyocom Galeyocom's picture
Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:36

Jame, That is crazy! I never knew that. Funny!  We need to bring that back somehow...maybe on a park day.

Traciwilson Traciwilson's picture
Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:54

Thankful for the Yocoms and my Crossfit Strong fam-uh-lee! 

Traciwilson Traciwilson's picture
Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:54

Thankful for the Yocoms and my Crossfit Strong fam-uh-lee! 

MandyRussell MandyRussell's picture
Wed, 11/04/2015 - 21:56

Love this post. Love this incredible group of people.

"CrossFit Strong ... is what they will miss most if they have to leave Dallas." Yeah.

KyleH KyleH's picture
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 14:03

Great post, Gale.  All very true what you said.  You have done a great job of keeping that original CFS character throught the 6 years Ive been coming and it looks like there is no intention of changing that, which is phenomenal.  I imagine Strong will be going just as "strong" (hahaha, I made a punny) 10 years from now, and I plan on still being there.  Hopefully able to pull a Longhofer and Pence by impressing the ladies with my shirt off well into my 40's...

Since Jamie brought up first days, I figured I'd share mine since, looking back, I think it's pretty funny.  I was supposed to show up for a free Saturday intro, but was too hungover the morning of, so skipped my first day.  Then when I showed up the next Tuesday evening, after talking to Gale about crossfit, he told me to just jump in on the wod that day.  It was a 10k.  That's when I "remembered" I left my shoes at Golds Gym over lunch...  Nowadays, I think I'd much prefer a 10k over some of the high intensity barbell stuff we do that leaves you gasping for air like Leo Dicaprio coming out of the water right after the Titanic went under.

And a final fun fact about Crossfit: it's more effective than Rogaine or Propecia.  Longhofer and I have been coming for years and years, and though we started balding prematurely before crossfit, I can safely say we both have the same amount of hair now as we did when we started. (I think Cook is the only one whose hair hid even more after starting crossfit!)

Matt Cook
Matt Cook Matt Cook's picture
Fri, 11/06/2015 - 09:12

First, Kyle, you're absolutely right. CrossFit has been no good for my hairline. Some video taken today by Gale seemed to show an 68-year old man doing clean and jerks. Bald is beautiful and I'm embracing that. Do all you can to talk it up to my wife.

Second, since we're sharing first day stories - Hilary and I show up to a Saturday class full of trepidation because of the various CrossFit stereotypes we'd heard. Gale puts me on the rings in a dip position and I cannot move upward. I could rep out static dips at this point, but zero on the rings. I would come to realize that this is the constant lesson of CrossFit: if you aren't being humbled, you aren't working hard enough.

What I've found at Strong is a great group of people who want to show up every day, get better, and see you get better. The Fam-uh-lee is real.