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A CrossFit Story: “Harry”

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By: Alvie Hafen

I would like to share the story about one of our members here at Double Edge. It all started about two years ago…

It was a cold Thursday morning at Midtown. I arrived at the gym at about 4:40 AM. I started my normal routine, turning on all the lights and starting that much needed pot of coffee.

The normal 5 AM crew started to roll in shortly after. These 5 AM people are hard core! They come in every morning energized, motivated, and throw down hard everyday. This is a very social class, everyone knows everyone and is very friendly.

About 5 minutes before the class began, I noticed a new person walk through the door. This man seemed somewhat shy and looked like he had never touched a barbell in his life. I went up and introduced myself and welcomed him to his first class. I asked a few questions and found he had no prior CrossFit experience and primarily ran to stay active. 5 AM comes around, I begin the warmup for the class.  “Harry” (I won’t use his real name) couldn’t even do one pushup or 5 sit ups without stopping for rest. Immediately I could tell he was intimated and losing confidence. The rest of the class was blowing through the warmup. I braced his feet under a weight tree and set him up to do pushups from his knees. He thanked me and continues his warmup, renewed with confidence at a task he could manage. I don’t remember exactly what the workout was, but I know I cut down the volume and scaled it back for “Harry” into something that he could accomplish but that would challenge him. He came up to me afterward and thanked me and said this was one of the most difficult things he has ever done. I told him well done! The 1st day is always rough and I warned him it would not be easy, but if he was consistent and if he would put in effort, he would see results.

Fast forward a couple of months. “Harry” could now do 10 sit ups in a row without stopping. He could do ring rows and he was doing box jumps, not step ups. Somewhere along the way he back squatted over 135 lbs.

But none of this compared to the confidence “Harry” had gained. He now walked into the gym confident, ready for the challenge. He smiled and greeted those hardcore 5 AM people. He was becoming one of them. He became part of the community. He found many friends in that class. He found his confidence. And you could tell he found happiness. You could see it coming off him. “Harry” had changed not just physically, but mentally as well.

Fast forward to present day. Over the last 2 years “Harry” has attended 302 classes. He comes three times a week every week for the past 2 years, sometimes even four.  He has lost over 25 lbs. and is now under 200 lbs. at the young age of 48.

Confident, happy, and hungry for gains is the best way to describe “Harry”. A 250 lb. deadlift, 15 unmodified push ups unbroken, 50 sit ups in no time, and kipping pull ups are just some of the things he has mastered.

“Harry” is more than just a member. He is a friend. And the best text I ever received from him said this: “Thank you. I am a happier more confident person since you’ve been handing my ass to me 3 times a week. Cheers.” This text sent chills down my spine. It made me so happy that I could help someone else change their life for the better.

I love helping people become better, healthier, and happier versions of themselves. This is just one of many stories here at DE. This job is so rewarding and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. So thank you, all of you, for being a part of the DE community and making my job so special.