For This, We Offer Thanks.

Pollsters love the holidays almost as much as we enjoy a robust “Variety Day.” Consider the cornucopia of surveys released over the past week on all things Thanksgiving. The distance covered by the average Thanksgiving traveler (+50 miles). The average cost for a classic Thanksgiving dinner (up 13 percent over 2010). The top reason we’re thankful (health of our family). Whether all stores should be closed Thanksgiving Day (87 percent say yes). How many people will eat out Thanksgiving Day (14 million).

Hard to believe that with all this querying going on that somehow the pollsters missed Coaches Jim, Karen & Josh S. So we created our own survey with a single question: “What about the EAD / CFAH / CFAX Community inspires the most gratitude?” We found we strongly agreed on the list, which we share with you Thanksgiving 2011.

  • Generous. The WOD soundtrack of choice may be The Beastie Boys channel, but the beat that drives the EAD / CFAH / CFAX community is generosity. Dropping change in a jar to help student athletes make quilts for pediatric cancer patients. Cheering on a fellow athlete during a WOD. Donating pantry items for those less fortunate in our community. Reaching out to a new athlete with your “I remember my first WOD / Don’t worry, it gets better” anecdote. Hitting one of the many fund-raising WODs we support, including the “Watermelon WOD for St. Jude’s”, “31 Heroes”, or running the Salute, Inc. 5k / 10k. Sharing feedback with us regularly about the things we’re doing right, and the things you’re not quite so sure about. The spirit of giving throughout our community is warm, welcoming and wonderful.
  • Game. Members of the EAD / CFAH / CFAX community are exceptionally willing to give it—whatever “it” may be—a go. The community readily accepts new challenges, and is open to trying new ways of doing things … even when those ways challenge the prevailing winds, or push you to step outside your comfort zone.
  • Loyalty. When we started offering CrossFit, we were the 8th affiliate in Illinois. There are now more 70 affiliates in the state, and the list grows seemingly by the hour. Several of you have embraced the growing marketplace and dabbled in WODs at other boxes, and freely offer us your glimpse into the world outside EAD / CFAH / CFAX. It’s always interesting for us to hear the specific reasons why you stay, or why you returned. We know you have a choice in where you train, and we appreciate that you remain loyal to us.
  • Appreciative. We do our very best to bring you our very best every day. Our performance coaches continually seek out professional development opportunities from a wide variety of educational sources—who wants to eat the same meal every single day?—and we regularly offer each other tough love on the most effective ways to lead a class and coach individuals. It’s rewarding to us that you recognize those efforts, and connect our emphasis on professional development excellence to helping you achieve your health & fitness goals.
  • Trust. We regularly ask you to stretch well beyond previous performance levels because we see potential in you that you may not recognize. We’re not satisfied with simply finding new and innovative ways to slice the pie; we want to grow the pie. We want you to achieve things you never dreamed possible. You may not come willingly at first, but you always extend to us the opportunity, the trust, to guide you.
  • Diversity. There is a seat at the EAD / CFAH / CFAX Community table for everyone. Firebreathers. Endurance Athletes. Student Athletes. Former Couch Potatoes. Seniors. Collegiate Athletes. Look around and you’ll see all these types of people and more. Our Community is as diverse as our training is varied, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Sit back and listen to the variety of pre- and post-WOD conversations. Observe relationships form between people who otherwise might remain anonymous. The diversity of our Community adds richness to the training EAD / CFAH / CFAX experience, and it makes us unique.

We are thankful for the opportunity to be a part of your life on so many different levels, and in so many different ways. On behalf of the entire EAD / CFAH / CFAX performance coaching team—Jim, Karen, Josh S, Becky, Kristen, Rory, Jenn, Josh R, Amy & Alida—here’s to a festive, fun, and family-centered Thanksgiving.