Shoreline Athletics would proudly like to announce the winner of our Summer 2017 Essay Contest, Adam McCaherty! Congratulations to this long-time (8 years!) Shoreline member on your success in this competitive challenge.
When I asked for essays from y’all on “What Shoreline Athletics (CrossFit) did for you?”, I had no idea what I was going to get. Remember folks, I read essays ALL DAY during the school year, and a lot of them are crap…. NEVER did I expect the quality and purity of the sentiments expressed in the essays that I received. To be honest, it was impossible to pick a winner; they were all SO good, and each one had something wonderful about it that the other one did not. I literally read each essay at least three times (one time aloud), each time discovering a nuance that made me love it more. As a team of three, Kelly, DP, and I voted; Adam received two votes, thus taking the majority and winning the competition.
Allow me to backtrack: once upon a time, there was a decent sum of money to be made in CrossFit, not as an athlete, but as an affiliate owner. When Kelly, DP, and I opened our doors 8 years ago as one of very few CrossFit gyms in Connecticut, we never expected to make millions. I can only speak for myself, but money has never been a motivating factor for anything that I have ever done in my life. When CrossFit was at its peak in about 2011, yes, the money was rolling in quite steadily. Still, this never changed our objectives. We went into this field to change lives; we opened that small garage because we had a passion for fitness, and thought we had a better means to an end and wanted to share that with the world. As time has progressed, and the market has become more saturated, the dollars don’t roll in the way that they once did. Reading these essays reminded us, once again, of WHY we do what we do. YOU ALL ARE OUR SALARY. The Apostle Paul once said to the congregation in Corinth:
“The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you.”-2 Corinthians 3:2
Now, while I am not professing to be changing lives in the manner that Paul did with the spread of Christianity, these essays are a testimony that the community that we have built at Shoreline Athletics is top notch--the very best--and worth every ounce of sweat, frustration, time, and effort that we exert for it. THANK YOU for our “raise” in “salary”. And, thank you to all of the writers; I’m sorry that I had to crown one writer the winner.
I will be posting each essay in the blog for a few weeks to come, as they are ALL worthy of having many eyes on them, but for now, here is our winning essay. Congratulations, Adam!
What Shoreline Did (Continues to Do) For Me
When I think back on this, I realize that Shoreline CrossFit has done some many things for me, it is hard to narrow it down. So, I will just start at the beginning of my journey with CrossFit:
I joined CrossFit while I was still in college, and at the time, I was a little overweight and had not been exercising at all, but still I was complaining about being out of shape. A friend talked me into trying it out and I agreed with no intention of becoming a member, due to its perceived high cost. I thought I would try the two free trials and nothing more. My first day the workout I did was a version of “Helen”, I was unable to use a 35lb KB, so I was told to use a 25lb KB and increase from 21 to 31 KB swings. I thought this should be no problem…I could not have been more wrong. I vividly remember, as I made the first turn in my second round of the run, that this is exactly the type of workout that I needed. This first workout absolutely crushed my soul, but I KNEW it would make me better and get me into shape and out of my current funk. Like any new CrossFitter, I could not stop talking about how great this workout was, and how great I felt every time I went. I was quickly able to justify the expense, and soon after became a full-time member immersed in this crazy new culture. I was on this crazy Paleo diet and working out like a fiend; quickly this intense training sharpened my body and mind.
In a few short months of clean eating and 5-6 days a week of training, I was back to a place in my health and fitness that I could again be proud. Next, I focused my energy on my then fiancé, now wife. She had always played sports and was an active person when we first met, however, during college she started to be a little more…I will just say inactive. Lauren posted a blog about being “skinny fat”, and I forced her to read the blog post. Risky… I know, but I felt worth it if I could convince her to start her health and fitness journey. I also knew how competitive Ashley (my wife) is, and I knew she would love CrossFit. I was correct. She took to CrossFit like a duck to water. When we had our first child, she worked out until the day before she gave birth. She continues to push herself everyday as a mother of two and is an inspiration to our two young daughters in how hard she works. She continues to be an inspiration to me and a role model to our two daughters.
Shoreline CrossFit (Athletics) has helped me to choose a life of fitness and instill that value in my family, but this pales in comparison to what it really means to me. I was born and raised in a small town in Illinois and moved to Connecticut to be with my wife. I left all my friends and family behind to be with Ashley, not knowing if this relationship would result in marriage. Moving to Connecticut for me was, for lack of a better word, dramatic. I was thrust into an urban environment and it was drastically different from everything I ever knew. I had a few friends in college, but I lived off campus, and did not hang out with people outside of school. I HATED living in Connecticut, and I actually wanted things to fail so I could go back to my home and be happy again…Then, I joined Shoreline CrossFit. I have made lifelong friendships with not only Lauren, Dave and Kelly, but also a myriad of other people. Some of those people have moved away, but the relationships have never left. I have gone through good times and bad times in the last 8 years. DP, LP and Kelly have been there to help me through, not just physically, but on a personal level. I have had many a sit-down conversation with DP when I was struggling mentally in my personal life, and not once did he blow me off because he was too busy.
Shoreline CrossFit is not just a gym; it is a community. Shoreline CrossFit is a community that changed my life. It changed the direction that I was going in my life. Before I joined, I thought about leaving Connecticut. After I joined, I thought if I had to leave Connecticut, I will not have MY GYM anymore. I can’t even think of leaving and not having these great friendships and support system. Aside from my wife, SCF has been the rock in my life the last 8 years. It continues to make me a better person by being around such great people who push themselves to their limits every day. And when my girls are old enough, it will be the place that they come to make them better and show them the way to building a life of fitness.