In Part 1 of this series, original firebreather Greg Amundson recalls the very first days of a movement that’s now a global phenomenon.
In December 2001, I heard rumors of athletic monsters being created inside a small gym on the east side of Santa Cruz and was intrigued.
My good friend Sam Radetsky had found the number for “CrossFit” listed in the Santa Cruz County Yellow Pages and encouraged me to call. After a few rings a now-familiar voice answered, “Hello!” I introduced myself and asked if I could visit the gym to check things out. None other than Greg Glassman answered, “Sure, show up tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. and be ready to work out.”
The following morning at about 5:45 a.m., I pulled into the small six-car parking lot in front of CrossFit Santa Cruz. I knocked on the door before entering the small garage and then stepped inside. With a huge smile on his face, Greg Glassman walked across the floor and reached out his hand.
Coach introduced me to the concept of the upcoming workout. It consisted of a 1,000-meter row on a Concept2 rower, 21 kettlebell swings and 12 pull-ups. If I felt up to it, I could repeat the workout after a brief rest. In the back of my mind, I thought, “Well, that doesn’t seem very hard to me. That should only take a few minutes!”
After the workout—I only completed one round—I stumbled over to the corner of the gym near the stairs and collapsed. Physically I was finished, but internally I was vibrant with the realization I had discovered something sacred. I had found a Coach who would share with me the Holy Grail of fitness: CrossFit.