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A Brief Letter From a Representative of the Silent Masses by Aaron Carr - CrossFit Journal

In CrossFit

June 29, 2011

PDF Article

Backyard CrossFitter Aaron Carr sends a message to the affiliate community.

Dear friends,

About three years ago, I decided I wanted to “get in better shape.” With previous fitness experience in competitive swimming, track-and-field decathlon, and some long-distance running, I was in good shape then, but I felt that I could still improve my fitness level and maybe lose 10 lb.

As I was searching for exercise equipment online, I stumbled into the Crossfit Message Board. I was curious and started to read the articles in the Journal describing the CrossFit philosophy and methodology. Intrigued, I watched a few videos and was very interested but rather confounded.

The workouts didn’t look that hard, so I thought I would give CrossFit a shot … .

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29 Comments on “A Brief Letter From a Representative of the Silent Masses”


wrote …

Never commented before but this article describes me, just another one of the silent masses. I do all my crossfit workouts in my backyard and/or basement, and/or garage at home, and have been doing so since New Years.


replied to comment from Brian Martin

Here, Here.


wrote …

Aaron, thanks and well done. Congrats to you and your family. I wish I could know how many have walked that road, as I did. It's powerful medicine, so powerful that I'm stunned when, after exposure to CF, some folks go for other options. Still working on what might be the discriminator for why some end up like you and I have, and some are satisfied with jogging or aerobics and weights. Paul


Rob Barrese wrote …

Outstanding letter, thanks for sharing Aaron! I think affiliate owners would be wise to pay close attention to the last paragraph... and take this into consideration when someone calls or emails them with a question... or when someone walks in off the street! You never know who you are talking to or why this person has come in your box out of no where.

I've sent people to affiliates only to have them ignored or dismissed. I've also contacted affiliates with specific questions only to be blown off or ignored. Bear in mind this constitutes about 10% of my total interaction with Crossfit & affiliates... but it does happen!


wrote …

Nice read Aaron. I'm an affiliate owner (CrossFit Elysium) and got my start in CrossFit the same as you- working out at home in my own garage gym. Friends started to join in and, well, 3 years and 2 boxes later here I am. Glad there's "silent masses" like you out there- my fellow affiliates know you're out there and appreciate what you do for the community.


replied to comment from Paul Eich

Yeah, Paul, can you believe people can learn about CF and go back to the treadmill or Zumba? Blows my, once I saw how great cars were, I never went back to the horse and buggy. Same here...


wrote …

Thank you for sharing your experience. Continued good luck to you and your family.


Aaron, thanks for sharing your experience!
I currently workout in my garage, I am affiliated, but my 9 month old and wife hang out there too. AS well as some of the local riff raff. The backyard, garage, basement - it's what it's about. You've nailed some really cool points about CF in your article - the kool aid. I think we're all guilty of spreading the cult, I mean word, I mean ideas of CrossFit to friends and family. I mean people cringe when we are out somewhere and they are like, SP what type of workout do you do? The other day someone on my wife's mommy board said, and I quote, "Hi girls, I decided I needed to shape up for the rest of the summer so I tried a new exercise program perhaps you;ve heard of it, CrossFit. Well if you haven't know this: I went in for the evaluation and nearly puked. Three times! I can't wait to go back tomorrow!" Hilarious.
Great article. best of luck with your family and your training and if you're ever in Georgia look us up.


wrote …

Great article! My family and I are avid Crossfitters in our garage gym, almost two years now. My wife and kids thought I was crazy at first, and now they've joined the legion of all of us who are "crazy" about and committed to CF.


Jason Skinner wrote …

Fantastic article and though I workout in a "globo-gym" vs. my back yard, your article describes me. I stumbled upon CF about a year and a half ago and within a couple months of doing the WODs the results were amazing. I'm hooked. I tell everyone about it. I am following the CF Endurance site for my WODs and running program now and have seen huge improvement in speed. Would love to have a local affiliate, but the closest is about 100 miles from me in Houston.

Anyway.... enough rambling... Great Article.


Dustin Kreidler wrote …

Definitely a great article. My first 12-18 months of Crossfitting were done in the basement gym at the high school I used to work at. My first experience with an actual affiliate came when I got my Level 1 cert, which I put towards training those high schoolers who didn't think I was completely insane. I put some $$ towards a home gym (craigslist is amazeballs), but never really had the space to use it (no overhead room in my tiny garage, no driveway space, etc.) Hopefully after completing our move to CT, I'll be able to put that stuff to good use.

I've definitely done my part (especially back in my silent masses days) to drive people to crossfit, and continue to do so now that my situation has changed and I find myself attached to a great affiliate (Elm City Crossfit in Hamden, CT). I've been really impressed with the coaches here, and how they will instantly stop and talk to new people, and answer questions, and just radiate that all-encompassing feeling of welcome to everyone who steps through their doors.


wrote …

Aaron, you are CrossFit. No question about it. I loved your article! Congratulations on all your gains in your fitness as well as your family's.

If you make it out to the Games, track me down and we will go tackle Chris Spealler.


wrote …

This article describes me to a T as well. 1 1/2 years in a basement / back yard gym, never been to an affiliate other than to get certified or compete. There are up to 10 friends and family working out with me 3-4 days a week now and I have to refer newly interested people to one of the affiliates as we don't have enough equipment or space to accommodate everyone who wants to workout with us.

It really is a "silent mass"


wrote …

Awesome article Aaron. Very well written! Here’s to adding “Life” to years while we add years to our “Life.”!


wrote …

I am also a "silent" crossfitter. My local affiliate can thank me for the 6 new members they have. I moved and they didn't have a garage to workout in anymore. It is amazing how it spreads. I can count 15 more truly dedicated followers that have come from my introduction. This will continue to grow for years to come.


wrote …

Great article Aaron; I too am a rogue garage crossfitter. I must say that your article is indeed my story as well. One of the greatest joys I take from my 3 day on 1 day off devotion to crossfit is watching my children gravitate to it. I find them following me into the garage more often these days wanting to do box jumps, ring rows and even asking me to create a workout for them. There are a lot of affiliates out but I believe this community is growing at a quicker rate than crossfit itself can see.


replied to comment from Pat Sherwood

You better prepare yourself Aaron, you're gonna have your own box soon. Oh...and by the way...don't listen to Pat...he will find Spealler...he will convince you to tackle him...and it will be ON!!! Consider yourself warned.


wrote …

Aaron, I became hooked on Crossfit 6 years ago. I initially did all my WOD's in a globo gym and attracted more attention than I cared for. I slowly built up my garage gym and over the years I accumulated everything you could possibly need for a WOD.

My first chance meeting with a Crossfit celebrity was in January of 2006. While walking through the San Jose airport I walked right past Coach and Nicole. Well, since it was 6:00 am my mind wasn't quite working and I called Nicole Annie, she just smiled and shook her head no. About 5 minutes later I realized my mistake and almost had a coronary. Because of that, I signed up to take the Level 1 cert Mother's Day weekend of 2006 so I could meet Nicole and apologize to her. That was my only association with Crossfit or an affiliate until February of this year.

I was in Phoenix and visited the Crossfit affiliate downtown, a few weeks later I visited Crossfit Ohau. It was those 2 visits that convinced me that I need to have experienced eyes on me to prevent me from hurting myself (age had done enough damage to me by that time.) I am fortunate to have a lot of choices in Denver. I decided to visit Crossfit Verve and spent a lot of time talking to Cherie Chan. My goal was to compete in the Master Division 50-54 year group and I needed to figure out how to effectively and efficiently perform the manuevers required in the WOD's.

After a few private lessons with Cherie, I decided to join Verve and have never regreted it. I still work out at my garage gym. My wife, who spent years tolerating Crossfit, now does her own WOD's in the garage and asks me for advice. My 9 year old daughter will come out and create her on WOD's while I am doing mine. So, I now understand the family dynamics of Crossfit.

My family enjoys it so much that they are going to go with me to the Home Depot Center to cheer me on. I've finally reached my dream of competing with the "fire breathers". If it hadn't been for the Chan's mentoring I would probably be in the stands cheering on others.


wrote …

Great article Aaron; I too started out crossfitting on my own and still do most of the time. Now, I run my affiliate (CrossFit WilCo)out of my garage. I spend alot of time out there since I am the only coach. It brings my kids and wife out to either do a WOD or enjoy the little community that we have created at CrossFit WilCo. I think CrossFit is a great way to bring people together and share in a active healthy lifestyle.



wrote …

i heart crossfit


wrote …

Well put Aaron.


wrote …

Another solo CrossFitter here. Been following on my own since 2007.

As big as CrossFit has gotten, it's nice to see there are still plenty of people tearing up the WOD's in their basement, garage or backyard.

Great article.


wrote …

Ditto, Aaron.
Thanks for the letter.


wrote …

This is what its all about. Great article Aaron. I love sharing Crossfit with friends and coworkers who would otherwise never put down the E-Z curl bars and tricep extensions. I still plug away at the local YMCA and aside from having only one good squat rack, it serves its purpose. Have had fellow gym members come up to me on more than one occasion telling me that I'm working too hard, and making them look bad. lol Keep up the good work brother.


wrote …

Great Article! My wife and I followed an eerily similar progression - door mount pullup bar, homemade rings, craigslist for rower, roman chair etc. We have been doing WODs in our basement for the last two years (plus once a week at the local affiliate ,Crossfit Laval, trying to keep pace with the local firebreathers!). We share our experience and results with anyone who cares to listen , and some that don't :)


wrote …

Aaron, great article, and like so many others here, it describes me to a T. Have worked out at home for years, but started Crossfit at the beginning of this year and will never look back. My 3 kids ask me every night what tomorrow's workout is, and we just started doing Crossfit Kids with them this week. They're already hooked. My wife joins in when she can as well. I've never been to an affiliate, but have turned probably 10-12 people onto Crossfit in the 6 months I've been doing it. Thanks for writing the story that describes so many of us so well.


replied to comment from Pat Sherwood

Pat, I know it is more than a little geeky that when I read your comment and thought, "Wow, Pat read my article!! That is so cool."

I appreciate all the positive feedback. I feel that one of the greatest benefits of Crossfit is the way that it can fit so many people's different circumstances whether it be in the affiliate, in a closet in Finland or in my backyard.


wrote …

My sentiments exactly. Great article, I as well train at home in my garage, and it is so motivating to know there are hundreds more out there like us, Crossfitters who are behind the scenes enjoying and being motivated by the firebreathers and celebrities of the CrossFit community. Happy training!


wrote …


Excellent article. Keep drinking the Kool-aid.
I like mine spiced with PAIN!!

I'm actually getting my kids involved in it today...


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