• Rob Olson

CFS State of the Union 2020

Here we are, the start of a new decade. CrossFit Simsbury is now six and a half years old - started August of 2013 - and it dawned on me; with all that we've done here, I've never actually shared what it is we are trying to achieve from a big picture perspective.

The CrossFit Simsbury Mission Statement

To cultivate a community dedicated to improving our health, wellness, and happiness through CrossFit methodologies.

While the big picture has remained unchanged since Day 1, we have exponentially increased the depth, breadth, and magnitude of our abilities to deliver on that Mission Statement.

Day one of CrossFit Simsbury consisted of Rob Olson providing coaching to the handful of members, programming the workouts, handling the administrative duties, putting out the social media, cleaning the toilets and floors, handling the financials, and every other odd job that needed attention. I look back at that time with fondness. It was a lot, but it was the beginning of something great.

Today, CrossFit Simsbury has a staff of 18 phenomenal individuals. This allows each of us to delve more into our specific roles and really, produce a better product. Handing off duties as an entrepreneur is not easy, especially for a Type A person like myself, but learning to delegate is what has enabled us to increase our services which produces greater results - more health and happiness - for our members.

Perhaps the single biggest upgrade so to speak, was the addition of our nutrition program. Being that our mission statement is about health, wellness, and happiness, nutrition is critical to achieving that vision. Whether a member wants to lose weight, put on muscle, or just have energy throughout the day, its all about what they are eating. Creating this program has been a game changer, and all the credit goes to Denise for leaving her nursing job to really give it her all.

An equally big upgrade has been to our Prep Course. Back in the day people could jump right into class. Now, anyone looking to join must complete four hours of personal training before joining a class. This serves multiple purposes, but the two main reasons are increasing the direct coaching time in the start of CrossFit to reduce injuries and make the athlete feel comfortable with the movements, and second, to really build the coach-athlete relationship. We want to know about every athlete - why they joined, what their goals are, how they feel, etc ... the only way to know those is to have quality personal training time with meaningful conversations. Every new member is also offered a nutrition intro with our nutrition coach, as well as a session with our resident Physical Therapist Katie to troubleshoot any old injuries before starting. To my knowledge, the depth of our intro program is unlike any other gym. We truly want to see everyone succeed here.

Another huge upgrade was the promotion of Nick Shea to Head Coach. In addition to programming for the gym, he is in charge of all the coaches. He does quarterly evaluations of all Coaches to ensure quality and growth of our leaders, as well as conducts our ATC (advanced theory course) which takes a member and brings them up to Coaching a class. We have monthly coaches meetings where we discuss all things going on in the gym, and use this time to plan our monthly events such as seminars, events, and competitions.

We've also grown our peripheral programs to include more in the community.

- Kids &Teens are 4 days per week

- Dumbbells & Diapers for postpartum fitness

- Firefighter Fitness just started this month with the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Department

- Teens Lifting for strength gains among our younger athletes

- and offering more Personal Training for custom tailored training

So whats on tap to 2020 and beyond?

The big ticket is working on finding our future home. There is no rush to leave our current spot, but with the continued development of the area it is only a matter time as property values rise. The goal for the new home is to stay within as close vicinity as possible, keep our training footprint the same (roughly 10,000sq ft), and fingers crossed, get some showers.

In terms of programs, we would love to offer a "Masters / Legends / 55+" class. The retired, or soon-to-be-retired population can greatly benefit from an increased fitness capability, because as I always say, one goal of fitness is to delay decrepitude. When I'm 80 years old I want to be travelling and living life to its fullest, and not confined to a nursing home if possible. The sooner one starts to live a fitness lifestyle, the more they can delay decrepitude. Now some current members may say, "but you have 50, 60, and 70 year olds in regular CrossFit class, why do you need a special program?" I would relate it back to when you first started, and ask "would you be more comfortable in a program designed specifically for that age group? Most would say yes." That's our goal.

Second, we want to work with more sports teams. Our Kids & Teens program has seen great growth with Coach Shelley at the helm, and we want to expand that to working with specific teams. Not only will this increase their fitness capability, but training as a team will increase unit cohesiveness which will lead to more domination in their league.

Last, I look forward to the expansion of our community outside the walls of 1285 Hopmeadow Street. In 2019 we had our first ever CFS Softball Team, competing in the Co-Ed Intramural League here in town. One of my goals in creating CrossFit Simsbury was to have people use their fitness. Being fit inside the gym is great, but in my eyes, the entire reason we do what we do, is to use our fitness outside, with friends and family. This is living life. Currently we have members on the softball team, a broomball team, we have a group of runners training for the Traprock race in the spring, and several training for triathlons. I'd love to see these fitness teams and outings continue to grow, offering more ways for our members and their families to enjoy their health and fitness.

To all the members reading this, I thank you for your continued patronage. We take our job of cultivating health and happiness seriously, and you are why our coaches show up every day. Your smile, your enthusiasm, and your drive. It means the world to us.

To any potential future members reading this, I hope you find meaning in this blog, and know that we truly want to help you achieve your fitness goals. Plus, we've got a great group of people here who are a heck of a lot of fun to be around.

Here's to health and happiness in 2020!


Rob Olson

Owner - CrossFit Simsbury

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