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Damo and his WHY.

Damo and his WHY.

My why,

So, I’ve recently been asked to do my why and it had me stumped for a wee bit. When a lot of people do their why it seems to be orientated to something personal in their life that happened and changed their perspective, I’ve been blessed in that I have always been supported and surrounded by the best people.

With that comes my why, I have always been supported by people who want to help others. The rugby club was one large family environment, everyone helped each other with any issues or problems they had, my dad has always been the type to drop what he is doing and help no matter what and my mam has always worked in community roles, helping those around her to find employment, training or even just as a friend. Having these people around me has always inspired myself to help others, within my employment I have had the chance to take on advocacy roles, helping others like my mother find employment and training. This line of work allowed me to develop friendships and see that there is a lot more importance than work and education, that there is holistic approach to life.

When I joined Ulysses this continued, from the start help was always there, from everything including movements, nutrition and any barriers with life. This instantly echoed with me from the previous environments I have been in and instantly felt comfortable and the need to give back. As the gym grew, I found myself becoming one of the senior members, having others ask me about training and nutrition. I was already a self-confessed CrossFit geek and understood a lot about the movements as well as training, which combined with my background in fitness allowed me to start helping others. At this point I was instantly hooked, hooked on the gym, CrossFit, the environment & people, this is when I was given the opportunity to start interning and help coach others.

So, to conclude my why has never been some big life changing event. It’s been the people around me, the opportunity to develop and grow as an individual, to learn from their beliefs and values. Now my why is simple, to give back to people, give them the opportunity I have had in life, provide them with a support network, not just as a coach but as a friend. Help people become the best versions of themselves in the best environment we can provide. Alongside this to provide for my family, to give them a safe, healthy and supportive home to live and grow up in, give them the best quality of life as well as be the best version of me.

And to us CrossFit Ulysses is home.

Community, the CrossFit buzzword. But what does it actually mean?

Community, the CrossFit buzzword. But what does it actually mean?

Community, the CrossFit buzzword. But what does it actually mean?

When you first start CrossFit or even to be sold on the idea one of the first points that gets thrown about is community. However, this term can mean a lot of things to different people and as you go through your journey you will find your own sense of community, today I’m going to share my story of community, how it has supported me, my family and changed throughout the years.

I joined CrossFit Ulysses over two years ago with the (now) wife and was one of the first original members, back in them days community was having 4 people in a class. The 5:15pm class which now has 16 members every day once just had 3-5, and for this reason friendships developed very quickly. You knew everyone in that open gym crew and to begin with got to know and keep track of every new member that joined the gym. As the gym grew your classes would change, new people would join, old members would leave or move class but what started to happen was that every class would start to develop its own little community and personality within the gym.

In the start I was a 5:15class & open gym regular, I would be at the gym for 4, spend an hour doing open gym then jump in on class. This is where the first sense of community began and you would quickly develop strong friendships and training partnerships around you, these friendships would then transfer to outside of the gym, and even have a reverse effect of friendships external of the gym being interested and bought in to the gym.

One thing that I can guarantee about community is you will develop friendships, long lasting friendships both inside and outside of the gym.

So, how has community changed for me over my time at the gym. As you can imagine my life has changed over the last 3 years. I got married, in which we were blessed to not only invite friends and members to our evening function but also have them there during the day and be part of our ceremony. My son was born & has been in the gym since day 2. He has been welcomed and loved to no end. The support my son, myself and my wife get is unmatched with members help babysit while we are working, allowing us to get a workout in or even just providing a safe environment where we can bring him without concern. We are very blessed to be able to trust Fraser with every member of the box and that shows on his face every time he arrives and is instantly taken off our hands for cuddles.

We have had members help with fixes on the house, look at the cars and every little job you can think off.

For others community means running partners, drinking partners, relationships or even just someone to talk to on a daily basis and ask how they have been. One thing I can guarantee is that community is different for everyone, but everyone finds it and when you do is one of the strongest factors within CrossFit. So yes it is a buzz word, but for good reason.