Welcome to part 3 of this anniversary special. In this part, Brad and Amy talk to us about their very favorite part of CrossFit - their members!
How many members did you start with?
Amy: Our goal was to have 25 members the first month (that is what we needed to pay rent.) We met our goal the first month and it grew quickly. By our 4th month we had doubled that. It spread like wildfire.
Who offered support as CFT got itself going - and how?
Amy: Brad and I offered each other support. Our family was very supportive as well.
What were your biggest obstacles at the very beginning?
Initially, if we had a member quit we took it personally. We believed that we did not sell the product enough, because if we had, then they would have stayed. We learned very quickly that some people just don’t want to put in the work and did not want to work hard. We learned that we cannot “want” it for them and that it is something they have to want in their lives.
Many of our members go through a season of life and only want the program part time and it has nothing to do with us. Some only wanted to get in shape for a wedding or a cruise. Some thought it would be easier and a quick fix. We could not understand why people didn’t “drink the Kool-Aid” like we did. I mean, who wouldn’t love CrossFit?!!
We decided to give 100% to our existing members and make it the most amazing 1 hour of their day. We learned early on to invest in those that wanted to invest in us and invest in their health.
I felt comfortable coaching, Brad on the other hand felt more comfortable programming. He eventually started coaching and now he does so much better than me.
Before you opened - or during the first couple years - did you have dreams (or nightmares) about it?
Amy: I was so nervous that no one would come. I remember our first day and we had 5 people and it was amazing. I knew it would be a slow process, but I was up for the challenge. I did not have nightmares, but I was nervous that I would not wake up in time for my 5:30 am class. It only happened once!
How did you manage the first few years? Where did you find strength?
Amy: There were lots of prayers and, even today, we ask God to send us members that we can help and would benefit from the community. We pray over the building and the safety of each member. We pray that everyone will be supportive of each other. And we always ask God to give us the words to speak.
When did your membership truly begin to grow - and what do you attribute that growth to?
Amy: We have had to learn to adapt to the needs and ability of all walks of life. CrossFit is scalable for everyone so we have learned to help anyone at any point of an injury or disability. Our confidence has grown over the years due to the thousands of hours that we have spent coaching and watching people move. We have invested in additional certifications to make us the best coaches possible. We never stop learning!
Initially, some members would tell us what they were going to do, or did not like having to master the foundations before the intensity. We demand the best and require members to master the program and we do not waiver. This is only because we want the best for our clients.
The WHY of our business has never changed. We have always wanted to encourage and empower people to be the best they can be. We believe that being at CFT should be one of the best hours of their day.
Brad: My coaching philosophy hasn’t evolved but the way I communicate that philosophy has changed a lot. We still follow the same mantra of Mechanics, Consistency, and only then Intensity.
Through the years, members come and go. Do you find that people find their way to CFT at crucial points in their lives? What do they have in common?
Coming up in part four: growth and the future of CrossFit Tyler! Click here to read part 4.