The End of An Era… and the Beginning of the Next!
Many of you know. I recently sold CrossFit Los Angeles to my former head coach, Kenny Kane, and for the first time in 11 years, I’m no longer the owner of CFLA.
Yes… it’s a lot. And yet it’s not. It’s actually not bitter at all… just sweet. And what incredible memories… and people. So many people who’s lives I’ve touched – and have touched mine. Wow. And I look back over these 11 years – to what I, no, what we created.
I was in the right place at the right time – and now looking back, I’m so grateful, and realize how fortunate I was to have had the curiosity to discover Crossfit.com (when it was literally nothing), the courage to try it out for myself, the willingness to follow my intuition and open the gym (when everyone else thought I had lost my marbles), and the confidence to stick to my guns hold the space for the community to learn, grow, evolve.
What followed over the next 11 years was something pretty magical, and special… the slow, systematic and steady growth of one of the strongest communities I’ve ever been a part of.
And while the success of the gym was important to me as a business owner, it was the success of each individual person in our community that kept me showing up day in and day out, touched, motivated, and inspired. To this day, nothing excites me more than the experience of a person “doing the impossible”, defying the odds, showing up in spite of all the reasons not to, getting it. This community and the energy it possesses is like a strong, powerful river… anyone in contact with it can’t help to get pulled along.
Of course, I didn’t do it alone. The coaches and mentors I learned from… the CF “old guard” – Coach Glassman and his (and Lauren’s) crew at CF Santa Cruz, all the coaches at the first 8 certs I attended, the specialty coaches who helped broaden my knowledge and bring depth to the learning, and the community of OG affiliate owners from around the world.
Then there are all the people who have been a part of our CrossFit LA staff community over the years – volunteers, interns, trainers, coaches, staff, head coaches and community leaders. The number of people who have been part of this journey are far too numerous to list and I’m quite sure if I tried, I would inadvertently leave people out. Each of you know who you are. I think of you often (literally) and am personally grateful for your part in my life and your contribution to our community at CFLA – no matter how small you might have thought your part was, it made a difference to me.
Not only has this special group of people been responsible for the growth and movement of our community at CFLA, it’s also been responsible for the sprouting of over a dozen (maybe more) communities around the CrossFit world. Talking about making a difference!
And now, looking forward, I see nothing but further greatness for CrossFit LA and our ever-strong community.
While it may seem like a sudden end of my tenure to many of you, it’s something I’ve been working on with Kenny for the past two years. So for us, the change is hardly noticeable… This last part was like putting the period at the end of the sentence that we had been writing all this time.
It was back then, two years ago, that I realized that my primary work at CFLA was complete… I had successfully built a thriving community of inspired people who were stronger, fitter, healthier, and more likely to actively participate in life. And I had done it over and again for 9 years (at that time) with thousands of people. Not only that, but the Whole Life Challenge was taking off… and it needed more of my attention than ever.
So when I had the first conversation with Kenny about selling the gym, it was from that context. And over the next 24 months, we very s-l-o-w-l-y worked out the mechanics and details. It was a meandering path, on that endured many bumps and bruises. It wasn’t easy for me to give up control of my “baby.” Nor was it easy for Kenny to run the gym with me looking over his shoulder. But as Kenny started to take more of the reigns and I started to loosen my grip, I could see that my community (and staff) was in great hands.
In fact, I became so confident during this period that I chose to never even consider another buyer, in spite of what that meant for the sale. It was too important to me to maintain the continuity of the program for the sake of the community, my legacy, and the years of work I had put in (after all, I still need a place to call “home”, right?!) I wanted to be sure that the new owner wasn’t just a great coach or businessman, he had to have a personal and heart-felt investment in the people of the community, coupled with experience and wisdom from decades of athletic training, teaching and coaching, and vision for a future of CFLA that not only included GPP and CrossFit but also areas based on his unique experience of life and the world. He also had to have a commitment to excellence well above “normal” – to maintain and/or exceed the high standards that I’ve always held for myself and our community.
Kenny Kane is that guy.
And while it’s hard for me to let go, it’s exciting for me to begin a new chapter, as the co-CEO of the Whole Life Challenge.
Almost nothing about my presence at CFLA is changing – I’m still a coach, and I still CrossFit 3-4 days each week. The only difference now is that I’m not steering the ship. That’s Kenny’s job.
I’m honored to have served. And to Kenny… sir, you have the con.
2 Rounds on the 15:00
Up, over, back, and up
And Coming Tuesday
A) For quality load, working up across sets
B) “Tabata Pushups and Pullups”
4 RFQ (:20:10)
C) 3 RFQ on the 4:00
10 Box jumps (32/24)