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Written: September 2017

Since Tolland CrossFit opened on August 28th, I’ve learned a great deal and have been able to view the world from a new perspective. Below are a few observations:

  • Driving in at 4:30 AM, I have seen more red foxes in one month than I had in my previous 696 months of life combined. Also lots of owls and possums. If you have a thing for foxes, I recommend driving around at 4:30 AM.
  • I’ve met a lot of great people from Tolland. I’m not sure if there are statistics to back this up, but it seems that, per capita, Tolland is high on the ‘families with chickens’ list. It follows that they eat more eggs than typical folks. They’re also very aware of prospect that their flock of chickens may suddenly decimated by the neighborhood fisher cats, coyotes and, yes, red foxes.
  • Driving in early means very little traffic and no ‘One Lane Road Ahead’ delays. It also means no lines at the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru. That said, I’m not sure if I’m getting yesterday’s leftover coffee or the very first cup brewed that day. Either way, it has caffeine.
  • Many things are overrated but sleep isn’t one of them. Being at the gym from 5 AM to 9 PM can make for a long day. It’s critical, when possible, to get a nap. Luckily, my U.S. Army experience prepared me to sleep anywhere including in the artificial turf, the rubber mats and even on top of a treadmill.
  • During the first month of business, I have lost 13 pounds. Being in a gym all day helps. Being on my feet and moving most of the day also helps. That noted, it’s likely from a diet that consists mostly of FitAid, RxBars and squeeze packets of applesauce. In addition, the closest food offering is a health food store where they offer gluten-free, paleo, sugarless, chia protein-infused, kale-wrapped offerings that even my always hungry dog is skeptical of.
  • Since I was a kid, I’ve loved shirts with logos. Sports teams. Brands. Nowadays, I’m surrounded by Tolland CrossFit logos. They’re on web pages. Social media sites. The t-shirts I wear every day of the week. On our front desk, the rowers, the wall ball targets, bags, water bottles, car magnets, wrist bands, sweat shirts, tank tops, post cards, business cards and more. The most amazing part of it is realizing that this is our logo. It’s not a Nike swoosh or a Dallas Cowboy star but our very own. What we do every day will determine our brand and what that logo means. Very different buying a shirt to align yourself with a sports team or brand versus representing and building a brand of one’s own.
  • I’ve always enjoyed watching sports highlight clips on TV. These days, I don’t watch much TV, but I still get lots of highlights. These days the highlights are provided by the athletes at Tolland CrossFit. Their stories, aspirations and achievements are constantly inspiring. The members of Tolland CrossFit make the 4:30 AM commute something to look forward to. The foxes, too. They’re almost as cool as the athletes.

Thanks again to everyone that has supported us through this first month. We feel very blessed with the our new community and all the wonderful memories from this first month.

Former blogger, current CrossFit gym owner. Former paratrooper, marathoner, youth sports coach and jujitsu black belt. Hoping to retire soon to write full-time.

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