by STEVE ANTCLIFF
It was 2009 and I had just read that a friend had completed Fran, posting his results and comparing his time to previous attempts, all online. Within a short time people were commenting and congratulating him on his effort.
That was our (my partner’s and my) first contact with CrossFit, and it has stuck with us ever since. My wife-to-be has studied sports and has also become addicted to the CrossFit experience.
CrossFitting from Frankfurt to Munich
We did our research and found out more about this training. We searched for CrossFit boxes close to us and found CrossFit Vivamus Institute in Munich was our closest box. After a single email, instructors Marco and Niki had invited us to join, and we were immediately welcomed into the CrossFit family. They invested so much time in us and shared all the knowledge they had, despite the fact that we lived four hours away in Frankfurt. After many weekends and visits, we completed our Level 1 certifications and opened our own box, giving Frankfurt what Munich was able to give us: a CrossFit family.
As we were based in Frankfurt, Germany, this made it hard to progress my CrossFit training… so my wife-to-be and I would drive four hours to the only CrossFit box we could find to complete an on-ramp course. Visiting as many boxes as I could throughout Europe made me realize that my favourite aspect of being a CrossFitter is the constantly changing dynamic atmosphere it creates.
It has not been easy; however, with the support of friends my passion continues to grow along with the German CrossFit community.
Founding CrossFit am Main
CrossFit am Main began with only four people, in a 100-square-meter shared box with a kettle bell instructor outside of the city. Our growth has been 100% through word of mouth because we did not invest in any marketing. It simply happened through people training with us, loving the atmosphere and what CrossFit am Main offered, and passing this passion and enthusiasm on to their family and friends. Fast forward to present day, and we are opening a location in central Frankfurt with 600 square meters and 7-meter-high ceiling. This now allows us to offer CrossFit six days week, compared to only three days previously.
Kitting out the box has been easier than first anticipated. Just from visiting a number of boxes in Europe, you gain knowledge and ideas about where to source quality equipment at reasonable prices. You understand that while Rogue makes amazing equipment, you have to think carefully about costs and how to get creative with making boxes for box jumps or welding a pull-up rack yourself. It takes time to find these smaller companies with great service, short lead times and people who know CrossFitters — all for prices a start-up community is able to afford. For us the strength training community www.strengthshop.de has been very supportive.
Every day we hear from people who CrossFit and drop into the box to try it. People are amazed with the experience of being cheered on by all to complete that last rep or succeeding with a new movement. It is the support and the desire to exceed new goals that keeps people returning for more, even after lying in a sweaty heap on the floor after the hardest/best workout. That’s CrossFit!
Building the German CrossFit Community
CrossFit in Germany is growing stronger and stronger along with its athletes, who gravitate toward CrossFit for many reasons, one of which is the community it creates. I am a strong believer in the community of CrossFit and its benefits for the progression of people’s fitness.
Keeping fit in general is a very important part of the German culture. For this reason the birth of Crossfit may have been later coming than its leading brother America, but its growth is strong and rapid. That is being driven by the number of people moving to Frankfurt/Germany with a CrossFitting background. It also highlights that CrossFit in Germany is still building up to the level of our European and American levels.
We continue to have very positive feedback from various sports clubs who are interested in learning how CrossFit can improve their training, therefore improving their results.
This has all happened in the space of three years; we are looking forward to seeing how CrossFit keeps growing in 2013. Be sure that Crossfit am Main, Frankfurt will be in the front of the pack with our amazing athletes.
We are honored and proud to be a part of it all.