Hard to believe that it was eight years ago that Kurtis signed our first, one year lease and we bought some stall mats. Our story started almost a year before that fateful June day. Most of you have heard it, but I'll share it again here.
Typical babies (yes, I'm going somewhere with this) have 10-ish doctors appointments their first year. Casey was born in 2000 and there was clearly something going on. He had 63 appointments that first year, including the one that told us "He'll never hear you tell him you love him" which is what I heard when the audiologist told us he was deaf. See, Casey is so central to the RCF story it's no wonder he's the Mayor of CrossFit.
In 2003, we were finally getting some answers to this global developmental delay thing - namely the diagnosis with a name: Fragile X. All of this figuring meant specialists, drives, Childrens, UW medicine, and therapies. Oh the therapies. We had something each day - speech, OT, PT, hippotherapy, SI, floortime, you name it.
In the midst of all these therapies, Kurtis was working a full time+ job, and working out for hours on end in the garage. He'd spend hours out there doing God knows what and I needed help. He stumbled on CrossFit.com via a grip strength page and started doing these 20 minute workouts. Ahh, much better time management, from my view. That was summer of 2003.
In September of that year, The CrossFit crew from Santa Cruz came up to the first affiliate, CrossFit North (now CrossFit Seattle) and together presented the first CrossFit challenge. The workout was 3 rounds of 400m runs, 21 kb swings, and 12 pull-ups. It didn't have a name then, we now know it as Helen and it could be argued that this was the most humble beginnings of the CrossFit Games. Greg A had the best time with 8:36 and Kurtis, well he had the slowest time of 19:31.
Three fateful things happened that day- Kurtis became lifelong friends with both Greg G, CrossFit's founder and Greg A, the original firebreather. He learned that *intensity* is a huge part of CrossFit and it's NOT clear from a website and from working out solo in your garage how to get it. He also knew he never wanted to be DFL again.
As luck would have it, my parents lived about an hour outside of Santa Cruz and we were to spend a week with them at Thanksgiving. Kurtis spent every morning that November week up at the crack of dawn, commuting to Santa Cruz, and working out with the 6am crew.
It's really a trip to go back through the late 2003 archives on CF.com and seeing all of the times Kurtis pops up there. First at CF North, then again with his atlas stones, then you see our garage, and finally he's with the 6am crew and the iconic pitbull, Athena.
During that week, Greg and Lauren asked us out to lunch. Over meat and veggies (foreshadowing!) they talked to us about opening an affiliate. In the course of the conversation, they invited both of us to a 3 day class they were having in February of 2004.
Fast forward to February and we spent 3 days in Santa Cruz, talking CrossFit, working out 6 times (they seriously tried to kill us 2x a day) and taking a test. Yup, our tables were plywood and Ironmind pillars of power and there was a test at the end. The "manual" was a bunch of back issues of the CrossFit Journal and the impression was indelible.
Within days of arriving home, Kurtis was looking for a facility. It took some time to find a place with a bathroom inside. That first, small, sparse bathroom was difficult to find but necessary. It was the reason that we signed a lease in June and opened our doors for business on July 4th, 2004.
We were officially CrossFit's eighth affiliate, the second in Washington. Joining the ranks of CF North, Mike's Gym, and Brand X.
The story from there is for another time, but in the meantime, lets celebrate those EIGHT years today!