Why I Opened CrossFit Kanna

As Simon Sinek famously made important the WHY behind any company, I thought I would share why I opened up CrossFit Kanna. (This post could easily be 5000 words, but I’m always up for a challenge, so I’ll try to keep it around 500.)

I first heard of CrossFit in 2007, stalked CrossFit.com for a full month and then did my first workout alone on Jan. 31, 2008. Having dabbled with other types of workout programs, I found CrossFit to be the most efficacious in terms of getting stronger, losing body fat, and feeling better. Plus, it was efficient. You could get a full-body workout in under 20 minutes. Lastly, it was fun, especially when I joined an actual CrossFit gym. Each workout is like a game or race, plus the people around you are amazing.

I have a hard time planning a few weeks ahead of time, but I think a lot about the big picture and the far future. I think about how as Americans we have so many resources and yet we’re also getting sicker with things like diabetes becoming rampant. Doctors have enough on their plate and can’t spend an hour with someone talking about nutrition or show them the proper way to exercise, but we can. Greg Glassman (founder of CrossFit) said, “CrossFit Affiliates are lifeboats in a tsunami of chronic diseases.” We’d rather see people thrive in life, not just survive. If we can do that by making exercise and nutrition fun and easy to stick with, then we’re all about it.

Growth. Introspection. Self-improvement.
Being healthy is a prerequisite to all of these things. If you want to be the best parent you can be, you have to take care of yourself and be able to keep up with your kids. If you want to be the best employee you can be, you can’t be calling out sick all of the time. If you want to be the best version of yourself, that’s going to include health and wellness. Do the hard things in the gym so you can do whatever you’d like outside of the gym.

There’s a Japanese concept called “ikigai.” I talked about this with Carl Paoli on our latest podcast. Ikigai is the intersection of four things:

1. What you love
2. What the world needs
3. What you can be paid for
4. What you are good at

I’ve spent my whole life pivoting to find my WHY. I started college as an engineer and pivoted to counseling in the middle of junior year. Some people thought I was crazy to be so close to graduating to switch, stay a 5th year for undergrad, and then a 6th and 7th year for grad school. Then, after five years as a high school counselor, I pivoted to education consulting. People thought I was crazy for giving up tenure, a pension, and a “safe stable job.” As a consultant, I traveled around the country and on those trips I would drop into CrossFit gyms. I took notes, evaluated my experiences at each, and took the best of what I liked to open up CrossFit Kanna in May 2017. I’m sure some people thought I was crazy to leave a corporate, well-paying job to start a business, but I’ve come to realize that’s just because it’s not something they would do.

These are just a few reasons why I opened Kanna. Hopefully it helps you realize this is more than just a business. It’s also a passion, profession, vocation, and mission!

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