CHANGE, CHAOS, AND THE GAMES
As I’m writing this, the O2 team is packing our bags for Madison, Wisconsin, to show our support at the CrossFit Games. Given the amazing reception we received last year and the number of great athletes we were able to meet, we’re beyond pumped. But, just like everyone in the CrossFit world, some of my excitement comes from just how different these games are going to be. I don’t have a crystal ball to predict whether the changes from regional to sanctionals will ultimately be good or bad, but I feel confident in saying the Games won’t be the same. Just the sheer number of competitors from all over the globe is going to make things interesting. We’re going to have athletes from far flung places like Trinidad and Tobago, Sri Lanka, and Qatar this year — many who wouldn’t have had a chance to shine under the old regional model. In this sense, the Games seem to be more in line with CrossFit’s message of promoting global fitness. But some will see the sheer number of competitors as an issue. Keeping track of 300+ athletes will be impossible, and we’ll have chaos, especially on this first attempt. But is that a reason to give up and go back to the old way of doing things? I don’t think so. I don’t know many success stories that aren’t rooted in innovation. In fact, I’ve never been told, “This person did things the exact same way they’ve always been done, and that’s how they changed the world.” Being an entrepreneur, maybe I have a soft spot for those who take risks and mix up the game, but I’m not off base to suggest innovative figures like Edison, the Wright brothers, and Steve Jobs captivate the popular imagination. They built a better mousetrap instead of sitting back, hoping the mice would get easier to catch. Now, I’m not saying all change is good. You can’t alter the way your business operates just to “shake things up.” Intention behind these decisions matters. You need to know why you are changing and how you are going to do it. The Games appear to be in lockstep with CrossFit’s overall shift to a more inclusive message; it seems to me
Glassman and his team have their intentions figured out, but can they can execute them?
In the short term, the execution will be chaotic. I’m speaking from personal experience here — O2 has changed plenty over the years. For example, new cans, new packaging, and the brand-new flavors we released at the Games last year were shifts that brought their own unique headaches. These changes were painful and messy, but, every time we went through one, we arrived at a much better place. A few years ago, I’d never have dreamed of releasing decaf O2; now, affiliates tell me they can’t keep it in stock! One thing I’ve also learned through these changes is that innovation is like a muscle. The more you work it, the easier it is to use. We developed our caffeine-free flavors in four months. Our original flavors took us four years. Over time you learn what you’re good at, what your fans like, and how to get it to them. As long as you’re never content to sit on your laurels, intentional, effective change will be a little less painful and chaotic each time. That’s why our next innovation at O2 is going to be a big one. I can’t share the details yet, but it’s certainly going to be a big leap into the unknown. We’ve set a high bar for ourselves, but I’m more than confident our team has the experience to exceed it. Keep an eye out for our official announcement; this is going to be big news. Will launching this new innovation be chaotic? Painful? Stress inducing? Of course. But, if we were content to set back and avoid risks, well, O2 wouldn’t be here in the first place. So, I’m curious: What are some ways you’ve mixed things up at your box? What’s working and what needs tweaking? As CrossFit changes on the global level, I’m fascinated to hear how local affiliate owners are adapting in their own ways.
See you at the Games,
–Dave Colina Founder, O2
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5 STRATEGIES TO PROTECT YOUR BUILD SECURITY BREA
According to the FBI, a burglary occurs every 20 seconds. We tend to focus on protecting our homes from invasion, but in 2016, over 460,000 nonresidential buildings were burglarized. And after one successful break-in, your building is more likely to be targeted again. Here are a few crucial strategies to improve the security of your building. SMILE FOR THE CAMERA. Let’s start with the basics: If you don’t already have CCTV surveillance, install a system right away. Position these cameras in common areas with good lighting, and make sure they’re visible. The sight of security cameras may deter criminals from making your building a target. Some property managers try to cut corners by using fake cameras to scare off criminals, but this can backfire in the event of a break-in. Use real cameras and service them regularly so you can review the tapes whenever you need to. DON’T NEGLECT YOUR LANDSCAPING. Never let overgrowth overtake your property. Criminals view unkempt trees, bushes, and grass as a sign that you’ve been neglecting your property. This implies you may be neglecting other areas, too — your security system, for example.
LET THERE BE LIGHT. Unless you have Batman patrolling your city streets at night, nighttime is when criminals are most likely to strike. Install motion detector floodlights
MAINTENANCE TRICKS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE KEEP IT CLEAN
TUNE UP YOUR MACHINES
Gear is one of the biggest investments you’ll make as a box owner. High quality equipment runs a hefty price but is a big factor in keeping members around long term. So, you owe it to yourself, your coaches, and your members to perform routine maintenance on the hardware they use every day. Here are some quick tips to increase the lifetime value of your gear and, by extension, your members. TAKE ROPES OFF THE HOOK If your gym has been burning through jump ropes over the past few years, odds are it’s not the use that’s actually damaging them — it’s the storage. First, ensure every rope is properly coiled after use. Second, avoid hanging the coils on a solitary hook or nail. These create unnecessary tension on the rope over time. Using a pair of nails or a curved rack will keep your ropes accessible and in great condition. DE-CRUST THOSE BARBELLS Unfortunately, a simple wipe down every few days won’t keep a barbell from rusting — even the really high-end models. To get the most out of these expensive units, you’ll need to go deeper. Once a week, grab a wire brush and some WD40 and give the knurling a good scrub, then wipe the whole bar down. Once a month, take the whole barbell apart and clean the grime out of its collars, too. While you’re at it, oil the bearings to make sure the sleeves rotate smoothly.
Resistance machines are behemoths compared to most other equipment, but they can also be the most fickle. It’s a good idea to check up on the inner workings of these contraptions once a week, even if you haven’t received any complaints. Finding signs of wear in the cables or on the bench is the best way to prevent a problem before a member has a bad experience. You can tell a lot about a box by the condition of its gear. By taking the time to increase the longevity of your equipment, you aren’t just prolonging your investment. You’re keeping your gym a clean, welcoming place for new and old members alike.
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in prime areas around your building, including entrances, exits, gates, garages, in your landscaping, and near ground-level windows. A sudden burst of light can scare off would-be intruders and potentially alert anyone nearby of trouble. INVEST IN PARKING SECURITY. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 11% of property crimes and more than 7% of violent attacks occur in parking facilities. If your building has a parking facility, make sure this area has ample security. DETERMINE WHO’S IN CHARGE. When reviewing building security, it’s important to determine who is responsible for keeping security up to date. Should the building owner or property manager maintain security, or does it fall to the tenants? Answer this question and make sure the person responsible is following all agreed-upon security protocols. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for security. Depending on the nature of a business or building, you will have specific security needs. You should periodically assess potential risks, make sure your building’s needs are met, and make repairs as needed.
BOX OWNER SPOTLIGHT HOW MATT BIOLSI BUILDS COMMUNITY IN A CHURNING MILITARY TOWN Getting to know box owners around the country has given our team insight into what makes a successful gym. Every community and location is different, with their own strengths and challenges. The affiliate owners who adapt to the unique demands of their environment and find novel solutions for their members are often the most successful. Matt Biolsi and CrossFit Dunbar Cave Lab (DCL) embody this mentality. Located just outside of Fort Campbell, this northern Tennessee box can’t rely on lifetime memberships. “We have a lot of members from the 101st Airborne,” Matt explains. “I love them like family, but people move on. That’s life in a military town.” To understand how CrossFit DCL embraces the challenges of fluctuating membership, you need to know a bit about the founder himself. Matt is an old-school CrossFitter, discovering the program while he was on deployment in the Army. “One guy just pulled up the workouts on his laptop,” he remembers with a laugh. Returning stateside, Matt would stick with CrossFit, coaching people in gyms and even in his own garage. “I began coaching because I needed folks to work out with,” he reflects. “I fell in love with it.” By the time Matt left the Army in 2014, he knew he’d found his calling, and CrossFit DCL was born. With his military background, Matt understands isolation and the difficulty of being shifted from base to base. That’s why his box goes out of its way to provide members with an experience that is, well, outside the box. “Our greatest strength is our ability to get together outside of the gym,” Matt says, explaining the many weekly activities members do together, like Tuesday trivia nights and live music Fridays. “Not only does it make us stand out,” he says, “but it also helps people make new friends and get to know the area. That makes things easier on them.” Matt certainly is receptive to the needs of his community, but his words of advice to box owners goes a step further: “Make time for your family and yourself,” Matt advises. “There’s a temptation to put all your time and effort into your members, but they won’t be there forever.” In Matt’s eyes, the key to success is making time for all the important people in your life, not just those tied to your business.
VEGAN GREEN SMOOTHIE
This delicious smoothie is packed with nutrients and flavor. It’s an easy, tasty way to get a dose of healthy fruits and vegetables in your diet.
• 1 cup coconut water • 1/2 cup mango juice • 2 large Granny Smith
• 1/3 cup fresh
cilantro, packed • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks • 1/4 cup avocado • 4 tsp fresh lemon juice
apples, cored and chopped
• 2 cups romaine lettuce, packed • 2/3 cup parsley leaves, packed
• 1 tbsp turmeric • 5 large ice cubes
1. In a blender, combine all ingredients, beginning with coconut water and mango juice. 2. Blend on high until smooth. 3. Pour into glass and serve. Any leftovers will keep for up to 24 hours in the fridge.
Yield: 2 Servings | Serving Size: 20 oz | 220 calories/Serving Total Fat 4.5 g | Carbs 47 g | Sugar 31 g | Fiber 9 g | Protein 3 g
Thanks for the wise words, Matt!
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Page 1 Letter from the CEO: Change, Chaos, and the Games Page 2 5 Strategies to Protect Your Building Tricks to Keep Your Gym Clean Page 3 Box Owner Spotlight: How Matt Biolsi Builds Community in a Churning Military Town Page 4 This Month’s Read: Lessons from an Unlikely Businessman
‘SOME STORIES: LESSONS FROM THE EDGE OF BUSINESS AND SPORT’
LESSONS FROM AN UNLIKELY BUSINESSMAN
You’re probably familiar with the story of outdoor apparel company Patagonia and its founder, Yvon Chouinard. Chouinard’s earlier book, “Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman,” explored the early struggles and triumphs of Patagonia and gave us some insight into how the company became so successful. Now, Chouinard has given us another glimpse into his world with his new book, “Some Stories: Lessons From the Edge of Business and Sport.” As the title suggests, the book is a collection of stories and beautiful photographs that illustrate how a sense of adventure, a readiness to adapt, and, above all else, a dedication to what you believe in are all necessary parts of doing anything well (including running a multimillion-dollar business). While the book contains plenty of business advice, most of its wisdom is just as applicable to life as it is to business management. “I know of no better example than Chouinard of what entrepreneurial Americans do best,” wrote author and angler Thomas McGuane. Entrepreneurs have to take initiative and be ready to accept great risk, and Chouinard does both with the pioneering spirit of a true business owner, despite his reluctance to accept the title. He would never abandon his values or the company’s to sell a sweatshirt, and he’s constantly pulling
inspiration and guidance from the natural environment. “Some Stories” explores Chouinard’s drive to learn and make mistakes along the way and paints a portrait of an icon of thoughtful action and business success. “Some Stories” is worth it just for the stunning pictures, but, if you want to be pulled in by a book, and possibly forced to reconsider
whether or not you’ve been coasting with your business and life, then this is a must read. As author and reporter Jon Krakauer warns, “This book might make you think twice about what you’re doing with your own life.”
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