At the time of writing, I’ve just returned from the 2019 CrossFit Games. I’m sure that by the time this newsletter reaches you, there will already be plenty of hot takes out there about Glassman’s latest experiment. But seeing the event live, I definitely have my two cents to throw in, both as a CrossFit fan and a vendor. Overall, I think the new format hurt this first event but laid the foundation for stronger, more exciting Games in the future. I’ll start with the positives. Having been to multiple Games, I noticed far more people from around the world made the trip this year. Not only was there a greater diversity of countries represented in the competition itself, but also many brought friends, fans, and family along to cheer them on. Hearing so many different languages and accents while walking through the crowd really drove home
The last bright side I’ll mention is that the competitions this year had a far greater element of excitement. Say what you will about the aggressive elimination format, but it certainly heightened the drama for each event. Unlike years past, I didn’t have to wait until Day 3 or 4 to really start paying attention — your favorite athlete could be knocked out at any time. They did, however, take this a little too far, especially the first day. Cutting the number of competitors from 20 to 10 was extreme enough, but the fact it was all based on a running event made the experience feel not only harsh but arbitrary. CrossFit is all about creating well-rounded athletes capable of rising to the challenge of any test of strength. For half the competitors to be eliminated based purely on their cardio just didn’t fit the spirit of the Games. The other noticeable drawback was the overall attendance. While we did have a more diverse crowd, it was far smaller overall than what the event enjoyed in the past. This is probably due in part to many people not wanting to attend the Games during the first year of their new format — though the extremely early eliminations certainly didn’t help encourage people to stick around either. Thankfully, these issues are already being addressed. During the Games, it was announced that there would be a slightly less extreme elimination period next year. So, hopefully we’ll get to see more of our favorite athletes perform in the later stages of the competition! The attendance problem is a little more abstract, but I suspect it’s something that will just get better with time as CrossFit works out the kinks and wins the confidence of new and old fans alike. I, for one, am looking forward to next year!
the power of making the Games a global event. I’m excited to see awareness and participation in CrossFit grow beyond the shores of the United States. It was also a very good Games for team O2. Those of us working the booth got to make new friends and reconnect with some of our favorite affiliate owners, and our athletes also crushed the competition! You’ll find all the details on the next page, but suffice to say, all four of our O2 competitors placed within the top 10! I’m not claiming that having oxygenated recovery drinks on their side helped these amazing athletes perform to the best of their ability, but I’m also not not saying that.
–Dave Colina Founder, O2
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AUTOMATION HAS COME TO SMALL BUS LET THE ROBOT
Running a small business means wearing many hats. More often than not, CEOs find themselves moonlighting as marketers, customer service specialists, human resources representatives, project managers, and just about any other job that needs doing. That’s why more and more entrepreneurs are exploring automation to free up their time and focus on growing their business rather than just keeping it afloat. AUTOMATION ON YOUR LEVEL In the past, automated systems were solely within the purview of big businesses. Applications for organization were either too expensive or too wide in scope to fit the needs of smaller companies, but those days are over. Plenty of tools have been developed to help you and your team reduce workloads and run more efficiently, no matter your company’s size. REDUCING THE CHAOS Unless your business is large enough for several project managers, chances are that every employee is responsible for their own organization. This quickly leads to miscommunication, conflicting schedules, and roadblocked projects. Thankfully, many basic functions of a project manager have been automated thanks to applications like Apptivo. With features to track tasks and submit timesheets, this
CONGRATS TO OUR O2 ATHLETES!
As Dave mentions on the cover, we had an amazing showing from all our O2 athletes at this year’s Games! We couldn’t speak more highly of Kari, Amanda, Saxon, and Dre for powering through the competition in Madison, making us all very proud. Here’s a look at each of their achievements! KARI PEARCE NAMED ‘FITTEST AMERICAN WOMAN’ Kari’s success started early in the Games when she took first in the Mary event, not only beating all the women but also all the men! Mary consisted of a 20-minute AMRAP of five handstand pushups, 10 single-leg squats, and 15 pullups. Kari did 695 reps in 20 minutes, beating the first-place male finisher, Noah Ohlsen, by 18 reps and Games gold medalist Mat Fraser by 20 reps. AMANDA BARNHART POWERED THROUGH ADVERSITY Despite rolling her ankle during the ruck run on the second day of the Games and almost withdrawing completely, Amanda persisted and showed a great deal of determination and grit. Facing adversity, she still won the sprint couplet event, had her redemption at the pegs, came head-to-head with champion Tia- Clair Toomey with a 260-pound squat clean, and took second in the ringer. SAXON PANCHIK SPRINTED INTO THE TOP 10 Saxon jetted past the competition and jumped up the leaderboard after winning first place in the sprint event six on Day 3. Keeping fitness in the family, Saxon competed alongside
his brother, Scott Panchik, all the way through the top 10 and placed ninth to his brother’s fourth. Did we mention Saxon was the youngest male athlete in the top 10?
DRE STROHM TOOK GOLD WITH CROSSFIT MAYHEM FREEDOM As a member of the incredible Team Mayhem Freedom, Dre helped the reigning champs defend their title, dominating the team strongman’s fear, big chipper, swim paddle, and
the trio. Witnessing the trio in particular was breathtaking — watching this elite team come together to crush this intense series of exercises in just over 16 minutes was head-spinning. Dre Strohm embodies what it means to have humility and hustle.
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scalable tool allows everyone to stay up to date on the logistics of business and make coordination a breeze. RESPONSE TIME IS EVERYTHING Many small businesses hesitate to bring “bots” into customer- facing operations because they don’t want to lose their human touch. But humans are busy, and an unanswered request for a quote or a delayed response to a question will quickly give current and potential customers a bad impression. That’s why software like Keap exists. Keap allows you to send automated email responses at the first point of contact. This message can be as simple as an acknowledgment that their message was received and will be answered soon. The important part is that your customers are reassured that they are being heard. Far from making your business more robotic, automated tools allow your team to focus on what they do best. That means more time for thoughtful customer service emails, personalized interactions with customers, and well-executed projects. That’s something you and your clients will appreciate.
A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE Lori Forrester never wanted to own a gym. As a former school teacher-turned-CrossFit coach, Lori had seen the difficulties of being an affiliate owner up close and had no intention of taking them on herself. But, as luck would have it, she didn’t just become the owner of Rock City CrossFit; she transformed the failing gym into an extremely successful box. This is her story. To understand how Lori runs her box, you have to start with her journey into CrossFit. “I always worked out as a hobby,” she explained, “and for my 40th birthday, I got myself a personal trainer and signed up for a figure competition.” While training for this contest, Lori recalls noticing some “crazy people at the back of the gym.” You guessed it: They were CrossFitters. Lori joined them and “the rest is history,” she says with a laugh. This was back in 2011, and over time, Lori would go from an enthusiast to a certified coach. Then her daughters got accepted to her alma mater, the University of Arkansas. She and her husband decided to move from Georgia back to their native Little Rock to be closer to their kids and extended family. It was then that Lori’s sister came to her with an opportunity: A local box was for sale. “‘Nope.’ That’s the first thing I told her,” Lori remembers. “I’d seen how hard the job was.” After the nonstop encouragement of her sister, she decided to take a look at Rock City CrossFit. The gym only had 16 members and was headed toward closure. Not wanting to see these members lose their community box, Lori was swayed. This was in 2017. Today their membership has swelled to 105. Lori credits this amazing turnaround to making the gym more inclusive. “I started CrossFit at 40, not 25, so I had a different perspective,” she reflects. “I’d seen CrossFitters bragging about throwing up during workouts and knew that just wasn’t healthy.” Thus, Lori retooled Rock City CrossFit to accommodate members at all fitness levels, including athletes and those who just want to keep up with their kids. “To be sustainable as a business, your people can’t get burned out,” she explains. This measured approach has led to greater member retention and attracted people who may have never considered CrossFit was for them. Lori may not be a teacher anymore, but new affiliates can certainly learn a lot from her! HOW LORI FORRESTER TRANSFORMED HER BOX
PALEO PUMPKIN PANCAKES
• 1/2 cup pumpkin purée • 2 large eggs, whisked • 1 tsp vanilla (optional) • 1 tbsp almond butter • 1/2 tsp baking powder (optional, but really helps fluff them)
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon • 1/4 tsp ground ginger • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1. In medium bowl, combine eggs with pumpkin and vanilla. In a separate bowl, add almond butter and spices; stir together. Combine the almond butter mixture slowly into the pumpkin mixture, stirring until smooth. 2. Heat a large nonstick griddle over medium-high heat. Spoon 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto the nonstick griddle. Cook for 3 minutes on each side. 3. Enjoy with honey, maple syrup, or other desired topping.
Yield: 4 pancakes | Serving size: 1 pancake | Calories per serving: 303 Fat 19g | Protein 18g | Carbs 16g | Fiber 7g
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Page 1 What 2019 Taught CrossFit Page 2 Automation Has Come to Small Business Congrats to Our O2 Athletes! Page 3 Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes How One Box Gained 6 Times Its Membership in 2 Years Page 4 A Reading List for Real Success
BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE ULTRA SUCCESSFUL
BUILD A MILLIONAIRE’S LIBRARY
‘IT’S NOT ABOUT THE COFFEE: LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES FROM A LIFE AT STARBUCKS’ BY HOWARD BEHAR Who read it? Katrina Lake, founder and CEO of Stitch Fix Starbucks is known for its quick coffee and seasonally controversial cups, but that’s not what turned the company into a world- conquering success. In “It’s Not About the Coffee,” Howard Behar highlights the importance of company culture and the role business leaders play in helping their team members reach their full potential.
What does every successful person have in common? They read. Avid reading is a key characteristic of the ultra successful because, through great ideas, you can learn how to achieve your full potential. If you want to be more successful in business and in life, you should definitely add these great books to your reading list. ‘BUSINESS ADVENTURES: TWELVE CLASSIC TALES FROM THE WORLD OF WALL STREET’ BY JOHN BROOKS Who read it? Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Famously loaned to Bill Gates by Warren Buffett himself, “Business Adventures” was written and originally published shortly after the stock market crash of 1962. In this book, John Brooks recorded the successes and failures of 12 major companies of the era, including Ford, Xerox, and General Electric.
‘CREATIVITY, INC.: OVERCOMING THE UNSEEN FORCES THAT STAND IN THE WAY OF TRUE INSPIRATION’ BY ED CATMULL WITH AMY WALLACE Who read it? Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, is responsible for some of the most successful animated movies in the history of cinema. “Creativity, Inc.” explores the creative process behind such
‘LETTERS TO A YOUNG POET’ BY RAINER MARIA RILKE Who read it? Jen Rubio, co-founder and president of Away
From 1903–1908, renowned German poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote letters to a young, aspiring poet. These candid thoughts from one of the greatest artistic minds offer insights on life, love, and how to fully experience the world we live in. Each letter is a valuable reminder that we should never underestimate our own artistic spirit.
films and how this process can be replicated in any industry. Forbes has suggested that Catmull’s book “just might be the best business book ever written.”
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