Raymond Barnes

"I had been in traditional gyms before and I always felt lost because I never really knew what I should be doing or where to start."

Raymond Barnes

What your experience was like at the start?

I had been in traditional gyms before and I always felt lost because I never really knew what I should be doing or where to start. So I didn’t feel driven to achieve or accomplish anything.

One of the first things Chris asked me was what were my goals and what I wanted to accomplish by joining the gym… I knew that I wanted to be healthier and I knew that I wanted to challenge myself to do things I haven’t done before but I didn’t specifically know how or what.

Through our discussions and PT classes we quickly discovered what my strengths and weakness were, and came up with a plan, that allowed me to walk into class knowing that I had options if i struggled with flexibility or strength during a workout.

It gave me direction and allowed me make the transition to regular classes and not feel overwhelmed.

What you expected

I really didn’t know what to expect, initially I thought I would have walked into the gym and everyone would have been doing pull-ups and handstand pushups…

So I walk into the gym to meet Chris for my first PT session and sure enough as I am warming up on the bike, there are two women in the gym. They were doing full on muscle ups and dropping bars stacked with thick plates…I was amazed to say the least because they moved so effortlessly and always appeared to be in absolute control of every movement.

For the next 2-3 PT sessions I kept running into the same two ladies doing similar types of ‘all-out’ workout; stuff that I assumed would be ‘impossible’ for someone like me to do… SO my mind was blown and I was thinking ‘WOW this is the norm…?! Well am screwed!’ I later discovered it was Samantha Briggs and another CrossFit Professional that were on-island training…

I had seen other people getting ready for class but I had never been in one. I was relieved to walk into my first regular class to find people of all skill level, abilities and body types not just all professionals.


What your experience is like with Chris

One of the first things Chris said to me was

‘Check your ego at the door, we would rather see you move the weight under control, than see you stack on the weight, injure yourself and have to sit out…’

I think about those words all the time ‘Movement under control’

Coming into the gym I use to have a lot of self-doubt because I just didn’t know what I could do and I remember one time during a PT session I was being my own worst enemy and overthinking the movement and being overly critical of myself and Chris was like ‘ok give me 10 Burpees… ‘

I looked at Chris with this puzzled look and he said… ‘I’m not going to sit here and let you keep beating yourself up, so every time you do that, I’ll give you Burpees…’

How you feel about the gym

I look forward to coming to the Gym, there is something very familiar about walking in the doors and seeing at least 3-4 people turn around and everyone is smiling and greeting you by name. It feels like a family.

In contrast I have walked into other more traditional gyms and it felt cold and distant. Everyone was just separated doing their own thing. No one was really talking, or smiling or laughing there was little to no interaction or communication.

How things work here

Initially I started off with Chris as a ‘Coach for life’, but the reality is that every coach at the gym is ‘your’ coach for life.  They willingly steps forward to assist and provide directions when needed to ensure you are safe and moving correctly.

Everyone in class always introduces themselves to the newcomers and this really helps to break the ice and provide that feeling of inclusion.

Every class feels like a team activity, even though you have to complete the WOD by yourself. You are never really alone and everyone is extremely supportive and in-sync, which definitely helps you push through the workouts.

I use to think WOD were the ‘scary part’ but found warm-ups seemed to be harder than the actual WOD; which may seem a bit backwards.  So, by the time I get to the actual workout, I am not really worried because I feel as though I have already overcome the biggest huddle.

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