Message From Craig

First read a message from Leon if you haven't already...

Thanks, Leon! I am humbled and honored to be where I am today. And I could not have done it without your help as a Coach, friend and business partner. Now, as we enter our tenth year in business, I look forward to taking Tacoma Strength into the next ten years and beyond!

As some of you (many current members pre-date me!) may recall, in January 2011 I walked into the Tacoma Strength Pine Street gym after losing a bet with myself about my health. Apparently, you can’t outrun a bad diet and no exercise forever… Whatever… The first thing I saw was gym member Kristie Hoke kipping through 100 pull-ups in the middle of a little CrossFit WOD called Angie. I didn’t know what it was called, but I was hooked just watching the grace and beauty of her movements and knew I wanted to do whatever that was called. The second thing I saw was husband and wife team Ryan and Heidi Grace Kress working out with their kids running around the gym. I knew this was the right place for me! A lot has happened since then. We combined small gym spaces, our founder Morgan Blackmore decided computer programming is a pretty cool thing, and CrossFit has waxed and waned in popularity.

And as I take control of the helm that Leon and I have shared these last couple years, I think a lot about where I am today and where I have been in my former life. The journey I have been on is real, and I am reminded of that journey every time a new person walks into the gym looking to make some sort of a change in their life.

On the outside, they may look fit or not, but on the inside, there is always a battle, or a story, going on with them that has led them to decide to make those initial steps inside our gym. For some, it is about weight loss or body composition changes. For others, it is about competition and continuing the path they have been on since childhood, or since competing in college, or since finding fitness as an adult, or just needing a new community or change from the gym they are currently at. Whatever that change is, I realize that the difference may not be an easy one for them. Remember, I am the guy that sat in the Pine Street parking lot for three days before actually getting out of the car and walking in the door to ask about membership.

That said, we never know the full journey about why someone walks in, and that is why I pledge to help keep Tacoma Strength a welcome and open community of members who will accept the most competitive lifter to work out right next to the member who has just picked up a barbell or kettlebell for the very first time. It is drive and desire that unites us at Tacoma Strength. And as long as you are willing to be a part of the shared struggle, our gym community supports you.

So, as we move forward into Summer 2018, I look forward to the direction we have been on for the last year or so. As mentioned above, Jordan is giving us top-notch programming and Paul is working on a new way for some of us to move. And Maria, Jo Ann, and Andrew are a phenomenal group of trainers to be involved with. Our nutrition coaching program has yielded amazing results these last twelve months, and I am excited for the Masters Program we will be releasing soon. Our future looks bright, and we here at Tacoma Strength are thrilled that you have chosen to be a part of it!

As I have observed our members these last several years (from high up in my office perch!), there are times I have wondered how I could possibly lead a group who is better at CrossFit than me, better at Power Lifting than me, better at Olympic Lifting than me and better at sports-in-general than me. What could I possibly offer this group? And my answer to you is that I will always listen to you and provide you with the best-trained team I can to fill the gaps in my knowledge. If you want a power-lifting specialist, I will direct you to that person, if you want to know how to game a WOD, I will direct you to that team member.

So, as I close out this lengthy missive, I will leave you with two thoughts.

The first thought is that I am not only the owner of Tacoma Strength, I am also a client.

The second thought is that I hope you all remember that it doesn't matter who is at the helm of Tacoma Strength, it is the name “Tacoma Strength” that matters at inspiring us. I was reminded of this fact while watching “Princess Bride” recently with my daughters. As Wesley explained to Princess Buttercup how he became the Dread Pirate Roberts. With this idea, I am picturing both Morgan, and now Leon retired and living like kings in Patagonia as is the original Dread Pirate Roberts. If you don’t recall the story, check it out in the video link. In the meantime, “Good night Tacoma Strength. Good Work. Sleep Well. We’ll most likely kill you in the morning (with an awesome WOD!)”

By Craig on Thursday, June, 21, 2018