Sam Auburn

Where should I begin?
When I started CrossFit at CFRR?
When I started working at CFRR?
When I started coaching at CFRR? 
When I knew I had completely let myself go?

I guess the beginning is always a good place to start. I walked through the garage doors of CFRR in 2015 only to be greeted by Coach Anna. I remember immediately thinking, “Well if they can make me look like her, I’M IN!” 

In the following months, I started taking the 4:30 pm class with a fellow newbie CrossFitter, Dara. I can’t express how thankful I am that she took me under her wings and accepted me for the quiet introverted person I was at the time. I also started PTing with Coach Adrien. I found it so interesting how every session she knew what I needed more than I did. Whether that was a hard workout that forced you to just shut off your brain & just go, a fun Oly session or just an hour of her basically being my therapist. I’ve shared so many laughs, personal triumphs, & life lessons with these ladies!

In October of 2016, I sat down with my boss, at the time, and listened to him explain why a company I had worked for, for 8 years, was letting me go. It was one of the hardest days of my life because I had put my whole life into that company. Once I packed up my office; I didn’t drive home, I didn’t call my family, I drove straight to CFRR. I pulled up to the gym, went up to Adrien and just broke down. She told me that the universe works in great ways and that this was the push I needed to interview for the General Manager position that they had been looking to fill.

Fast forward 2.5 years. I NEVER started this job thinking I would EVER be a Coach. Standing in front of a group of people & explaining things was pretty much my biggest fear EVER. But in pure Adrien fashion, she pushed me outside of my comfort zone and after a few heart-to-heart conversations with Kali, I decided to take the CrossFit Level 1 Course. Looking back at it, I think I didn’t want to become a Coach because that meant I would need to live up to what people expect from someone that works in the fitness industry. 

In the following months, even though I was a coach, I watched the scale go from 145 to 150 to 160 to 165lbs. At the beginning of 2019, I weighed the most I’ve ever weighed in my life. I was literally making a living coaching other people on the importance of consistency as I made excuse after excuse on why I “couldn’t” workout that day. I was trying to show people how CrossFit could positively impact their life and I was avoiding putting any time or effort into my own health & wellness. I was helping other people dial in on their nutrition; when I went home on a weekly, sometimes daily basis, with Whataburger & beers. 

During this time Landon and I had grown very close. I remember the day I finally sat down and told him I didn’t think I deserved to be a Coach anymore. I didn’t deserve his respect much less the member’s respect. I shared with him everything that was going on in my life at the time and we talked through it. That night I came up with a plan on how I was going to change my life around and hopefully how I would find the courage to love myself again. 

In June of 2019, I did a complete overhaul of my nutrition, I hired my gymnastics coach Jess Estrada, and I made a pledge to everyone at CFRR that I would share my fitness journey with them. Not just for them to see it but mainly to help hold me accountable. I also reached out to Dee, to a long time CFRR member, to ask if she would train gymnastics with me before we took the noon class. Without seeing her dedication & drive on a daily basis I probably wouldn’t have stuck with it past the first few months. I was so horrible at gymnastics & I finished last in pretty much every class but slowly I got more and more comfortable being uncomfortable. 

I remember the day I got my first strict pull-up. It wasn’t the first strict pull up I had ever gotten since I started CrossFit, but it was the first strict pull up I felt like I had EARNED. I started to love the beauty of gymnastics. For the first time, I felt how simply being aware of how your body moves can make you better at multiple movements. I started to fall in love with CrossFit again because I experienced first hand that starting over again isn’t the end of the world; it’s the beginning of something great. I stopped putting pressure on myself to know how to do “all the things” and started focusing on learning how to celebrate even the smallest of wins. 

Just like athletes start to piece together the positions of an Olympic lift; one by one I started to piece together the parts of my life that I had been neglecting. I had neglected to be proud of myself. I had neglected to share myself with others. I had neglected to work towards something that doesn’t have a finish line. I had neglected to learn something new every day. I had neglected to love who I was and KNOW I am worth my own effort & sacrifice.

I could sit here and list the movements that I can do, that I couldn’t do 7 months ago, or the PR’s that I’ve had in the gym but those pale in comparison to the real wins that I’ve had. 

  • I stand tall & proud in front of any class I coach. 
  • I put myself out there for people to truly see who I really am. 
  • I feel like I’ve earned the respect of our members & our coaches. 
  • I am a more confident person inside & outside the gym. 
  • I know that with consistency & patience I can achieve things I never thought possible.

Lastly, but most importantly, I know that I have a family at CFRR. I can’t begin to thank Landon & Adrien enough for what they have done for me. They gave me a job when I didn’t have one. They gave me a family while mine is far away. They gave me a fulfilling life that I didn’t even know I was missing. They gave me the person I am today.