The Greater Impacts of a CrossFit Community

My name is Alex Trapp, I am a 21 year old Duluth Native, and I just completed my freshman year at University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. I lived in Duluth for the last 20 years and attended Duluth East High School. After graduating in 2014 I played junior hockey for the Minnesota Wilderness for 2 years in the NAHL. While doing so I was recruited by St. Thomas to go play hockey there and further my education, majoring in Entrepreneurship. Growing up in Duluth I played every sport until about 9th grade, when I quit most sports and focused primarily on hockey and rugby, which I also continue to play at St. Thomas along with hockey.

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I started CrossFit about a month after Ryan opened up Aerial here in Duluth in late spring 2013, and I haven’t looked back. After my first year, I went on to earn my CF level 1 certification so I could coach classes.  I help coach the Aerial Future’s Kids class, along with Coach Jade, and I occasionally coach a few regular CrossFit classes.

I started doing CrossFit with Ryan to help take our High School hockey team’s strength and conditioning to another level. As co-captain of the team, I wanted us to be in best shape. I brought our team in for the summer and had no idea what to expect.

I was unaware of my decision to join to be the best choice I’ve made.

I primarily train during the summer at the gym for hockey and rugby strength and conditioning, but I have come to learn that I am gaining a lot more than just that. Doing CrossFit everyday prepares me to take on sports, school, and life. Growing up playing sports, every team I played on I always felt I had potential to be one of the best players on each team, but I kept comparing myself to others and what my coaches thought of me.  This lead to me getting in my own head. Training in the offseason, I didn’t have a great sense of direction or programming. I had big goals, but didn’t know how to reach them.

CrossFit at Aerial has taught me to stop comparing myself to other people and caring what others think about me, and to start asking myself, “Am I better than I was yesterday?” The table has been set for me with direction and programming, now it was time to eat. By challenging myself every day, I changed myself and have continually been better prepared for next season’s sports, becoming one of our team’s better players every year. CrossFit has brought me to levels of strength and conditioning far above my teammates and competition.  It has also helped me make gains in my work ethic and character.

CrossFit at Aerial has taught me to stop comparing myself to other people and caring what others think about me, and to start asking myself, “Am I better than I was yesterday?”

This concept carried over to my schooling. I have treated high school and college with the same attitude of CrossFit training, such as a 40 minute chipper workout, or attending one of the early AM morning Classes at the gym. I know that if I show up and put in all the effort, I will be better than I was the day before and succeed in school. I could be like other students, who skip class or spend all their time in the bars, or I could show up, put in the work, and trust the process. This mindset has led me to the Dean’s list and achieving my first college 4.0. CrossFit has made me mentally tough, teaching myself to not give in when I feel like quitting, which is what I have learned to carry over to school and work.

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Lastly, CrossFit has benefited my life through being healthy, developing connections with a new family, and discovering new values. Other coaches have taught me how to take good care of my body through nutrition and body maintenance. I used to work out alone at Anytime Fitness and the YMCA. Since my time at the gym, I have tried to make personal connections with every new face I see, which has led me to creating a bond with a new family that will last a lifetime. I know that through ups and downs, everybody at the gym is there for me no matter what, and you won’t find that anywhere else.

I have realized that life throws constant twists and challenges your way, and you need to be ready for anything. This is a lot like CrossFit, constantly varied and trying to be good at everything.

My message to our community is that if you trust the process, you will discover new potential inside yourself you never knew you had, as I did. All of us coaches believe in all of you, and if you believe in yourselves, the sky is the limit – with CrossFit and life. Aerial will prepare you to be mentally and physically tough for whatever comes next.

Its taught me that nothing gets easier, you just get better.