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No 2nd chance to make a 1st impression

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Lynch of CrossFit South Arlington had me at hello.  If you want to reel in a new member of your CrossFit gym, it really does come down to harnessing your inner Conor Lynch.

[Adapted from Biznology] Conor Lynch of CrossFit South Arlington had me at hello.  If you want to reel in a new member of your CrossFit gym, it really does come down to harnessing your inner Conor Lynch.

I have been doing everything to get back into shape: started a health and fitness blog, became obsessed with kettlebells, applied for membership at the legendaryPotomac Boat Club, bought a treadmill desk, and even committed to rowing 200,000 meters between November 26 and midnight Christmas Eve as part of the Holiday Challenge.  I met my buddy Miles Fawcett and he told me that he’s committed to CrossFit when he’s not being an awesome dad, husband, and owner of Urban Alarm. He looks great and so does my business partner, Dan Krueger, who might just be the King of CrossFit. Both men are deep in their 40s and look like Greek Gods. So, I thought I would give it a try. So, I hit Google and discovered that CrossFit South Arlington is the closes Box to where I live in Pentagon City.  Of course, I looked for pricing, but the site’s coy. So, I popped a quick note to [email protected]:

Subject: CrossFit-Curious

Hi there,

I have tried to get going on my own KBs and even my own Concept2 but I can’t make a dent.

I am up to 300lbs and am 45 — I would love to join and really commit.

My buddy Dan Krueger and all his friends look like Greek Gods — I am not there yet.

Is there a lot of flexibility if I am not there yet? So that I don’t hurt myself as I get started.

I do have an athletic background: rowing, wrestling, running, skulling, erging.

But right now, I am an old fat bastard.

Are you the box for me? I live really close: Lofts 590, right down the block.



I emailed CFSA at 9:11 PM on Friday got a response at 4:20 PM on Sunday:


Fantastic introduction.

It was as if I were simultaneously reading an online dating profile and engaged in a battle of riddles with Gollum.

While we initially tried a gym policy of “Greek Gods only, no Fat Bastards allowed”, it turned out to a rather small and unfortunately incestuous group of athletes. Too small a population to run a viable business.

So now we happily teach fundamental technique with an obsessive emphasis on proper posture and position to athletes of all ages and sizes.

There are no benchmarks for speed, strength or skill. We’re open to anyone (no matter how thick their skull or midsection) who wants to learn and can be a friend to the person beside them for an hour.

Consider this a positive reply to your personal ad for physical activity.

How about a first date this Wednesday 9 December at 7:30pm? It’s our small group free class, where you’ll go through the CrossFit equivalent of junior prom with a handful of other folks who awkwardly have no clue what they’re doing?

I’m excited.

Have a great end to your weekend and looking forward to seeing you in here soon.

Conor Lynch

Conor did such a brilliant job responding that I forwarded his charming, funny, and perfectly mirrored response on to my girlfriend just because I feel like I’ve already met my match.  Funny thing: I was really only sniffing around doing my first foray into my CrossFit research. I generally start my research weeks and months before I jump. Well, the trap was set and here’s my response — I was sold. I’m as good as there on Wednesday evening:

You’re more charming and funny than I.

I thought only fat, ugly, and old people need to be charming. Bugger.

I accept Wednesday at half 7.

Do I need to wear my Hans and Frans muscle suit? Having a shower will never bother me so that’s not an issue. See you at 7:30PM on Wednesday? Cool.

Do I need to but a complete Rogue and Onnit CrossFit bro wardrobe before coming in?



And then Conor earned his closer coffee with his final response:

Hans and Franz suit would be ideal, as the gym is a drafty, decaying warehouse.  You’ll want a layer to wear while warming up which you can then remove before sexy time the workout starts.

See you at 7:30pm this Wednesday.

Now that’s how it’s done. And I assume that if someone were to contact him all serious and earnest, he might very well respond in more of a businesslike manner with a different sort of encouragement.   His signature says that he’s a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and a CrossFit Kids, Mobility, Football Certified instructor — which makes sense. If you’re good with self-loathing, overweight, aging athletes then you’re probably brilliant with kids!

Coner won me at hello because he won me with his personality. He was willing to risk being funny and familiar with someone he doesn’t yet know and it worked for him, at least with me.  In his humor and willingness to play, he made me feel a lot less self-conscious about my body, about my level of fitness, about even my worthiness to join the cult of CrossFit. In his response, he said to me in so many words, “come on in, the water’s fine.”