Billy Craft: Coming back for the people, staying for the PRs.

I struggle to pick one thing I enjoy most about Albany CrossFit; perhaps this is a cop-out choice but I think what I enjoy most is how different every visit can be. One night I may surprise myself with my performance in the WOD. During a different class I will learn a new skill or a coach will help me improve my mobility or technique. The next night I will leave having enjoyed the company of some awesome people. My nightly highlights constantly vary, just like the workouts.

No doubt about it, what keeps me coming back is the people. I could invest in equipment to Crossfit at home. In fact, I have done a few workouts at home on a weekend or while traveling. It is nowhere near the same. I do not get the tips or instruction from coaches that care about improving my long-term performance by focusing on form, safety, and knowledge. I do not get to see all of the friends I have made. I do not get that competitive push associated with working out next to other highly motivated people.

The personal improvement that has affected my life most is the overall increase in confidence. Sure, I have lost weight, understand how to eat better, and have become stronger, faster, fitter, etc. But I am also much more comfortable around co-workers, friends, and strangers than ever before. Part of that is becoming stronger or losing weight but I think the increased confidence comes from surrounding myself with positive, happy people that are generally, and occassionally surprisingly, happy to see me.

Increased confidence, happiness, and health can help in a multitude of daily scenarios. You gain more respect by respecting yourself first. Also, the only thing that I have more of than nicknames is t-shirts. So I got that goin' for me which is nice.

My favorite ACF moments are the goodbyes. Saying goodbye is a really raw moment but it perfectly displays how deep the relationships within this community are. It's certainly always sad to say goodbye and I miss many people that have had to leave but it also helps to appreciate the relationships that have been built.