The other day Maggie and I were chatting about the merits of living simply; spending our money to buy time and experience over things. This really got me thinking about reducing or distilling life into it’s most basic elements. In cooking, a reduction is simply a process of heating a liquid until it is reduced to it’s most basic element and flavor.
Memorial Day is right around the corner. With Memorial Day comes Murph – probably the most meaningful workout for all CrossFitters and especially meaningful for us at The Hill. We started this gym on the lawn of the national WWI Museum; hauling wall balls and kettle bells to the base of Liberty Memorial where over 1,000 people came to exercise over the course of several months. Each time we unloaded equipment, we’d walk past all the names of heroes lining the sidewalk. This became our identity – CrossFit Memorial Hill. It pretty much named itself.
In fact, our insignia is an adoption of that of the 35th Infantry Division, which was activated during WWI as National Guard Division from Kansas and Missouri.
“The Hill” quickly became a nickname. Probably because “CrossFit Memorial Hill” is quite a mouthful and, once we moved into the space at 2535 Jefferson, the hill leading up from 25th became a quick
torture device effective conditioning tool. I always loved the nickname – it went well on apparel, easy to say, and gave the gym a distinct identity. However, over the last year, this nickname has become increasingly more impactful for me.
This Saturday everyone will finish Murph by coming up that hill leading from 25th. It will suck. After you catch your breath, you’ll mention to a friend how awful it is to finish such a brutal workout on such a brutal hill. But, as you crest that hill there will be a group of people cheering for you, a grill, and plenty of high-fives. You’ll probably make some Memorial Day weekend plans with those very people with whom you now share a bond – a bond forged as you came up that hill.
That’s health and fitness in a nutshell. Strip away all the thrusters and burpees and what do you have? A group of people walking or running up the same hill. Over the last year, my “distillation” or “reduction” has yielded 3 very simple tenets of a full, healthy life: 1. Move functionally, often. 2. Eat reasonably. 3. Help others along the way. That’s the formula. While it’s not easy, it is simple.
This is what The Hill means to me. The Hill represents all the lessons learned over the last 4 years, interactions with over 4,000 athletes at all life stages, and countless thousands of athlete hours in the gym. The Hill is a simplification of philosophy, helping as many people on their journey as possible, and an awesome group of people waiting at the top with a high-five. The Hill is the struggle; that last little bit of your Murph run. The Hill is that group of people at the top waiting with a high-five and a “nice job.”
I’m excited to officially show you the visual representation of this philosophy. Stripped down and simplified to it’s most basic elements. On the surface, it’s a new logo. For me, this new logo represents all the things that you – the athlete – have taught your coaches over the years. We are very grateful for these lessons and look forward to learning more. I’ll see you this Saturday at the top of The Hill.