My latest photography project has intersected with “real life” in an interesting way: I’m taking pictures for the Made In Crossfit (MIC) gym in Tempe, and I’m also working out there.
Oscar Garcia (below), the owner and lead trainer, is enthusiastic and positive, and tries to help motivate each gym member.
I brought my studio lights and backdrop equipment to MIC to take portrait shots, and also visited various classes to take candids of the athletes. It’s been an amazing experience to meet the gym members and get to know them better as I take their pictures. I’m also working out at the gym 3X/week. My exercise goals are to get stronger and lose weight. My photographic goal is to get the very best crossfit website pictures possible, and with athletes like these, my job is easy!
Oscar has three other certified CrossFit trainers who also teach classes and coach the athletes during workouts.
First up is Caterina:
And then there is Dominic:
Each trainer has a unique perspective and set of skills to share with the gym members, and each trainer is encouraging and friendly. They ensure that each gym member receives personal coaching and feedback on technique. They also verify that everyone is is using the right form, and will walk around during classes correcting stances, demonstrating the right way to do each movement, and offering encouragement.
Members are encouraged to push themselves in a healthy way — beginners use modifications so they do not injure themselves or tire too soon trying to perform advanced moves, and the competition is mostly with yourself (although there is friendly banter among the gym members about WOD times.)
The atmosphere in the gym is one of friendliness and support. Members hug each other hello, chat about their families, and join together on purchases of speed ropes or WOD repair lotion to save money on shipping. It’s not a meat-market, and it’s not competitive in a negative way — everyone is very welcoming and encouraging to old and new members alike.
Now you may be wondering: Jennifer, do you look like these people yet? And the answer is, well, NO. And it doesn’t matter. Nobody judges you here on how you look — just on how hard you work, and whether you give 100%. I’ve heard several personal success stories from the fittest gym members about how they’ve lost 50+ lbs and gotten into the best shape of their life, and it’s VERY encouraging. People like you even if you’re overweight, even if you don’t have defined triceps, and even if you can’t complete a WOD. It’s all about supporting each other and working hard. And I love it!
In the 3 weeks I’ve been working out here, I’ve:
- Learned what WOD means (Workout of the Day)
- Learned how to do cleans, snatches, and wall balls
- Lifted more weight than I thought I could
- Done 100 situps in a row
- Completed some tough workouts and felt exhilarated and proud afterwards (although also very sore and shaky!)
I hope that it will be ME, in a year or so, sharing MY success story to a newcomer, and I’m willing to put in the work to make it happen. And while I do, I have these friendly, amazing athletes around me to offer support and encouragement.
If you’re debating whether you should CrossFit, I say: Try it!
Below are a few more examples of some Made In Crossfit athletes during their portrait sessions and regular workouts. I hope these pictures inspire you to continue giving 100% at your next workout!
Thanks for reading, and enjoy your next workout!