Somewhere along the line fitness became a commodity. I think that might be the single biggest hurdle in our journey into obesity and health issues as a country.

Nobody looks around for the most effective or even the most efficient fitness solution. People look at one thing first and rank it far above all other factor – price. Cost of membership is the first question everyone wants answered. And that is the problem.

It doesn’t matter if your gym membership or personal training sessions are the cheapest. It doesn’t matter if you only pay $100 or $50 or even $10 (yes there are billboards all over advertising monthly fees of $10). If you could get a gym membership for one cent a month it wouldn’t matter.

The only thing that matters is if it does what it is supposed to do – make you a healthier you. I would even go one step further and say that your fitness program, whatever the cost, should make you the healthiest you possible.

Over the years fitness, and by extension health, has been relegated to a line item on the budget, if it even makes it onto the budget. Even if it does get a spot next to groceries and the gas bill, it’s usually the smallest spot possible, and the first one to go when things get tight. Trust me, I understand money is always tight. Three kids, a house, a vehicle – it all adds up to not much money left over at the end of the month.

When we are short on money we have been conditioned to shop around for the best price. Some of us eventually learn that “You get what you pay for” is a cliche for a reason.

Others don’t, so they jump in and out of cheap gyms, promising themselves that this time will be the time it works. This is the time I am going to go to the gym regularly and get in shape.

And maybe you do, for a week or two. Maybe you manage a month before you fall off the wagon. It ends up being the same pattern over and over again, and I see it repeated across friends and family time and again.

I think there is a multitude of problems with the traditional gym model, not the least of which is that it is in their best interest to sign up as many people as possible and hope they don’t all show up. That’s where the contracts come in.

I also think there is a problem with trying to figure out what to do that is interesting and effective when you do show up. Sure you could pay for personal training, but that can be really expensive – $60, $80, or even more an hour. Maybe that would get you results, maybe it won’t. At least then you have somebody to call you when you don’t show up.

I think CrossFit fixes that problem quite neatly. You get semi individualized attention in a small group setting. You get new skills to learn and interesting workouts that are designed by knowledgeable staff.  That same staff will be there to train you and push you through the workout. That same staff should also have a good idea of where you are, where you want to go, and best of all: a plan to get you there!

I can already hear the questions. Isn’t CrossFit expensive? How can I afford that? The real question is what is worth more – a couple nights out for dinner and drinks with friends or being able to run around and play with your kids and grandkids well into your old age?  A couple new video games (or whatever your hobby equivalent is) or a rock solid skeletal system that will protect you from the woes of broken hips and keep you independent when you get older? Those fancy specialty coffee drinks in the morning or actively fight against diabetes, heart disease, stress, anxiety, and depression?

The bottom line is that you can not put a price on feeling energized and full of life. Being alive and healthy as a parent (or a grandparent) isn’t a commodity, it’s a priority!

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