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Does your gym have soul? Not just pull-up bars and barbells and athletes and firebreathers and Lulu mamas and snatching grandpas, but soul. Real, salt-of-the-earth, tail-wagging, wise-assing, booty-making, hip-driving “I seriously give a shit about you” soul. Some gyms have it, and some . . . well, they must be looking for it.

See, soul is a hard thing to quantify or produce, but it’s crucial in CrossFit. It’s one of the things that makes us different from the others.

I’d rather workout in a hole with soul than the most beautiful place in the world . . . if it wasn’t real. I don’t want more shiny surface in this life — I’ve seen enough surface to last me a lifetime.

I’m not sure how you get real, I just know it when I feel it. And so do most people. In fact, I’d wager that most CrossFitters are people who left behind other routines and other gyms and other lives because they just felt . . . empty. That’s why the box is so important to us: in a world of surface, it’s a place to be real.

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