Greg Amundson: I Support Steve’s Club
The Greatest Adaptation Is Between The Ears
In 2001, right in the middle of a fight for his life, Greg Amundson came to a terrifying realization. He was extremely unprepared for this battle, and he may not walk away from it.
Fortunately for Greg Amundson, who was working with the Deputy Sheriff’s Department in Santa Cruz, he able to walk away from this dangerous altercation with a criminal without any serious harm, but found himself shaken and realized he needed to step things up in his training.
“I realized in the middle of this fight, that I was really fighting two people, the suspect and myself. It felt that with every movement, my body was fighting me each step of the way. I thought that I had been training properly, but it was clear that a major change was needed,” said Amundson.
That led Amundson down the road in Santa Cruz to the original CrossFit gym, CrossFit Santa Cruz, known simply at the time as “CrossFit” because it was the only one of its kind. “Back then, no one was doing CrossFit. It was a place for those who wanted to train more effectively for their sport, their vocation, or their life,” said Amundson who is well-known as one of the founding CrossFitters.
“During a seminar with Coach Glassman in Seattle in 2003, I witnessed a profound moment where we saw how the self-talk of two different athletes separated one from the other in terms of result and performance. That’s when Greg turned to me and said, ‘The greatest adaptation to CrossFit takes place between the ears.'”
This adaptation is hugely important to the kids of Steve’s Clubs across the country. “This change is one that allows the kids to learn the character traits and values that we long to instill in our youth: accountability, perseverance, determination, truthfulness, honesty, and integrity. All the intangible life skills one needs to be successful, these kids are learning through the context of CrossFit,” said Amundson. “These are all things you can learn through Fran.”
Greg, described by his peers as the “Original CrossFit Firebreather”, believes that there is no better time than now for these teenagers to be crafting the tools for a fulfilling life, and there is no better way to do it than through the repetition of CrossFit.
“Repetition is the first law of learning. We have to make sure that we are practicing the right skills, the right way, daily. The more often you are amongst a group of people, or are around a leader or mentor, who are coaching us and reminding us to think and speak positively, the more positive impact we will have in our own lives. We need to be practicing those skills daily. That’s repetition.”
Greg Amundson, is the author of four books (Your Wife is NOT Your Sister – God In Me – US Army Officer Candidate School – Tools for Success and his newest book Firebreather Fitness), and is the embodiment of all the tangible benefits and intangible values that CrossFit represents.
He believes that our mind is our greatest asset and that we need to realize that our thoughts create our reality. “Anything we focus on can actualize in our lives. The goal should be to begin with the mind and teach, at the youngest age possible, the power of positive self-talk.” said Amundson, who credits his father's influence and commitment to ministry for his own motivation to work with, and inspire, young teens.
“Kids long for meaning and are very impressionable. In their teenage years they can be compelled towards a certain direction in life. CrossFit offers a robust physical fitness routine as well as a pathway for that adaptation to happen between the ears. The stronger and more resilient the body, the stronger and more resilient the mind and spirit.”
“I was inspired by my dad, and the work he was doing with kids before he passed away to teach them the importance of being healthy in mind, body, and soul,” shared Amundson. “One of the reasons that I got involved with Steve’s Club early on is because I loved Steve’s heart for what he was doing with these at-risk kids and wanted to help him reach his goals.” Giving back and investing in each other is an important extension of the values of the CrossFit community.
That is why Greg was so willing to act as a Guest Coach at the 2014 Steve’s Club Leadership Camp. For one week every year, 25 teens attend an overnight camp hosted by SCNP where they continue to learn, be tested, and connect with other at-risk teenagers just like them. They're chosen from Local Clubs across the country, and are selected based on their application and commitment to the program.
By connecting these motivated, yet underserved, teenagers with committed coaches who consistently reinforce positive qualities, these kids begin to transform and see the bigger picture of who they can become.
Greg drove his point home by saying, “I believe in the future of America’s youth and am adamant that the principles of Steve’s Club and CrossFit can ensure the success of the next generation of leaders.”