Getting into Tennessee late-ish, I had a brewery lined up. I went to Dayton, TN -which I’ll admit I’ve heard of Dayton Ohio, but not in Tennessee. The brewery was Monkey Town Brewing and being in a small town they really took pride in their food along with good beer for people to try. I was lucky enough to have a beer and then I was offered a meal. I had a burger with some unique, but incredible fries. I heard it was the food was good during the meeting, but tasting it made me a believer forever. As I was getting ready to leave, I was given a T-Shirt which I happily accepted and overall I just felt great from this kindness. On top of it, I had a couple leads regarding breweries and one panned out!
I had a couple friends in Tennessee but between the lack of timing and the length of the state, we weren’t able to connect sadly. I spent the night in a hotel before getting on the next day.
Thanks to Monkey Town, I was able to meet with Odd Story Brewing and heard how they purposefully designed their taproom to resemble an indoor beer garden. Before I had gone to the brewery, I saw a CrossFit gym in town and popped in to see if an owner was around. I heard he would be around later in the day and that I would have a decent chance of meeting with him.
After meeting with Odd Story, I had some time to kill which I took advantage of talking with my parents. It was nice as they have a rhythm of putting me on speaker phone so they both can hear and chime in. As always, they said it was nice to hear from me and know that I was safe.
I went back to Get Built Chattanooga CrossFit where I heard they like to have fun and there was no doubt in my head. Not only did they have a typical box, but outside they had a basketball court and artificial turf for a field to play on. Around the workout time, there were talks of teams for the noon pick up game going down, along with associated trash talking. It was fun to take it in.
Feeling some strong momentum, I made my way towards Knoxville, thinking I’d get my own workout in and then shoot towards gyms for the evening times as maybe an owner would be coaching at a CrossFit gym. As I pulled into the parking lot of my GPS guided destination, Planet Fitness, I saw CrossFit Knoxville. I had my plan but thought I’d be foolish to not step in first.
I walked into the gym and met a Coach who was nice and had actually traveled to numerous states and gyms after college which was neat. They introduced me to the general manager and he said he would reach out to the owner and let me know. The Coach said I could work out. As I tried to do often, I jumped at the chance and started to fill out the online registry. I then came to the page for payment and apologized I didn’t realize there would be a $20 fee. I said that due to the nature of the long trip, I wouldn’t be able to do it this time, but graciously thanked them again.
In all candor, I had thought that it was a bit of a bummer it couldn’t be free since other gyms had been so kind. Then I had to check myself because it isn’t right to think in an entitled fashion. Just because I’m on a wild adventure doesn’t mean I deserve special treatment. It doesn’t mean businesses aren’t focused on operating as a business. As I was having this little back and forth monologue, the coach ran out and said she heard I could do the class and the fee would be waived. She was new and wanted to have the guidance before such a decision. I was grateful, not only for the chance to work out but for the kindness and generosity I was able to experience yet again on this journey.
The workout would involve double unders, so I grabbed my Rx Smart Gear rope and did fine in the warm-up. The WOD included holding 2 53lb kb walking lunges, double unders, and ab mat sit-ups. I saw the weights and scale options which put me in a predicament. It is quite challenging to have an accurate idea of where my fitness is during this trip. There are still some things that I’m capable of doing well, but more often than not I’m weaker and in worse shape than normal. Lack of good sleep and nutrition doesn’t help either. That being said, I’m not afraid of hard work and don’t like taking the easy way.
Let’s just say that I got to enjoy a big ol serving of humble pie. I thought eh, I’m pretty strong in my legs, the Rx weight ought to be fine. It was fine, for a couple lunges, then BAM! Legs experienced tightening and massive amounts of fatigue. And I was only halfway done with 1 set of the walking lunges!! Immediately, counterproductive thoughts filled my head and now I had to practice my Sport Psychology training on myself, while physically getting my body to move.
It was rough. I then told myself to just move. Don’t rush but try to keep moving. I slowed my overall pace and went into grind mode. This maintained for the double unders and sit-ups too as the heart was pounding. Eventually, I was able to finish the workout, alive and all. At other gyms, I had either forgot or remembered to get a pic, but this time there was a member who was moving away, and it was their last day. I didn’t want to take any of the spotlight away from them and decided it was best not to bring it up. I was happy for the kindness shown to me by the members and staff and then walked over to Planet Fitness to get all showered up.
Later in the day I heard I could meet with the owner, but at another location. CrossFit Knoxville has a developmental program to make sure they have a great team. The owner had some exposure to Sport Psychology but as with other experiences, who you talk with and how you connect can influence your perspective. Through more openness and talking he was happy to hear more about the field and see how the theory is approached from my perspective. I enjoyed having a chance to share some of what I know with an owner, as he was kind to share his experiences with me.
After that, I had some time before meeting up with the coach to talk about experiences at different gyms and to share what we each have learned. I came across a moonshine place and did some tasting. It was pretty good overall, but not worth a purchase for me at this point. There were already too many beers I should’ve bought in different places that I had to pass up due to the budget for the trip.
I met up with the coach and heard how they had similar difficulties of finding a gym or parking at various gyms. It seems to be something overlooked by places and even me on this journey. There are so many other details, but to hear the difficulties they had and to think about how many times I drove past a place due to it being tucked away or poor signage really made me think about what I may want in a business for the future.
It was then time to head towards Virginia. I was happy because some good friends of mine from my time in Hawaii were back and I’d be able to stay with them! More about those adventures next time!