Reflections on Mirrors

Brick walls don't care what you look like.

There are no mirrors in our gym because we don’t care what you look like.

In fact, we don’t care how old you are, or whether you’re male or female. We don’t care what colour your skin is either. Or if you’re overweight or loaded with muscle. Or if you’re tall or short. Or blond. Or brunette.

We treat everyone like an athlete, and there’s no profiling here.

Traditional fitness facilities are loaded with mirrors. They’re everywhere. If you stand right in most facilities, you can see your rear delts and your pecs at the same time, or you can line yourself up with precision to surreptitiously check out the cutie around the corner. Very clever use of light and glass.

But the mirrors don’t lift the weight, and they don’t help you fix your form.

Appearance doesn't matter. Effort does.

Try this: go stand in front of a mirror and go into the bottom of a deep squat. Look yourself in the eye. Then realize your neck is arched into a bad position. Then come to our gym and squat in front of a brick wall while we cheer you on.

We all want to look good, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you look around the Internet, or our gym, you’ll find a lot of fit, athletic-looking CrossFitters. Fitness and a great diet indeed have fringe benefits, and we’d be ignorant to ignore them.

But our gym isn’t about appearance. We’re about fitness, and if you improve your fitness, you’ll look better. Guaranteed.

But perhaps it’s best not to focus on that. Ultimately, appearance is a subjective measure that says nothing about your fitness. Some of the most beautiful people in the world are very unhealthy, and many of them will tell you that being judged on appearance isn’t very fun or good for mental health.

So we judge you on performance. Are you improving? Are you getting stronger? Are you getting faster? We write down what we lift and how fast we lifted it because that gives us a solid number that doesn’t lie.

Two hundred pounds went up five times. Fran was under 5 minutes. You ran our loop around the block under 3 minutes. You beat a personal record. You got stronger. Or faster. Or both.

You improved.

No mirror will tell you that.

We’re actually putting mirrors in the bathrooms very soon. But they’re not there for you to evaluate your appearance.

They’re there so you can look yourself in the eye and ask one important question:

Did you give your very best effort in the workout?

30 Responses to “Reflections on Mirrors”
  1. Josh says:

    Inspiring as always.

  2. Crystal says:

    Awesome blog Mike. When I stopped caring about how I looked, and started worrying about getting stronger and faster, my body composition changed without me even noticing. Looking fit and strong is just a perk….. That comes with being fit and strong.

  3. Eileen says:

    so that means even us older ladies can come and we don’t need pink workout stuff, right?

  4. Mike Booth says:

    Awesome blog post!

    Damn I had a feeling those mirrors at goodlife were trick mirrors! LOL

  5. Lianne says:

    Very well put and very inspirational.

  6. Michelle says:

    Well said. Very inspiring – thank you.

  7. Trip says:

    Thanks Mike

  8. Brad Sarna says:

    well said….as always!

  9. Debbie Peet says:

    I can’t express how awesome the writing is here. Crystal and Mike BOTH are so good at giving this reader goosbumps and the inspiration to keep pushing AND pulling everything heavier, faster, harder.


  10. Vince says:

    No mirrors for Crossfit, but plenty of pictures and videos of workouts posted online. Maybe you just found a different way to check out the cutie around the corner?? Just keep knocking down the workouts that other people do, and you may eventually feel better about yourself…

  11. BradG says:

    Couldn’t have said it better.

  12. ryan says:

    Love the post. It reminds me of the Iron article by Henry Rollins. But my favourite part is the double entendre in the title.

  13. Tom Hack says:

    These words are so inspiring, Mike. We here at Cross Fit 204 have the privilege of access to amazing instructors to guide us – knowledgeable, caring, supportive, and fit. In you Mike, and in Crystal, Ryan, Lindsey and others we have rare individuals who each possess the best qualities of athletes, teachers, coaches, and therapists rolled into lone exceptional beings. Cross Fit 204 rocks! Thanks Mike!!

  14. MLC says:

    Awesome post, referencing our blog to this for sure!

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