The Third, Fourth Year Trap

Sometimes there’s a phenomenon happening around you that you just can’t see until it’s visually made clear. That is exactly what happened for New Zealand’s first CrossFit gym owner, Darren Ellis, in his thriving business.

I’ve known Darren since 2010. It was his first year competing in the CrossFit Games and we’d remain friends ever since. His gym, CrossFit NZ, just celebrated its eleventh birthday making it one of the oldest affiliates world-wide and an affiliate with longevity that few will ever know in the business.

His realization came when the gym started publicly recognizing attendance on the walls in place of the traditional “leaderboard”. After being a student for one year, you’d sign your name on the wall. Been a student for two years? You get a placards with you name on it. There are twenty-two of those on the wall today. If you make it to your third year, you’re placard turns blue and is raised amongst the third year folk. There are eight of these. If you’re one of the six members fortunate enough to make your fourth year at CrossFit NZ, you get the coveted green placard.

Things get special when you get your gold placard, however. This is for fifth year folks and beyond. These placard are proudly positioned at the highest point on the wall. There are fifty-five of them.

What a stark discrepancy! There are just fourteen students between years three and four combined and fifty-five beyond the fifth year? What could this mean? Does it mark a shift in culture a few years ago? A down turn in quality?

Darren knows it’s something else. Two to four years in is when it gets hard. The massive gains come smaller, the novelty that got you in isn’t novel anymore, you start getting antsy and thinking you need different programming, and quitting is most popular. If you make it to your fifth year, however, you get it. You’re bought in. You’re patient for the long haul. Here you’ve got the ticket to unlimited health and wellness indefinitely.

CrossFit NZ is proud to have a solid community of students who also celebrated their eleventh training birthday with them and that is worth (literally) writing home about. If you’re coming into this brand new, set your sights on longevity. None of this matters in the grand scheme of your life if your training only lasts a couple of years. If you’re in the awkward middle stage of 3-4 years in, bear down. This is your time to decide to choose mastery or puddle jump to another flighty commitment. If you’re beyond your fifth year with us we congratulate you. We can’t wait to evolve with you for decades.


Logan Gelbrich  


2/11/19 WOD

Pause Front Squat

Even: 4 Box Jumps (AHAP)
Odd: 1 Snatch

Immediately into the following for time:
100 Double Unders
25 Box Jump Overs (20″)