Working for The Box magazine is something I had wanted to do for a long time.
In some ways, it has just become a part of who I am. Each week I plan out what I want to cover for my column and type it out over the weekend or do it during the week if I want to take more time to work through edits. In many ways, it’s difficult to contemplate that I’ve only been doing this job for one year.
I can remember distinctly looking at my phone as I was walking up to my daughter’s soccer tournament last year at this time. I was reading through an email and trying to wrap my head around what it was saying. I stepped off to the side of the field as the team was warming up and told my wife, “I think The Box just offered me a job.”
The rest is history.
My first column was more of an introduction of who I am…your average Joe CrossFit athlete, commonly known as a Grinder. I title it I Am Not Rich Froning Jr. and it basically chronicled my journey up to that point in CrossFit and my thoughts on being content with being an average athlete just happy to be along for the ride.
Since that time, I’ve worked with the founder of CrossFit Kids, Games athletes — Stacie Tovar, Valerie Volobril and Chris Spealler — and the one and only Dr. Kelly Starrett. I’ve covered up-and-coming athletes, written travel articles, told stories of groups fundraising money for great causes and, of course, my various gear reviews.
But more than anything, this job has afforded me the chance to put my own thoughts, musings and observations out there for the world to share and read. My “grinder” columns have been a way for me to say, “I’m nothing special, but I’m like so many of us in the community. We aren’t going to win competitions or be on podiums, but we come in four or five times a week, bust our asses and work on the most important thing: our health.” These are the grinders, and from the feedback I’ve gotten there are a hell of a lot of you out there.
I have very much enjoyed the comments on our Facebook page, the tweets and retweets and the emails that you have taken the time to write me from around the globe. It’s been an amazing experience and one that I’m looking forward to continuing for a long time to come.
I know that I won’t be able to thank everyone who has helped me along the way, but to all of you I sincerely say thanks. To my bosses at The Box, you are the best. You let me do something that most people never really get to experience in a job, I get to be myself.
It seems to be working.
Thank you to everyone who has read, liked or shared any of my stories over the past year. I’ll continue to need your support and ideas along the way.
In closing, I’d love to hear from you. What were your favorite articles I’ve published in the past 52 weeks? Share them in the comments on our Facebook page or email me at JTolgrinder@gmail.com.
You know I will, but I’ll remind you all as well to Stay on the Grind.
Jamie Toland (JTol)