BLOG: The ‘cult of CrossFit’ got me back on track

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BLOG: The ‘cult of CrossFit’ got me back on track

A brown-haired man in a black dinner suit hugs a lady with a dark dress on as they head out to the CrossFit Ball

MD Anthony McCormack and wife Sarah head out to the CrossFit Ball.

So, 2023 was heading to be a disaster financially with Macstaff tracking at less than 50% of revenue compared to the year before.

The business was losing money month after month.

I’m sure partly cause and partly effect, that my health was sub-optimal too. I’d been struggling with mental health due to work stress, financial pressure, family worries and isolation for a while.

I’d also been struggling with physical health as I had let fitness routines slide for years and I lacked the discipline to moderate my alcohol and food intake to ‘reasonable’ levels!

I felt like a bit of a failure as money is the main measurement of success in the recruitment industry and to be fair, wealth is most commonly associated with success in society in general.


Coming into 2024, however, I had been trying to take a wider perspective and to cheer myself up with an attitude of gratitude. True, 2023 was a bad year financially but with celebrations, including my 25th wedding anniversary, baptisms and graduations for my daughters, maybe it was still a good year!

This is in line with Robin Sharma’s teaching that there are eight forms of wealth and just one of them is economy (money).

Another form of positive mantras is #HealthIsWealth.

My wife had previously made a decision to get stronger, not weaker, as she got older and had, to her credit, made the first of our decisions to join what I have heard jokingly called ‘The Cult of CrossFit’.

So, motivated by her care for my wellbeing and presumably the preference to have a fit not a  fat husband, she had been encouraging me for a number of months to give it a try.

A brown-haired man in a black dinner suit hugs a lady with a dark dress on as they head out to the CrossFit Ball
MD Anthony McCormack and wife Sarah head out to the CrossFit Ball.

In addition to the encouragement from Sarah, I was also keen, with so much going wrong, to

take control over what I could control and that included diet and exercise.

The Serenity Prayer, made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous, feels appropriate here:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference!

I was keen to pursue this health-wealth in addition to money-wealth and I decided to commit to CrossFit as the primary weapon!


Attending three classes a week to maximise use of my membership, would have the spin off benefit of giving some structure to my days/weeks.

Also at a time when deals were few and far between I could still accomplish something by chalking up another challenging WOD! (Workout of the Day in CrossFit speak).

Fast forward a few months and with consistency, you know how this works, once the flywheel is moving, the virtuous circle starts of improved energy, leading to greater motivation, and to real results. (leading again to more energy and more motivation).

In short, a win/win situation!

A natural concern of people is how can I get/keep the motivation to do something hard like a fitness regime, especially if they have been in and out of bootcamps and yo-you diets before.

Fortunately, I have learned you don’t need motivation ‘forever’, just long enough to create a habit. The habit will then keep you going, and once whatever it is, in this case CrossFit, becomes part of your identity it’s actually very difficult to stop – which is why we must choose our habits wisely!

Anthony McCormack in his CrossFit cap.

As I hinted above, I wasn’t too keen on attending fitness-classes of any kind and always favoured a solo gym workout. Being honest, I am a bit of an introvert and I thought all the toxic positivity and high-fives would be a bit much for me!

Plus, CrossFit, as I joked above, had been called out as being a bit ‘culty’, so I had some reservations.

But my experience at #FCV our local Chew Valley Cross-Fit gym has been nothing but positive.

People are welcoming, supportive, and inclusive. We’ve made friends and, for example, have helped celebrate the club’s 10th anniversary at a fancy ball recently. Also, the program is cleverly mapped on a multi-week cycle so all you have to do is show up, and try your hardest, safe in the knowledge that the results will follow.


Lastly, the accountability, encouragement and friendly competition realistically means you try harder and accomplish more than you would as a lone wolf anyway!

It is naturally humbling to suck at something new, but that is the entry point to mastering any new skill/sport. Growth only takes place out of the comfort zone as they say.

Also, it’s probably a topic for another blog but mental and physical health are inextricably linked, so if you want to work on one, work on the other, or work on both!

I am a committed lifelong-learner and love personal development books, so let me know if you want any suggestions.

One such example would be Emotional Fitness by Clare Davis.

Anyway, I encourage you, if you are looking to make a change, to go for it, fortune favours the brave and once you make progress in one area it will be easier to make progress in others!


WATCH: Check out the Macstaff YouTube channel here.