#ReebokNYC: Why Reebok Stole My Heart.

by Katelyn Block on August 17, 2012 · 34 comments

I’m trying really hard to help all of you to feel like you were there, but contain myself and be articulate at the same time.

#BrandsILove? Let’s talk about Reebok.

Yesterday, I was on an eight-hour train ride, the whole time trying to distract myself with blogging, blog reading, tweeting, e-mail responding, and found myself at the last hour and a half of the ride with WOD killaaa music in my ears and straight up staring out the window, trying not to get emotional. I’m not a super emotional person, but I like to think that I work hard, and when all of that hard work pays off, I get overwhelmed. I get jittery, happy, and slightly teary. I tried really hard to avoid that last part. As we pulled into Penn Station, I could feel everything coming together; a dream of mine finally coming to fruition.

As I walked up to Reebok’s 5th Avenue CrossFit Fit Hub, I felt myself coming home.

The Reebok team welcomed us like family. It felt natural to walk into this big, beautiful, green-accented Box, with the promise of champions, small victories and big ones. To be honest, I kind of expected to sh*t myself when I saw the champions. You will all be happy to know that I didn’t. It felt natural. Strong, talented, humble athletes, who not only love CrossFit, but love bringing it to others, and helping them to love it too.

After we got our gear and changed, we went upstairs to the store, which is on the ground level, above the Box.

Uli Becker, President of Reebok International Ltd., delivered an opening speech that left me in chills.

I love working with brands that have passion for what they do and have purpose. Any company can go about its business and decide to make an athletic shoe. Any brand can decide it’s going to make a moisture-wicking tank top, stamp the company logo on it, and sell it in retail stores. Anyone can do that.

You know what’s rare? A company that builds itself around a principle, a movement, and around straight up love. Reebok has soul. Reebok recognized the CrossFit movement early on and latched on to the passion, beauty, and excitement that surrounds it. Reebok employees do CrossFit together. They test out products, and you want to know why their products are so stinkin’ amazing? Because they test out every product on themselves, elite athletes, and take their advice because they understand that it’s not just about making a minimalist shoe or something that will beat out X brand. It’s about testing over and over again, listening to real athletes and what they need, and working day and night to bring the Sport of Fitness to the world.

Reebok views fitness as play. CrossFit, as Chris Spealler, Rich Froning, and Annie Thorisdottir believe very strongly, is not about elite athletes. It’s not about the Games, and it’s not about shattering world records. It’s about the person who goes to the gym every day with the goal of getting off their diabetes medications, who will never do a workout as Rx’d, and will never walk into the Arena at the Games. It’s about the small victories. Getting your first pull-up, realizing that you can. Sweating your butt off so you can lift up your kid, throw around a ball, carry boxes when you move into your first house.

I have tears in my eyes right now and I’m sitting on a train next to this awesome New York City couple, and they probably think I’m so strange because I’m blasting house music blasting in my ears, typing up a storm with misty eyes. Reebok has earned itself a soft spot in my heart, and it’s going to stay there.

One of the many reasons I love blogging so much is because it has brought me here. Right here, right now, where I get to witness such beautiful things as the President of a company not telling us about how much money they make or the newest, greatest product they’ve developed, but sharing their love for play, for making the everyday extraordinary, celebrating the small victories and the big ones. Making my own victories each day, deciding I’m going to get my first pull-up, and doing it. Reebok has worked hard to be where it is, and they want to bring fitness, love, motivation, and excitement to each of you. To the world.

Everyone, the sport of fitness has arrived.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Courtney August 17, 2012 at 10:39 AM

this is awesome. i’m so happy (*cough* and jealous *cough*) that you got to have this experience. I love Reebok. I just ordered my Nano 2.0′s and can’t wait to get them. I also did my second RX workout this week. I never thought I’d be able to do what I’m doing (75 snatches in 7:29 at RX weight? I could never… OH WAIT… I just did) I love the passion behind crossfit and while I may never be an Annie, I’ve climbed my own mountain and had my own victory. And I love that they encourage that and celebrate it.

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bex August 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM

DUUUUUUUUUDE!! I’m so glad you got to do this! The store looked so cool (it would have looked cooler with you in it)… sorry I missed you :(

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alyssa August 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

so happy you got to experience something so special for yourself!

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Lydia August 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM

What an awesome experience! And I love your passion and love for Crossfit! I could not agree more and did tear up reading this…esp the part about Crossfit being about small victories. I got my first unassisted pull-up last week and you would have thought I won the games – everyone at the box was cheering and encouraging me. THAT is what Crossfit is all about – encouraging, empowering and beating your best!

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Jessica @ Busy Living Healthy August 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM

This is amazing! So happy that you got to experience this! Especially since you love Crossfit. :)

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wymberley August 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM

This post is exactly why I blog as well! I have not reached the opportunities you are getting but the fact you are passionate and motivated to bring the experience to others is so inspiring! With crossfit, I feel so much a part of the big community of athletes it is staggering. When I open my affiliate you better be there!

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Jess @ Blonde Ponytail August 17, 2012 at 11:28 AM

So thankful you experienced this! Watching highlights of the Games has me so excited, I can’t imagine hearing from Rich, Annie and the CEO in person! AWESOME!!!

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Ericka @ The Sweet Life August 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM

So cool and wow, didn’t realize you had to come from so far to get there! Dedication girl :) I AM jealous but very happy for you. I definitely want to stop by there next time I am in NYC!

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Caroline August 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Such an awesome opportunity, Katelyn! Thanks for sharing your experience : )

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Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free August 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM

SO awesome! I love my Reebok Nanos and plan on ordering some more gear from them.

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Julianna @ Julianna Bananna August 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

glad to see that you had such an amazing time!!! what a great opportunity :)

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amy August 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM

this is so cool!! how awesome to be a part of their ‘revolution’ hah i love where reebok is going!

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Mindy August 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Whoop whoop! I bet your entire 2012 has been made ;-) Crossfit recap soon? I hope so :)

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Alysha @Shesontherun August 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I would totally be in awe if I got to visit Reebok. They seem like such an awesome company.

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles August 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Well, if I didn’t like Reebok before, I certainly do now. :-)

That must have been an amazing opportunity, looking forward to hearing more about the Crossfit part!

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Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb August 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM

This is absolutely awesome. Love it.

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Casey August 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

I’m so excited that you got to experience this and maybe a bit jealous too! It sounds like such an amazing day! Good job and working hard and earning the rewards that go with it!

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Christine @ Love, Life, Surf August 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM

This is an amazing post Katelyn and you can feel your passion and that of Reebok come straight off the page. It sounds like an amazing opportunity and I love hearing more and more about Reebok and its vision and commitment. I stopped by the store earlier this week and I was drooling over everything in there. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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Alex (@alexbridgeforth) August 17, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I wish we could get the same kind of love with running. Let me state I have done Crossfit Endurance since Dec and I just recently joined a box, (dreading the dumb “foundations class). But here me out, running, cycling, and swimming have been around for how long? (like forever.) But they don’t get the hype or the “Coolness” that Crossfit brings. Early on before I started to dabble in CF a bit, I always extremely disliked CF and Crossfitters because they somehow reject the possibly that you are fit because you went and ran an Ultramarathon. I would always get, “running is just one thing, crossfit makes you all around fit.” Many crossfitters I knew early on had a very strong god complex that because they can do CF and that you don’t (even though I was running more than they would ever dream of, and oh I was lifting as well) you aren’t truly “fit”. This comment is really just a small warning to heed, that yes Crossfit is fun but many of us former, runners, cyclist, and swimmers, don’t care that youy can do “Fran” in 7 minutes flat, it doesn’t mean anything to us. That is that reason that I fell in love with Crossfit Endurance (which apparently no one has heard of). I love CFE because it combines CF with Running, Cycling, and Swimming. They face the fact that a 5k through a 100 mile PR is what us runners want. That some of us are willing to do CF as crosstraining, but we still love our sport. I just want to put it out there to all the Crossfitters, do some running as crosstraining, dabble in doing 5Ks and Marathons, and Ultramarathon, go out and ride a bike. There are sports outside of doing “WODs”. I don’t mean to offend and I try not to come off that way because I workout in both worlds. I am training for a 50K run (yes, that is 31 miles) but I still do Crossfit and Crossfit Endurance.

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Katelyn Block August 17, 2012 at 3:51 PM

CrossFit Endurance is great! Most (I would say almost all) CrossFitters know what it is and [should] respect ultrarunners and triathletes as much as any other athletes. How we choose to train is a different concept. We don’t choose to do those other things because it doesn’t always fit into each athlete’s philosophy. And that’s okay. I think your opinion is great, and that your passion for running, biking, and swimming is wonderful! It’s just not for me. I love this as a place for discussion as much as anything else, but I do ask that you respect my choices as much as I respect yours. I don’t make anyone come to this blog every day and I don’t make anyone try CrossFit. If they do, then that makes me extremely happy. But if it doesn’t align with what you believe is “right” for you as exercise, then that’s okay too! Everyone is different and every style of exercise is different, just as some people might subscribe to one religion or another. What matters the most is that everyone respects each other and says, What you did was great. Whether that’s for you or not is a separate issue. Thank you for reading, and thanks for your comment!

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Chris Donnelly August 17, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Hey Alex, I had to chime in here too.. i respect what your saying for sure. I do however have to add that the reason we talk about Overall athleticism is because pure cyclist,runners,etc are usually drastically NOT balanced (same demographic,non pro, fitness enthusiast). After my Ironman i switched to Crossfit and its been amazing! I don’t think most crossfitters are saying runners/cyclist/etc are not fit as much as they are just specialized in a specific thing which YES makes you “weak” at lots of other things. We’ve seen so many articles and documentation in the endurance world really trying to stress the importance of Interval training,weight training,Mobility,etc. A lot of my triathlon friends we’re physically (weights) weak for their body sizes but AMAZING endurance machines, I also Know Bodybuilders or Yogis that couldn’t run around the block. So when people get excited about Crossfit it’s because they can dabble in everything and be proficient at it. Proper programming is critical of course and we run quite a bit at my box while still working on everything else. I recently did a 20k time trail on my road bike and KILLED it.. all i’ve been doing in Crossfit for 9 months. I differ a bit from the “Its all good and everyone is different” line of thinking.. What we want to do with our bodies is up to each individual yes.. but the reports and research I’ve been reading trumps feelings for me any day. So some statements about what is truly being FIT are pretty solid. …I just re-read this and it’s kind of ALL OVER THE PLACE! hahah

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Jenna August 17, 2012 at 4:48 PM

I’m so happy you’re getting to live out your biggest dreams!! That’s so incredibly inspiring! Congrats to you because you really deserve it!! God is so good! SPALove!

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Presley @ Run Pretty August 17, 2012 at 8:19 PM

SO excited for you, woman! I know you had a blaaaast!

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StoriesAndSweetPotatoes August 17, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Amazing. I love that they keep it so down to earth so people aren’t intimated to get involved.

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Summer August 18, 2012 at 3:42 AM

did Reebok’s overseas labor practices “steal your heart” too?

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luv what you do August 18, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Wow! That might be the coolest store EVER!

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Meredith @ Dare You To August 19, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Ahh so true! Every word. I absolutely loved everything that Uli and Chris … And Rich and Annie had to say! Fitness as a process to enjoy, fit as more than running a marathon or lifting a car. I love the union between Reebok and CrossFit and th movement coming out of it. #getafterit ! Plus, it was a blast meeting you in person :)

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Annette@FitnessPerks August 20, 2012 at 11:58 PM

YAY! So cool that you got to do this. Reebok is a great company, and that box looks sweet.

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