Virilis wasn’t actually our first choice. It was more like our 6th choice, but the folks at CrossFit HQ are very particular about their rules and policies. It ended up working out for what our vision was for the gym anyway though. I’ll explain in a bit. I know there’s a variety of translations to “VIRILIS.” I imagine the first one that comes up when you look it up is pertaining to manliness or virility. Sure, that’s fine, but our original intention when choosing it was for people to associate it with one of its other translations, which is “brave or bold”.
We wanted people to identify themselves as someone that was brave for merely deciding to step foot in here. I’ve been doing CrossFit for quite some time. I’ve seen ALL walks of life come into the gym and what I’ve noticed about all of them is that they’re exhibiting some quality of being brave. You might be thinking, “I’m not brave. I’m deathly afraid every time I step foot in the gym.” Well, let’s get something straight right now. Being brave is NOT the absence of fear. Being brave is a WILLINGNESS to be vulnerable.
I’m not a huge fan of most superhero movies (sorry, Roslyn). However, the one trilogy that I do appreciate a lot is the Batman Trilogy with Christian Bale. Yes, I’m well aware some of y’all might identify more with Val Kilmer or Michael Keaton as Batman. I remember those, too. But, the one with Christian Bale sticks out to me the most and there’s a GREAT scene about the importance of fear and being brave in the last movie. If you recall, Batman is placed in a prison that has a giant escape hole at the top of it. You can escape so long as you can climb out. There’ve been hundreds of attempts with a rope, but no one had ever successfully made it out except for a child who did it without a rope. Batman begins making his attempts at it with the rope, but a blind doctor in the prison tells him that the reason he fails is that he LACKS fear. “You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong? It makes you weak. How can you move faster than possible? Fight longer than possible, without the most powerful impulse of the human spirit. The fear of death. You must make the climb as the child did. Without the rope.”
Everyone who had made the climb had provided themselves with a safety net. The rope. When doing this you take away the most powerful motivator a person could have. The need for survival. The willingness to put yourself out there sans a safety net is EXTREMELY brave. This is what happens when you step in the gym each day.
The other piece of this that we wanted to convey to people was what was possible when you put yourself out there. Again, being vulnerable is a chance to experience, and with action comes results. No one was ever recognized for standing on the sidelines. We have a quote that is plastered on the wall in the office. “To see the world, things dangerous to come, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” This quote is from another movie that is a personal favorite of Tanya’s and mine. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It’s corny and cute, so you can watch it if you want. The important takeaway is that the main character realizes that in order to get what he wants out of life he has to go out and actually EXPERIENCE things. He can’t continue to sit in his little cubicle and let life happen to him. He has to go make life happen.
We believe this is what happens when you gain confidence in yourself. Confidence comes through fitness. Fitness happens in the gym.