CrossFit Goch, my second stop in Germany last week was unique and unforgettable. But, it’s not as much about the box as it is about the woman behind it! Josefa, ladies and gents. The strong woman, CrossFitter and community lover that brought up a loving family and the two strong men who founded CrossFit Goch, Matthias and Sebastian Urbanek (and Moly, the cat) 🙂
Last Friday, after a long 4-hour ride with 4 strangers and a dog, all squeezed in a car, I finally reached Kalkar a town about 10k away from Goch. Matthias and his girlfriend, Lisa, were already there waiting for me way earlier than the time we had scheduled to meet. I didn’t want to have them waiting so I told them to come later just to be safe, but they were there 15’ earlier anyway. Getting out of the crowded car and seeing their smiling faces just across the street waiting for me was like arriving at the beach after a 4-hour ride without A/C in August in Athens, pure bliss!
We drove to Matthias’s mother’s home where I would be staying for the weekend. A lovely loft all to myself, with a cozy bed and fluffy, warm, fresh covers. What a treat! Josefa welcomed me with a wide smile and a big hug. One of the hugs only mums give! It was so quiet in the evening I managed to sleep in after a long long time and woke up at 8.30 the next day (that’s definitely a sleep-in).
The first and most important information I got was that food was of the essence in the house. It would seem it was the place to be! My dear Josefa spent a whole day in the kitchen baking loafs of traditional bread and nut-and-fruit loafs and quiches and making delicious soups… anything to please her family and guest. A beautiful lady with a heart of gold.
Oh, yes, this was supposed to be about CrossFit Goch, but what would CrossFit Goch be without their inspiring team of (G)oldies and the easy-going, younger generation that works out for an hour and hangs out at the box for one more hour sharing the news of their small town and joking about everything? In the short 3 days I spent in Goch, I got to train with the owners, their parents and practically the elite of the town as I was honored to share a wod with the Queen of the upcoming local Carnival! Let me tell you, the Carnival is a huge thing in Goch! It officially starts on 11/11 at 11:11 and it would seem that as of 12/11 they start preparing for the next year’s feast! I even got a peak at the Queen’s dress, which is top-secret for the rest, but not for me! I was told the Queen will drop bby the box for a wod in her pretty dress too, I am so looking forward to pictures of this!
Friday is the day the box is closed, a mandatory rest day – the calmness before the Saturday storm! The guys open the box only to train on their own following their programming and listening to loud hip hop music. It’s sort of a guys’ night out. I felt “one of the gang” training with them on Friday evening, and let me tell you, they showed no mercy. The workout was hard, but we all enjoyed it, big time. Despite her pregnancy (already in her 7th month) Lisa worked out at the box in her own pace, also acting as our photographer and supporter.
So, after a couple of hours at the box, the guys took me home where Josefa had already prepared a warm bowl of soup (or two) and the bathroom with candles and soft music for her guest to enjoy a shower as much as possible. I was dead tired but in the same time feeling so relaxed; a zen feeling.
Saturday morning Matthias and Lisa came over for a family breakfast, which lasted for almost a couple of hours. It must be said that Matthias makes the best homemade banana bread I have ever had! I tried to avoid eating too much, but gave up almost instantly when the smell of the goodies Josefa and Matthias had prepared hit my nose. What the heck, I’d enjoy this pampering for as long as it lasted.
Saturdays at CrossFit Goch are killers! They save the best for the weekend and no one seemed to want to miss out on that! It was a full class with 10 beasts going hard throughout the whole buddy-workout that lasted for almost an hour!! Running, pull-ups, push-ups, burpees, farmer’s walk… you name it, it was all there! I was so glad I hadn’t held back on eating a lot during breakfast afterall hehe!
I so love small cities where everyone knows everyone and you walk along a street and greet each other, where every outing is like a big party for the whole town cause everyone’s there. That was the case Saturday night when the guys took me out to show me the local open-air market and carousels, together with several members of the box with whom I enjoyed a delicious krakauer (hope that’s spelled right) and a cold beer. I apologize I can’t say more about that evening. What happens in Goch, stays in Goch 😉
Sunday was like a scene taken from a movie. A breakfast that lasted for 3 hours, with a break for a workout with the Goldies then a walk in the centre of the town and a tour of city attractions by Matthias. Everyone was talking about their town as if it was a small village, but in my eyes it seemed quite big! The shopping centre was crowded as it was a koopzondag and all shops were open. It was at times hard to even cross the street with all the people! Thankfully the weather was very good too, so I was able to take some nice pics of the town and enjoy the walk and scenery. Given Goch is so close to the border, it was famous in the past for smugglers to try and smuggle goods into Germany, and of course there was a museum to prove this 🙂
As soon as we returned to Josefa’s home, the lunch/dinner table was already prepared and waiting for us. Josefa also showed me the house guest book, which she keeps since the early 60s! It was an honour to be asked to write a little something in her guest book too. The whole family was there together with its newest member, Maria – the daughter of Sebastian and Anneta who was born only 2 weeks ago (who of course has her own little CrossFit outfit already prepared for her!)
An early family dinner sitting around the table for hours and going through family photo albums and laughing and eating…and eating some more and laughing some more. In the afternoon I was picked up by a good friend and given a ride back to the Netherlands, which was also more than I could have expected!
Sometimes people treat you better than you treat yourself… Having such people around me is reminds me how important it is to be nice to people, treat them with love and support them in any way we can. It’s the fastest way to bringing out the best in everyone. You give love, you get love in return!
Josefa, Matthias, Lisa, Sebastian, Anneta, thank you for embracing me with your love!