Crossfit Blog

The Koi and Dragon

in New Member Education The Whiteboard by Coach Eric

Ever wonder what that crazy fish/dragon logo is and why it's all over the gym and on all of our stuff? Thanks to this post from Owner & Coach, Eric O'Brien, you can wonder no more!

OK, so you've all seen it. Come on, it's everywhere you look here. It's hard to miss, especially because of our awesome athlete Pete D, who has nothing else to do in his spare time at work other than to make cool shit for us! For all of you out there that are not ancient eastern scholars, here is the story behind our logo and what it means to us.

In life we are faced with a multitude of challenges and obstacles. These challenges can make our journey more difficult at times, and at other times, they help to form a clear path toward a goal or achievement. A key difference in the outcome of a challenging situation is whether a person is willing to stare down that obstacle, face the difficult situation with perseverance and drive or whether they, instead, turn back for the easier road, the one more traveled and more well known, with fewer bumps.

The ancient Chinese legend of the Koi and Dragon offers great insight into the philosophy of the athletes and their trainers at CrossFit New Haven. As legend has it, a school of thousands of koi swam upstream in the Yellow River, gaining strength along the way. The school eventually reached a very high waterfall, called Dragon’s Gate. Discouraged, the majority of these koi turned back, finding it easier to go with the flow of the river than to face the obstacle before them. A small group of determined koi persevered, attempting time and again to reach the top of the falls. They strained and flung their bodies into the air, only to fall back into the water, but they did not give up. The legend states that they continued this effort for 100 years, when at last, one heroic koi reached the top of the falls. The Gods smiled down in approval and transformed the exhausted koi into a shining dragon.  Whenever another koi finds the strength and courage to leap up the falls, they too become a shining dragon. 


Much like the Koi in the ancient Chinese legend, the athletes at CrossFit New Haven are trained to forge a new path in their personal fitness. They are part of a close-knit group who seeks more for themselves than the average person. They are trained to persevere, push through challenges, and strive to be their best selves, all while supporting each other. They work alongside one another to reach their goals, to complete the challenges they face, to reach the top of their own waterfalls. When their journey becomes difficult, these athletes dig deep, discovering new strength and courage in themselves to stay the course. Often this courage is derived from witnessing their fellow athletes take the leap for the top of the waterfall- a new skill learned, a new personal record set, another goal checked off the list. 

Over time, and with a great deal of drive, commitment, and support, these athletes also experience a transformation like that of the heroic Koi; from Athlete, to CrossFitter, to Firebreather. This determination and will transforms their lives physically, mentally, and emotionally, and that translates to life both inside and out of the box.

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