The day is finally here. I’ve been hoping and waiting for this day since early this year, when some friends and I decided we wanted to try and start our own CrossFit gym. I’d be lying if I said this was a lifelong dream of mine… In fact, 5 years ago in the midst of my video-game-cigarettes-and-whoever-would-deliver-me-food lifestyle, I didn’t even want to be a member AT a gym, much less could I see myself ever owning one. But now that I’m here….. I know it’s definitely something I should be doing.
We started out as a small group of friends just wanting to work out together. My parents generously donated their garage, and without that (or them) this never could have been a possibility. Everyone pitched in equipment- barbells, dumbbells, weights, jump ropes, kettle bells, homemade plyo boxes (thanks Mize!)… We never had a ton of stuff, but I never heard one single complaint. Our class times were limited, they had to be. Understandably, this couldn’t fit into everyone’s schedule, but for those people, they still tried to show up when they could. Our space was also limited… The garage wasn’t very big, and CrossFit equipment can take up quite a bit of space. But we made it work.
Our classes were small. Most mornings for several months, it was just me and another guy, Jorge Yanez. We always knew how the workouts would go- weightlifting days, I would win. Every other day, he would win. I’m sure we terrified the neighbors when I was “chasing” him down the street on sprint days. It was rough getting up and around a lot of those days, but I honestly wouldn’t take back a single one of those workouts. If he hadn’t committed himself to coming every day, we might not have even had a morning class, and it’s now by far our most popular one. So if you work out in our morning class, be sure and send a “thank you” his way.
Then word started to spread. Members invited friends to our Saturday wods, or got them to go through our Foundations class. People who followed us on Facebook, or saw our high-class Instagram account (run by the talented Chris Brull) saw what we were doing and wanted to take part. They saw the fun we were having, and the community we were forming. We offered so much more than just a good workout. And our classes grew. Some of the last few days in the barn… I don’t know how we did it. It was crowded. And it was awesome.
We’ve spent the last 10 days getting our new location ready. It looks phenomenal. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for everyone that’s shown up to help. I never once had to even ask for someone to do something, with anything. Most of the time I was trying to find stuff for people to do. Some people donated hours and equipment and manpower and tools. Some donated days and weekends. And one donated her entire last 10 days. Without Coach Amanda, this gym wouldn’t even be nearly ready for tomorrow. She has spent almost all day, every day in our new gym, making it perfect. I will be forever grateful for all she has given to get our new home to the level that it is at. She even had her mom up picking out paint colors and helping us paint. And there was a LOT of painting done. I would try to list everything that everyone did, but I would be afraid to leave someone out… There was probably even stuff done that I wasn’t even aware of. Just know that I am thankful to all of you.
Tomorrow is our Grand Opening. Our first day as a “real gym,” and not just a garage affiliate. I put that in quotes for a reason…. It’s not the facility, or the equipment, or the location that makes a CrossFit gym what it is. It’s the community. It’s the people who show up every day and give it their all. The people who make the newcomers feel welcome. The people who make the last person still working out feel like they’re in first place. It’s you guys. I can’t be more proud than I am of the community that I am a part of.
Thanks for the barn memories. I will never forget them, they’ve been some of the most fun memories I have. Tomorrow marks a new beginning for us. Our community will grow, we will welcome new members- some looking for fitness, others maybe looking for something else. New milestones will be reached, new PRs will be hit. Lives will be changed. We will face these exciting new challenges the same way we’ve done everything else since early this year…. Together.