Usually my early mornings are spent drinking coffee while prepping for my next weekend but this morning I feel compelled to write.
Community and culture are two words that get thrown around a lot in the CrossFit space. And they can be defined and show up in different ways in an affiliate but one that that is certain is that they are present in EVERY affiliate. And that is what makes CrossFit different. I was speaking with a participant last weekend at a L1, she started CrossFit when she and her husband moved to the state. They don’t have kids so they don’t have the parent circles to meet people in. They thought a CrossFit gym was a good place to meet like minded people that enjoyed fitness like them. We both agreed that we never expected CrossFit to be a place where not only did we workout but we hung out, we found our close friends at and the workout and social hour blurs together.
Community. A group coming together for a common purpose. Doing hard things together helps build a feeling of community. It’s also in the “hello and welcome” at the front door. Whether that be to your usual workout buddies or the drop-in or newbie Foundations grad. It’s the helpful smile and gestures to those new members, helping them figure out their score for the whiteboard or adding the weight on their bar. It’s high fives and encouragement, partner workouts, post class chats about life outside of the gym.
Culture. This one is tricky. I define it as something that you can’t see or physically touch but you definitely feel it inside and it’s displayed in the actions of those within the community. And I am so damn proud of the culture we have here. From the coaches, actually COACHING and instructing each class, to push athletes to “Do Better”. This transfers outside of the affiliate too. Striving to do better in one’s nutrition, moving more than sitting, giving more than taking, and finding confidence to move into a career that is more challenging. Once you recognize that you can do more, be more, inside the affiliate, you find yourself not settling outside of it either.
We’ve had several job transitions for our athletes lately, moving up and on to something that best suites them, even beginning new businesses. We’ve had several members accept leadership roles on committees and organizations within the Des Moines and metro area. Members who are on various non-profit and charities committees have come to us for help to fundraise. Of course we say yes, who doesn’t want to give back and sweat for a cause in our affiliate. Each event we’ve been approached on has been more successful than I imagined and fills my heart full. I’ve got to personally experience the strength in your belief and support of me throughout my journey to L1 Seminar staff. As tired as I am when I return each weekend, Monday afternoons coming into classes and welcoming me back is THE BEST feeling.
It’s in action. When a member needs some support, it’s not a “Coach, this is the problem, what do we do?” but rather “Coach, here is what is going on and this is what I’ve organized for her/him”. You all are Doers and Givers. When I’ve asked for help in the move of 2017, in any event set up, or any gym improvement, there’s been more help than I need. This is where I find such a distinct difference between an affiliate and any other gym- there are friendships formed which leads to a genuine care for each other and a sense of ownership within each class community and the gym community as a whole. Coach Glassman has spoken about it in various interviews, written about it in CFJ articles, [The Affiliate is about]”…supporting and caring for everyone that comes through the doors like nothing else matters”.