2014 Year End State of the Gym and Lessons Learned

So, here we are again. The year is winding down as we cross into the Christmas and New Year holidays, many of us are still shopping for gifts that we forgot to get a month ago, and it’s basically impossible to get anything in the mail that you didn’t order by last Wednesday. As the year comes to an end, I wanted to make this article a little more meta. Today I’m going to share with you a combined “State of the Gym” and “Lessons I’ve Learned” article that I hope you’ll find interesting from a couple perspectives. The goals today are to show you how we’ve changed for the better in 2014 and to provide whatever insight I’ve gained about why things have worked out so far.

State of the Gym

We opened the doors at the end of September 2013 with a simple plan, a minimally outfitted gym space, no front counter, a fledgling Facebook page, and a lot of saved Google searches on how to run a business. Those first few months were rough, but we went from 0 (zero, ziltch, nada, none) to 11 members by the end of the year. While it was a slow start, almost all of those members are still with us today, and I can honestly say that it was these people that made that first four months a little less scary. So thank you Lisa (& Little Luke, Emma), Ed, Leen, Tracy, Big Luke, Eric, DaVeana, Martin, Nikki, and Ty for being awesome and taking a chance on us. Though a couple of you went on to other things, be that furthering your career or focusing on a sport you love, the rest of you have stayed with us to this very day. I hereby dub you all “The First 11” with all the rights, privileges, and benefits conferred therein!

In 2014 we learned a lot and started to grow, with an average of 5-6 new members per month all year. We’ve said “hello” to 70 new faces this year, most still with us, and we’ve said “goodbye” to 16 of them over the year. Whether they were here for the summer or work, or were trying to find their fitness “thing” it was a pleasure having everyone even if it was only temporary. For everyone else who has been with us this year and continues to train week after week, thank you for being awesome in 2014.

We’ve added classes, equipment, flooring, and schwag. We’ve done races and had parties. We’ve shed sweat and blood (for which we’ve also bought several new mops and a lot of Lysol) and even the occasional tear as gains were made and PR’s were broken. Many of you have brought your friends and their friends, and many of you have made new friends. The community that you have helped build is exactly why we opened this place at all!

In 2015 we hope to continue making CFC something we can all be proud of. We have more races to run, more challenges to complete, and if we keep on as we have been, a bigger space is in our very near future! We’ll need all of you to keep on Being Awesome and Training Hard to make 2015 even better than 2014.

On the Importance of Community

In this year what we’ve learned is that things like Facebook, Groupon, Advertising, and Sales aren’t what makes our CrossFit gym great: it’s the Community and Friendship which we’ve built around something as simple as exercising together. It isn’t the fact that we all like to pick up heavy stuff and put it down or even that we do it together in a group that matters. The place where we find the real strength to get up and do one more rep, or run a race that we never thought we could do, or even just come in when it’s been the day from Hell, that strength comes from being a Supportive and Kind community.

Every time you stick around to cheer for the person who finishes last, you make that person’s day better.

Every time you tell someone who fails a rep that “you did great, just try again” – that person feels like they can accomplish anything.

Every time you have a bad day, but still find the time to compliment someone else, both of you get a little happier.

It’s helping someone else find their Brightness, even when yours isn’t so bright, that makes our growing family stand apart from almost everything else we may do during the day. From the accomplished athletes who are preparing for competition to the newest athlete who is still trying to figure out what the Hell a Barbell Snatch should look like, it’s everyone’s responsibility to be a great member of the Community every day.

At the end of the day…

No one will care if you finish last.

No one will care if you can’t Deadlift a small car.

No one will care that it takes you 10 Single Unders to get one Double Under.

The only thing that matters is that you come in and be the best that you can be every day. All that matters is that you…

Be Supportive

Be Kind

Be Honest

In short: Be a Community of People that cares more about each other, than it does about the score on the board or that you didn’t have the best day. The easiest way to do this is to remember one of my favorite quotes of all time (it’s not even Bruce Lee and that’s saying something):

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,

people will forget what you did,

but people will never forget how you made them feel.

― Maya Angelo (emphasis mine)

In 2015, strive to remember to make people feel like they matter, and you won’t be able to help feeling like you do, too.

Happy Holidays everyone!