I tell my husband all the time that Crossfit is more than “just a gym”. I could go to Planet Fitness and work out on my own (and they even have bagels and pizza parties!) but I go to Crossfit because of the community. That doesn’t really mean anything to anyone who has never experienced it, though.
The first Crossfit gym I went to had no sense of community. I thought my friends were crazy when they talked about how great it was, because, for me, it was just a place where I hung out in a corner by myself and did back squats. It was very lonely there. The second Crossfit gym I tried was very clique-ish and I felt awkward and nervous every time I was there. I could see that there was a community, but I was very obviously not part of it, even after being a member for a few months. The third Crossfit gym I tried (yes, I kept trying, even after striking out a couple times over the course of a couple years) felt like home.
And this one? When I found this one, I felt like I’d struck gold again. My second day, all the coaches already knew my name. When I walk in, people wave and say hello. I get invited to go to other activities outside the gym. Yes, I go to get stronger and faster, but I could get stronger and faster almost anywhere. I mostly love it because it also feels like home.
So last week I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I was glad I’d suspended my membership, though, because I was actually out of work four days this week. My job isn’t ideal. It’s basically a contract position, and if there isn’t anything for me to actively work on, I go home and don’t get paid. It’s only happened a few times this year, but I was anticipating it with the holidays coming up. No one wants to start a new lawsuit over Christmas. So in addition to all the other added expenses coming up, I’ve been out of work. There’s no way I can afford my Crossfit membership right now.
Yesterday, after a long day of resume writing and a pretty intense pity party, I got an email. It was from the owner of my Crossfit. It was very short, but it basically just said that someone (or possibly more than one someone) has “taken care of” my membership for the next two months. They don’t care if I can’t pay, they just want me to be there.
I cried when I read it. I’m almost crying now, recalling and writing about it. I just can’t wrap my head around that. I’m half-embarrassed, because money problems are not something I want to advertise about myself, and … well, completely thankful and just blown away that anyone could care so much.
I told my husband about the email, and I think it was the very first time he got an inkling of what it means to be a part of a Crossfit gym. It’s not just a gym, it’s a community. And I’m so thankful that I’m a part of it.