This last week has been a rollercoaster of emotions; from deciding to de-affiliate, to being told that we can reopen earlier than expected, to finally seeing our wonderful members step back through our doors.
The decision to de-affiliate was an easy one, however that does not mean that there wasn’t sadness surrounding it. I have associated with CrossFit for the last 7 years, first as an athlete and most recently as an affiliate owner. I LOVED being a part of the CrossFit community; they were leading the way in the health and fitness industry, encouraging more people to exercise than ever before and battling major companies like Coca Cola to try and make our world a healthier place.
Whenever I have been challenged with hard decisions both in my personal life and business, I have always found it useful to come back to my core values. If you stay true to who you are at your core, then you can move forwards with clarity and certainty. That is why I say that the decision to de-affiliate was an easy one. I was able to come back the core values of our gym and knew instantly that the direction CrossFit Inc. had taken, no longer aligned with who we are or who we want to be associated with. Although the decision was straightforward, the emotional side was more challenging.
For 7 years I have ‘belonged’ to the CrossFit community. If you walk into an airport and see someone else wearing a CrossFit shirt, you know, that they know what it is like to do ‘Murph’ or to grind through 21-15-9 thrusters and pull-ups. There is an instant bond because you both ’belong’ to that community. The thought of losing that connection with 15,000 gyms around the world saddened me. I felt betrayed by a company that I had known and trusted enough to affiliate myself with, both them, and their beliefs. I can only liken it to a terrible break-up whereby you had held your partner on a pedestal only for them to divulge their true, ‘non admirable’ self, years later. However, beyond these feelings, I hold true to my decision because it aligns with who we are and how we regard ourselves as a gym.
When I look back at the vision statement that I wrote over 2 years ago when planning to open, nowhere in that statement did it mention CrossFit. The dream was always to be so much more, and perhaps, in hindsight, we have just been hiding behind that brand and it’s time to come out and show the people of Banff that we are SO much more.
My background in Personal Training has always led my passion for fitness and the knowledge that there is not a one style fits all when it comes to fitness. Our gym has constantly been progressing, from offering solely CrossFit classes in the early days to introducing our nutrition program, bootcamp classes, kids’ fitness, winter endurance prep and also mom and baby classes. This is what we set out to achieve as the vision has always been to:
“Create a center of excellence for health and wellness in the Bow Valley with friendships and community rooted deep in the core.”
We do not need the CrossFit name to achieve this. We are working towards this dream despite the name, not because of it. Our rebranding does not need to be a complete 180 from what we were working towards because our vision was already coming alive. We are evolving, not changing who we are or what we stand for.
We can be a part of the change and feel proud of our community as we move forwards collectively.