Our mission for the gym is….Changing Lives Through Fitness.
A bunch of random folks show up at the door with an expectation but the plan was to give them so much more. A place to grow in many ways well beyond what the sign on the door describes, a place to make connections that transcend the walls and carry into birthday parties and dinners at other folks homes. A place to learn from others, to empathize as we unravel each others stories while squatting together or discussing parenting issues when stretching our legs after a tough workout. It is about fitness but it is so much more and always will be more.
It is about a bunch of hard working guys gathering at early morning hours discussing life over a cup of coffee…how hard it is to be a dad, husband, and a provider. It’s about the challenges of life manifest through a workout and tears have been shed as a lady discovers more about herself. A coach shares with a member that they are much more than what the world has labeled them when they were younger. A teenager finds an odd group of friends that cheer them on in the early morning sessions before school or on their way home to do homework in the evening.
It is about fitness and the results show that, but the community runs much deeper. It is accepting a new family member that relocates due to her husband transferring jobs. Or a mom having to go back to work and others offering to chip in to watch the kids. These discussions happen during a bench press session at 9:30am every week day. A guy going through relational issues with his wife, finds friends to encourage and reach out to challenge him to keep working at it. All the text messages and memes are shared with friends made at the gym during non gym hours. It is about having 2 and sometimes 3 of the fittest rows at church each Sunday. Being greeted by your friends as you struggle to get the kids ready for church. Or the humbling feeling of having 30 plus members from your gym show up for your daughters baptism…..
It is about Fitness but so much more. It is about learning the background of people and how the gym is their therapy many days. It is sending that text telling your workout buddy you have missed them this week as they have been sick. It is about getting a visit from your gym friends while you are in the hospital. Or a baby shower to welcome their new family addition with all the diapers and wipes they could ever need. It is about growing stronger in and outside the gym.
It is about supporting each others small businesses, just because we want to. It certainly includes running, sit-ups and push ups…but that just scratches the surface. It is about encouraging each others physical and emotional transformations. It is running that last lap with a person even though you are already done with the workout. I have seen another person take home someones kids for the day to give that mom or dad a needed few hours to get groceries or catch a breathe. I have witnessed friendships forged over a Saturday morning partner workouts that leads to a meet up for a donut afterwards….relationships matter.
It manifests itself through volunteering with a bunch of guys to serve at a women’s shelter on a Saturday morning. You can see it when we fill a truck bed full of food for local families in our community. People taking time from their weekend to make our community better by selflessly serving. When a group of people choose to pack and deliver food to kids that have no food….it is buying 30+ pizzas and delivering them during an ice storm. It is about making the world around us better with a group of people from a gym- who thought they were just coming to get fit.
The depth of our community involves doing long and challenging workouts to honor those oversees that protect our freedom. Fitness is the hub of our wheel but the spokes reach out far beyond that to touch others. We know we are not a perfect group but we strive to server others. The coaching staff is like no other…their care and concern is not just about back squats and barbells…it is about the person as a whole. Watching them reach out well beyond fitness topics and to ensure each person is cared for….that is humbling to watch. The coaches are extremely talented in their knowledge and skill…but their kindness cannot be taught. It is an overflow from their character. As you can see- it is beyond fitness alone.
We never opened the gym to be the fittest gym in the area…although we can claim that. It was about life change for others and the amazing part is that in return it has impacted us so much. We truly have our best friends at the gym…it is our extended family that we get to see every day. We get to encourage and help them all the while they fill our cups to overflowing. Our world is built upon relationships and we are grateful for each one! We are grateful to welcome new folks into our large family as we consider it an opportunity to serve. And to serve others is not something we take lightly.