Since 2011, I’ve attended many funerals, weddings, fundraisers, and key moments in people lives. I’m not unique in this matter. Chances are that if your reading this you too have been to many of these key occasions, as this is life. However, when I reflect at these moments since 2011 they all have the same connection, Reebok CrossFit 306.
In 2011 when we opened our gym I had a vision that we would build be this incredible CrossFit gym. My job would be to help everyone clean heavier weights, do butterfly pull ups and crush our daily workouts. Fresh from my second CrossFit Games appearance I was passionate to get others excited about the sport of CrossFit.
As I reflect on the last 7 years, I’ve realized that what we created was greater than anything I could have imagined. Sure, our workouts created incredible health outcomes, and we produced tons of personal athletic achievements, but the true gift that we brought to Saskatoon was the concept of #communityaboveallelse. This was our motto from the start, Rebecca and I had seen the power of community in our first CrossFit gym in Burlington, Ont. New to the city with no friends and three kids, our CrossFit friends, became our family. When we built our gym, we wanted the same connection with our people.
The proof that we stand behind our motto can be seen in the life changing connections people have made though our community. In weddings alone I count at least four that were directly the result of meeting at our gym. Mike and Amanda, Dano and Jayne, Carson and Isa, Steve and Nat. All these couples met and fell in love at our gym. In other weddings, the wedding party included friends that met through workouts at 306, and know long lasting friendships were formed.
Our 306 community can also be counted on for fundraisers, we mobilize quickly. We raised thousands of dollars for Pancreatic cancer research after the passing of Bruce Gordon, we raised thousands for Maddi’s son Wyatt when he needed a life changing surgery in Toronto, and yesterday we supported the Sawatzky family and raised over $1500 to help them as they grieve the loss of their 9-year-old son Benji.
Regretfully, I’ve attended multiple funerals as well. I had the honour to speak at Bruce Gordon’s funeral in front of a huge crowd of which 100s were current and former 306 members. I attended Mark MacLoed’s funeral, where during the eulogy, they spoke of how one of their favourite activities was coming to 306 to see who would deadlift more, Mark or Wendy. Then two weeks ago, surrounded by our 306 coaches, I attended the funeral of Benji Swatzky. What struck me is that the day after his passing Chad (his father) still came to the gym, as the gym offers a key source to cope with this tragedy.
These words still don’t do justice to how honored Rebecca and I feel to have created a space that fostered so many strong interpersonal bonds. We are all better for knowing and supporting each other.