I was at a function at one of my kids' schools this week when a parent that I have seen many times but didn't really know came up and said, "Hey, you are the Catacombs person, right?". This happens a lot and it always stops me in my tracks. I'm never quite sure where it's going to go from there. My first instinct is to make sure that I'm not doing anything that casts a shadow over what we stand for, and my next instinct is to start listening. Often these conversations are openings into what is happening in that person's life.
- I had a checkup last week and my doctor told me I need to lose 30 pounds. Can you guys help with that?
- It's getting a lot harder to keep up with my kids hiking and biking. I'd like to be in better shape.
- I finally committed to doing that half-marathon or marathon or bike race or climbing trip and I need to figure out how to get ready for it.
- My job is so stressful right now and I'm taking it out on my family. I need a healthier outlet for my stress.
- I've never been an athlete and I've heard CrossFit is really hard, but I know [insert Catacombs member here] and they said that you guys help lots of people like me.
- I'm getting older and I'm worried about losing muscle or bone density or injury or falling. Is CrossFit for people like me?
- I've tried a lot of different exercise programs but I lose interest or motivation and just can't seem to stick to anything.
These conversations almost never end with them signing up for a membership on the spot and that isn't the point. Sometimes they commit to meeting me at the gym for a tour and to talk about how to get started. But most of the time, they are "kicking the tires" so to speak to test what they've heard. The real question they are asking is, "can this really work for me?" It is a window into their point of pain or struggle and I am always honored to be allowed in.
These occasions are important reminders of my belief that we all get here for different reasons and that we are about so much more than just working out. Exercise is the common tool that we use to build connection and fight back the demons...whatever they may be. Our community is a rock of support that offers a bright spot when times are tough on the other fronts in our lives. It gives me great satisfaction that Catacombs is that place of refuge for so many and that I can resolutely affirm with the tire kickers that yes, this absolutely can work for you.
Thanks for reading.