Not Your Typical Fitness Event

Members and Coaches filled the room for the gym-wide banquet.

By day, I’m an editor. By night, I’m a CrossFit Coach.

Here in Louisville, I coach at a local CrossFit gym. I’ve been training there for over four years, and I’ve been coaching for almost one year – not including the time I spent interning/shadowing classes. However, my role at the gym doesn’t stop there.

I also help put on events, hosting things like summer cookouts to an annual holiday bash, etc. Well, last week we did our first formal banquet in the seven years of the business. We called it The WOD-Ys, complete with awards and fancy dresses. It was so fun pulling athletes and Coaches out of their normal gym wear and into a setting we never see each other in. My gym is full of some people who can clean up very well!

This was a chance for my gym to celebrate the successes of its members, Coaches and owners. It was a chance to showcase athletes who have lost over 50 pounds, members who have been at the gym for over five years and to give us some performance awards to work toward. We simply got to dress up, eat a fancy dinner and celebrate success with our friends. It was a night to remember! Plus, it was the conclusion of a six-week challenge that included aspects of nutrition and performance. All in all, we finished it with a bang.

But, I’m not here to gush about the clothes we wore or the success we saw. Instead, I wanted to share about the experience of throwing the event. Often as fitness centers, events are seen as needing to be active, reflecting the mission of fitness and wellness. However, what about stepping outside the normal comfort zone? What about hosting a fancy dinner or a ball?

The members of my gym loved seeing each other dressed up. You could hear around the room, “Wow, I didn’t know you looked like anything other than a sweaty mess.” They also loved being recognized. Even if you just do this with your student staff, it could be a great chance to honor their progress, or simply allow them a chance to do something different.

I suppose my point is this: Don’t think just because you’re a rec center that all of your activities have to do with fitness and/or wellness, at least in the traditional sense. This was a sort of social wellness event if you ask me. It could do you a lot of good to think outside the box when thinking of events to engage your students, whether users or simply staff. We saw a huge success with our event last week; perhaps it could generate a similar positive response for you.