This is a personal post from both Jason and me (Joe), written because we both truly want to take you guys inside of our gym, and let you see why Summit exists. Sure, we are a fitness facility, but it goes so far beyond that. I'll let our About page give the deeper dive into the origination story behind the box, because as any good organization, our mission and vision for who we are and what we do has only evolved from the first day of being open.
If you've read our About section, you know I started Summit on the back of losing my mom to cancer. It rocked our family, and fitness became my MENTAL break from what I was going through. It gave me strength, helped me feel accomplished, and empowered me to be strong for my dad (he's now a client, which is amazing to witness) my two older sisters, and my brother, as well as my mom's siblings and parents. This is how the idea began, but why Summit exists is another story, which has been shaped by the people who have joined the team (Jason, Claire, Gabi, Katie) and our entire community.
When Jason came on board, he brought with him a level of self-sacrifice I can honestly say I've only ever witnessed in one other person: my mom. Even from his first day simply dropping in for a workout, I could tell he is a man who cares much more about the well being of others than he ever will for himself. Cheering on people he doesn't even know, helping clean up equipment, giving high fives...these things matter because they show a willingness to pick others up, and build them when they're feeling down. In essence, his attitude was exactly what I wanted this gym to be all about, and it is what we've become.
Fast forward (or rewind, depending on how you view it) to last Wednesday, November 28. Jason and I are sitting in our kids room at the box, chatting about the business. To be one-hundred percent transparent, I'm frustrated. I know we have a wonderful product. I know we have an amazing community with great members and coaches who truly care about the people who come through our doors. But, like most small businesses, it is a fight to try and get people to experience the benefits of being a Summit athlete before they come through the doors.
Luckily, I have an excellent business partner (see above) and he got us whiteboarding about why Summit exists. What are we trying to build here? Who do we serve best? Why do we do this day in and day out?
What came next felt like the most clarity I've experienced in three years of owning our box.
To put it bluntly, we serve NORMAL PEOPLE. I'll be the first to tell you that if you're looking for CrossFit Games preparation training in a class environment, you will not find it at our gym.
If you are looking for the "get ripped quick" program, you will not find it at our gym.
If you are looking for somewhere to flaunt your biceps and abs, you will not find it at our gym.
What will you find?
A place that is focused on helping normal people be a little bit better. A community filled with moms, dads, students, and young professionals who love to hangout with their friends, and meet new people. Who know that by working out they are improving their mindset (it is science, y'all) and will consistently show up better for their families, at their jobs, and in every other aspect of their lives.
I get to work with everyone from a 13 year old middle schooler to a 65 year old mother and grandma every day, and they are all looking for the same thing. A better mindset to tackle life with more enjoyment. If they happen to put on muscle and lose fat in the process, that's simply the outward showing of a much better mindset spilling into the choices they make the other 23 hours of the day when they are not at Summit.
When you go to some CrossFit gyms, you are going to lift weights every single day. You are going to back squat every Monday, deadlift every Wednesday, and max out every Friday.
First of all, that isn't remotely what CrossFit actually prescribes, but that is for another post.
When you come to Summit, the focus is very different. Some days, we are going to challenge your mind to BELIEVE you can lift that heavy weight, because some day your life is going to drop a big "weight" in front of you, and you're going to need to pick it up and move past it. Whether that weight is a change in career, wrecked car, or your mom passing away.
Some days we are going to do long, cardio burning workouts which make you want to quit. Because some days at the office, or with your kids, are going to tax you mentally to the point of simply wanting to give up. In the gym, you have the option. In real life, you don't. We test it in the gym, and we build that RESILIENCE in a safe space where you're allowed to fail so that when you absolutely cannot fail, you don't. You are strong for the ones you love.
Other days, we CHALLENGE you with difficult gymnastic skills, which many people have never had to do before. Why do we do this? Because there are many, many times in your career or your home life during which you are going to be faced with a difficult task you don't have the skills for. You want to rise in your organization? Better figure out how to accomplish it. Want to help your kid with his or her math homework? Better dig deep to remember that algebra, or find the resources that can.
To summarize it, we focus on helping you build the mindset necessary to overcome life's every day obstacles. Plain and simple.
Owning a gym looks like a lot of early mornings, late evenings, and weekends of work. Truthfully, it is more time invested than I ever expected. So, why do we do this week in and week out?
Because we see a lot of people going through life feeling like they're out of control of their own results. This can manifest itself in weight gain because food becomes your escape. It can manifest itself in sitting in front of the TV for hours on end, because the score is Life - 1, You - 0. It looks like disconnection from your family, like stagnation in your career.
This is a genuine problem. One we believe we have a unique cure for. It is also just happens to be a cure which helps you live a longer, healthier life. But it's about the mindset. You get this right, and your body follows suit.
You stop mindlessly watching the TV, and instead talk to your husband or wife. You stop being "too tired" to play with your kids. You stop being caught in the falsity of your 20's being about going out to the bars, rather than building a fulfilling career, whatever that may look like.
These are the REAL benefits of being a Summit athlete. These are the reasons why Summit exists.