Here are three reasons I happily pay the price
Like most of us out there, I’ve had memberships to multiple gyms over the years, some as little as $10 a month. I’ve worked with personal trainers, tried kickboxing, got into running, and lasted maybe two to three months at a CrossFit box before burning out.
If the feeling is mutual, rest assured, staying motivated and invested in personal health is a universal challenge.
That changed when I was six months postpartum after having my first son. I needed help reconnecting with my body and honestly, I needed to get out of the house. I did my due diligence and researched nearby gyms of all kinds, called for pricing, and decided to go meet with the owner of CrossFit St. Augustine.
Sitting down with Stephanie House sealed the deal for me.
She spent nearly an hour talking to me about my goals, what had or had not been successful in the past, what my budget was, and why it was important to me to invest in my health. The cost was more than what I had paid for any previous membership, but I knew it was going to be worth it, and eight months later, it still is. Here’s why:
1. Community: The community here is unique. We all have different backgrounds and levels of experience. Any amount of intimidation I felt when I walked in quickly melted away. I found myself laughing through the workouts, getting fist bumps from coaches and members, and realizing that I didn’t feel self-conscious about my body, just proud of what it was doing.
The community at The Exchange became particularly clear when I was sick one week and received texts from the coaches and owner checking on me since I had not been into the usual classes. They cared, legitimately cared when I was not there. And damn, that felt good.
This community extends beyond the gym walls.
How we show up for the St. Augustine community matters. Partnerships with local businesses, giving back to those in need, and providing opportunities for additional safety courses like CPR training are just a few of the initiatives The Exchange is engaged in. They want to make a difference, no matter how big or small.
2. Coaches: You know what those $10/month memberships don’t give you? Kickass coaches. I’m talking the ones who keep you laughing and pushing throughout every workout while also taking incredible care to ensure your safety.
CrossFit gets a bad rap due to the gyms that don’t coach properly.
That’s not the case here.
CrossFit St. Augustine coaches scale movements so they are done properly according to each individual member’s capabilities. And if only three of us show up, guess who’s still going to be there to guide us through the workout? Yup. When we did rope climbs (something I have never done and was terrified to even think about), there were five scaled options to build up to doing a rope climb safely.
The greatest coaching anomaly at CrossFit St. Augustine though is the partnership with Seth Magnani, doctor in physical therapy. Whether a member comes in with an injury or a history of one, the coaches are well prepared to help. When I say they truly care about the wellbeing of their members, I mean it. They have the expertise and the heart to back it up.
3. Accomplishment: When I started training at CrossFit St. Augustine, I wanted to lose the baby weight and strengthen my back, but I got so much more than that. After a few months, the number on the scale didn’t matter anymore. What mattered was how I felt about my body and what it could do. I knew that every workout I did would leave me feeling better in every way.
What I accomplish in the gym is felt in every other part of my life – in the energy I have to play with my son, the mental clarity when I work, the rest I get at night, and the feeling that I’m a part of a community that actively looks for ways to give back.
I’m now a raving fan of what CrossFit is, and in particular, how CrossFit St. Augustine uses it to make the community we live in better. And that’s worth every penny to me.