HAPPY 5-YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
I want to take a minute to tell you a story. This is not a story about me, but is instead a story of the CFGB Community.
Five years ago – on Saturday, 10 February 2013, we opened the doors of CFGB – making this Saturday our 5-Year anniversary.
To tell the story properly, I would need to start a little early in time than that. You see – we trace our history back to the early days of CrossFit Fort Meade, with CFFM founder John Hoffner receiving word from CrossFit HQ’s Affiliate Directors on June 26th, 2008 that CFFM is official. At that time, John said “Now comes the hard part: finding and uniting all the CrossFitters across the base!” They did just that – and the CrossFit community grew.
Fast forward to November 2011, CFFM learned that the building that housed their gym was going to be renovated. Everything was packed up by Sunday, November 20th and what would fit was set up in the Burn’s family garage. In 6-months, the Burn family PCS’d, so once again the equipment was packed and moved into coach Vanessa’s family garage.
In September of 2012, I was determined to start CFGB. So, I sat at the keyboard and wrote our mission statement – “Change the lives of hundreds of individuals, their families and loved ones – increase their fitness and as such, build a community of happier individuals living healthier lives.” But, in order to be a CrossFit affiliate, I was going to need a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer certificate. In that same month, I attended my CrossFit Level 1 seminar in King of Prussia Pennsylvania. Can I tell you a secret? That was the first time I went to a CrossFit gym! The experience was magical – I learned a lot – and I was even more determined to make this work.
In November 2012 – one-year after CFFM relocated – CrossFit Glen Burnie was an official CrossFit affiliate, but we had no location. We (Jessie [who helped on Saturday’s carry the equipment, plan the WOD, and help set-up – eat breakfast, and second breakfast], Jeff, Lisa, Shelli, Sandy, Joe, and a couple of people we would see once or twice) started meeting on Saturdays at a local park in Glen Burnie (3rd Avenue Park). We were raising money for the American Diabetes Association, swinging kettlebells, running through the neighborhood, and learning some basic barbell movements.
I had heard that CFFM had lost their gym, so throughout those early months I was trying to get in touch with someone over there. I had heard that the community disbanded after the relocation. However, that was not true. I soon learned that they continued to meet (in Vanessa’s garage)! It was through the good fortune of a mutual friend, that I met two of the CFFM trainers – Brian, Max – and we soon found ourselves discussing the possibilities of opening CrossFit Glen Burnie somewhere near Fort Meade. The second time that I worked out at a CrossFit affiliate was the day that Brian and Max invited me over to workout with Vanessa, Matt, and Ali in Vanessa’s garage. The workout had Muscle Ups, Snatches, and Overhead Squats – none of which I was able to do at all (or very well). After the WOD, we stacked some boxes on the sidewalk in Vanessa’s front yard, and tried to see who could jump the highest (max height box jumps).
Reba joined us for a Saturday CFGB workout in the park. We got together with many of the CFFM trainers (Vanessa, Max, Casey, Ali, Reba, Furby [John], Tom, Brian, Courtney) and made plans to open CFGB somewhere near Fort Meade, if possible. With two affiliates, we considered keeping both names (CFFM/CFGB), however, we decided to go with the CFGB name, so as to promote a unified community. Brian and I would eventually meet with a commercial real-estate agent and we found what we thought was going to be an excellent location – next to Arts in Motion on Telegraph Road in Odenton (across from Greenway Bowl). When the lease was signed (late January 2013) we ordered more equipment, flooring, and began to setup CFGB. With 3,000 square feet of space, we had just enough room for a few rowers, a 14-feet rig, the stereo, kettle bells, wall balls, and a few other things. With everything set-up, we set the date for our Open House – 10 February 2013.
The morning of the Open House, it dawned on me that that also happened to be my birthday! It was really turning out to be the best birthday ever! So many of the CFFM CrossFit community attended. For the workout that day, we decided to go with the CrossFit Baseline workout (For Time: 500 m row, 40 air squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, and 10 pull ups). The CFFM and CFGB communities had joined and we started offering classes that week.
Within a week or so, we started to receive complaints about the noise (barbells landing on the floor). Within two months, the lawyers were planning our exit from the building. We rented a large truck and moved the entire gym to an empty warehouse on Lokus Road – across the lot from our current location. No heat, no water… we would not be able to stay long! Fortunately, the landlord was super cool, and worked a plan to have us move into 8266 Lokus in November of 2013 – where are are currently and are very happy!
But of course, all of that is just the backdrop of the story. The real story is YOU – the CFGB community. From the very first day, you were so welcoming to one another – so helpful – dedicated – inspired and inspiring. THANK YOU! You have joined us for well over 10,000 classes. We have met and worked with over 1,700 individuals and their families. TOGETHER, we have rowed over 40-million meters, lost countless inches around our waists, and turned back years of potential chronic disease.
We are committed and dedicated to this community! Here’s to many more years!
P.S. We have a special team WOD planned for this Saturday at 10 AM, so if you are able to make it for that, we would love to see you!
“Change the lives of hundreds of individuals, their families and loved ones – increase their fitness and as such, build a community of happier individuals living healthier lives.”