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Keeping Our “Small Gym” Vibe

By Sean | In Philosophy, Psychology | on April 11, 2012


Intrepid has had our proverbial doors open since August 2009, and in that time we have grown from 1-2 classes with 1-2 members in Rec Park to what are today.  Intrepid is now about 90 members strong and our facility is roughly 4,000 sq ft of workout space, so I think it’s safe to say that we don’t qualify as a small gym anymore, however, that being said we strive to keep our “small gym” vibe that makes our gym a fulfilling place to be and to be a part of.  We don’t have many rules, but one that’s been around since Day 1 is when you see someone you don’t know, you better introduce yourself or be prepared to get some extra burpee or bear crawl work accomplished.  It’s small things like knowing the people you’re pushing through workouts with that helps create the supportive atmosphere that not only helps everyone dig deeper and push harder, but has created a community of individuals who don’t just see each other in the gym but invite each other over to cookouts, help each other move, go to each others weddings, and are a part of each others lives way beyond what you might have expected when you first stepped through our doors.

Ruth and I fell in love with coaching because in small groups we witnessed the amazing progress of every athlete and the bonds built between classmates as they struggled through heavy lifts, grueling met-cons, and the thrill of coming out on top every time with each other’s support.  As coaches we prioritize and divide our attention on a lot of things depending on the class size, the workout of the day, and the athletes in attendance.  We do our best to encourage and push you but oftentimes it really hits home when we hear it from our peers. There’s nothing like an encouraging word from the person next to you between stations, as you pass one another on a run, when you see each other struggling, when you see other hitting their “wall”. This is where we rely on our peers, those busting their asses to our right and left, to help us get the spark we need to grind through the next 5 burpees, the next set of back squats, the next 400m run, or whatever it is that lies ahead of you when you fell like you’ve hit your wall.  We all reach that point sometime where we fall vulnerable to the voice in the back of our heads questioning what the hell we’re doing to ourselves, holding us back, and keeping us from our true potential.  It is important that everyone have another voice, the voice of a classmate or coach to encourage, support, and help one another push through, keep moving, and challenge their mental and physical limits.

It’s this supportive atmosphere that often characterizes “small gyms” since everyone has a familiarity with one another and with the coaching staff. New faces come through our doors everyday but one of the first things they notice is our “small gym” vibe where everyone is friendly and supportive, and let’s do our best to keep it that way. As our gym family continues to grow, it ultimately comes down to everyone doing their part to maintain our “small gym” vibe that can only be described as the X-factor that separates Intrepid from “globo” gyms and other run-of-the-mill CrossFit boxes to make this a fun and inspiring place to be.


WOD 4.11.12

Back Squat 3×5/Wendler

3 Rounds for Time:
20 Goblet Lunges
5 Handstand Pushups (HSPU)
40 Double Unders
5 HSPUs

9 Comments to "Keeping Our “Small Gym” Vibe"

  • Xuan says:

    April 11, 2012 at 7:21 AM -

    Great post Sean. A good reminder of why we all love Intrepid!

  • Jenna Allison says:

    April 11, 2012 at 8:00 AM -

    Amen Sean! Intrepid is the reason why I fell in love with Crossfit, from the awesome support and friendships made along the way :) love you guys!

  • Tom says:

    April 11, 2012 at 8:06 AM -

    Excellent post Sean…. I know that words of encouragement from the likes of you, Ruth, and Anna helped me through some gnarly workouts.

    Is there any way you can email me a roster with all the new CFI names?? Don’t want Marcus having me do burpees all the time when I get back..

  • Randy says:

    April 11, 2012 at 8:29 AM -

    Well said Sean, that small gym feeling was one of the main reason that I joined Intrepid.

  • the Pooj says:

    April 11, 2012 at 8:34 AM -

    great post! i <3 this small 90-person, multicultural family of ours!

  • becky says:

    April 11, 2012 at 8:57 AM -

    loves it.
    i carried this rule with me to CPC and it’s warmly welcomed.
    thanks for instilling good manners in me, Intrepid.
    good seeing some of ya’s on Sat morning. xoxo

  • Amanda says:

    April 11, 2012 at 9:44 AM -

    Sean, well said. So true the value of the comaraderie! I have LOVED the closeness of working out with the same gals – Lisa and Amy, it has been so awesome pairing up with you. Tami, we haven’t paired up yet, but those Met-Con’s I see you running ahead of me, and it pushes me.

    Just yesterday, as Amy and I were partnered up, she wanted to throw on just a little more weight. I’ll admit it, had she not said she was going to do it, I probably wouldn’t have. So, thanks Amy for that extra push yesterday!

  • Michael H says:

    April 11, 2012 at 4:15 PM -

    Well put Sean!

  • Dad says:

    April 12, 2012 at 9:08 PM -

    Two things: 1. Are you showing the girls in the photo how to play frogger???? 2. Great focus on such an intrinsic part of what makes you and Ruth so dynamic and CFi so unique and special to so many!

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