"It is hard to describe the sense of achievement and satisfaction I receive from watching my crew achieve something they never thought they could do."
Affiliate Name: CrossFit North Lakes
Affiliate Owner: Belinda 'Bel' Azzopardi
Affiliate Since: April 3, 2012
Location: North Lakes, Brisbane Queensland, Australia
Square Feet: 1,615
Number of Members: 75
Describe your affiliate in six or fewer words:
Community, inspirational, dedicated, diverse and fun!
How did you get your box started?
I had been training CrossFit for two years and lost over 92 pounds. CrossFit transformed my body, mind and soul. So this was the next logical progression for me. I thrived in a community-driven box and wanted to create a safe haven for anyone who was overweight, battling depression and body image issues to come and workout and know that no matter what, they could completely be themselves and be accepted for who they truly are. No matter what.
Do your members compete in the CrossFit Open/Games or in local competitions?
Yes. Our members compete in local competitions, obstacle course events like 'Tough Mudder,’ and we will definitely compete in the Games season next year.
What do you and your members do together besides train?
We encourage a community environment and we all support each other in all aspects of our lives. We've raised funds for breast cancer awareness, we've supported another box when one of their members needed help recovering from a brain tumor, we've helped our local community by supporting School Chaplains Fundraising, as I believe the more people our kids have to talk to the better!
Our members have encouraged us to host weightlifting clinics and nutrition information sessions, so everyone can benefit, progress and transform their lifestyles. We've had paleo cooking days and brought in samples for everyone to try! We have bon voyage parties, surprise birthday parties amd we recently hosted our first 'throwdown' (in-house friendly competition). We also drink lots of coffee!
Best lesson you’ve learned so far:
Be real. You don't have to be the perfect coach, you just have to do the best you can do. Let your members know you’re real, that you feel that WOD just as much as they did. That you too have good days and bad. Remember not everyone wants to compete in the Games. Everyone has their own reason for being there and these reasons are as diverse as our members. On some days you just want to get to the box and just get rid of whatever was going on today. It doesn't matter if it wasn't your best WOD, but you’ve got to WOD.
Advice you wish you had been given:
Don't over-analyze. As a new affiliate owner, I am on a very big learning curve. I've learned that what seemed like a major drama at the time was really just a stepping stone preparing me for what I could handle down the track. I'm a lot tougher than I ever thought I was.
What question would you love to ask other affiliate owners?
How do you manage all the paperwork? I really suck at the boring stuff! Also, do you have days you just want to turn your phone off?
Why do you do this?
I do this because I honestly believe it is what I was born to do. It is hard to describe the sense of achievement and satisfaction I receive from watching my crew achieve something they never thought they could do. To capture that moment in their eyes when they 'get' CrossFit or the look on their faces when they achieve a new personal best. The happy dances when someone has dropped four dress sizes! Or can touch their toes for the first time in a long time. I keep doing this because of the moments that touch my heart and that change my life from just reaching out to help another human being. What I give out I receive back tenfold.
Tell us something cool, unusual, or just slightly different about your affiliate:
We created a community vegetable garden in our backyard so we could all use the veggies and herbs to whip up some amazing paleo treats!
We've also had some interesting wildlife visit our box … rabbits, baby ducklings (we had six born just outside the box), baby turtles, snakes and legless lizards!
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