CrossFit can be so much more than just exercise.
1. Affiliate Name: CrossFit Steele Creek
2. Affiliate Owners: Brian and Lisa Strump
3. Affiliate Since: February 2010
4. Location: Charlotte, N.C.
5. Square feet: 11,775
6. Number of members: 150
7. Your affiliate in six words or fewer: Family, inspirational, welcoming, life improving
8. How did you get your box started?
We started in February 2010 with 15 members from a local globo gym who were doing CrossFit in a small room in the back of the gym. They had to move out and had nowhere to go. It was perfect timing for all of us. I contacted those trainers, one of whom I knew of, and offered them coaching positions at our new affiliate.
Members worked out for free during our upfit for two months. I kept the equipment in a small office space, and we did all of our workouts outside. Two months later, we moved into our initial location where our goal was to create a facility with our chiropractic office and CrossFit affiliate under one roof.
At first, the affiliate was something we thought would be "cool" to have in the back part of the space, 1,500 square feet of a warehouse. Little did we know what we'd have almost three years later …
9. Do your members compete in the CrossFit Open/Games or in local competitions?
We had a group compete in the Open last year. It was a great experience! Those who competed really enjoyed the competition between members, and those who didn’t (compete) gave themselves an entire year to forgive themselves for not doing so. I expect a lot more people to compete in the Open this year. I can't wait! We also have a great group of affiliates in the greater Charlotte area that put on some local events, and we often have some competitors at those too.
10. What do you and your members do together besides train?
We have a monthly social for members to get together at a local restaurant. We'll have our annual parties for the holidays, yearly anniversary, and the CrossFit Games. Many members make friends that now go hiking, biking, or train for races together.
11. Best lesson you’ve learned so far:
I totally underestimated the impact that our CrossFit community can have on a person's life. CrossFit can be so much more than just exercise.
12. Advice you wish you had been given:
If you know me, you know that I don't just make decisions without planning, ad nauseum. I had a list of six to seven affiliate owners, contacted them, took notes of conversations, and spent hours upon hours on the CrossFit message boards seeking advice from those owners prior to opening. I also visited a handful of affiliates that seemed to have their stuff together, armed with questions. I was well prepared with advice, both good and bad. I didn't re-invent the wheel. Now, I'll spend time on those boards helping other future affiliate owners, like those before me did, especially those looking to combine healthcare and CrossFit together. It's amazing all the advice total strangers will offer when you tell them you're looking to open a CrossFit affiliate.
13. What question you would love to ask other affiliate owners:
How do you deal with your growth, and still keep that tightknit feel of your affiliate?
14. Why do you do this?
It started as an idea to fill in the back warehouse space of our doctor's office. Now I can't imagine doing anything else. I could not imagine a more rewarding way to spend each day. Giving people the vehicle to change their lives beyond their wildest dreams. When you see a person run to get their last rep during a workout … you know they "get it," and hope, in some way, the lessons they learned through CrossFit transcend into other aspects of their lives.