Giving Back to the CrossFit Community

g0050921 webIt seems strange to get kicked out of a gym for working out. But that’s exactly what happened to Scott Keyser.

He had been doing CrossFit for 18 months in Colorado before moving to central Wisconsin. There, no Box was to be found.

What did he do? He became a member at a gym and began his own WODs. Soon, others began to join him in his efforts and it wasn’t long until the gym told Keyser to either stop what he was doing or leave.

“I found a warehouse, got my level one certification and became an Affiliate,” said Keyser. “I decided to see what happens.”

Since Keyser became an Affiliate in May 2013, CrossFit Stevens Point in Plover, Wisconsin has expanded three times, has about 150 members, puts on CrossFit Kids classes, provides for all walks of life and has instilled itself in the local community. “I’m so proud of the community we’ve built,” said Keyser. “We don’t do anything special. We play the same loud music as every other Box.”

However, CrossFit Stevens Point is different in some ways. The members of the Box don’t just stay inside their own little world — or Box rather. Instead, they look to volunteer. “We are simply a community of like-minded people who want to give back,” said Keyser.

CrossFitters for a Cause is a non-profit committee made up of CrossFit Stevens Point members. The program looks to organize the use of the Box to support and help various charities. “We have so many resources inside the Box, and we are so entrenched in the community,” said Keyser.

From donating food and man power to the Salvation Army, to raising $500 for the humane society, to collecting school supplies for Project First Start, Keyser said the volunteering was simply a sidebar to the Box, but it has taken on a life of its own. Ultimately, Keyser said it’s about giving back to the community of the people that fill the gym. “We have 5-year-olds to 65-year-olds,” said Keyser. “We have all walks of life.”

The Box is also known for being exceptionally women friendly. In fact, 85 percent of the Box’s members are women, and that was something Keyser did not anticipate. “They feel like they’re at home,” he said. “We tell them to throw away their scales, because they are going to gain weight, but lose inches … Once they get involved, they see how special the community is and how it rallies around them.”

Even after spending 18 to 19 hours in the Box every day, Keyser says he still leaves feeling refreshed. For him, the business has nothing to do with time or money. Instead, it’s about the supportive members and co-workers; it’s all about the community. And as CrossFit Stevens Point continues to outgrow its space, it seems Keyser will keep the Box on the same track. “We’re doing something here in central Wisconsin,” he said. “Just focus on your Athletes, focus on the community. Take care of your community and it takes care of you.”

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.
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