It’s common to see members of Boxes come together for cookouts, birthday parties or other special occasions, but what is a little less common is seeing multiple gyms coming together at an event not pertaining to a competition. This is something Monroe Miller, the owner of CrossFit Verity in Sterling, Virginia, is currently trying to overcome.
This year, the NOVA Affiliate Slam! will be hosted in the northern Virginia region, bringing together multiple CrossFit communities from various Boxes. While the main event will be a Spikeball tournament for those interested, the day will consist of growing the community of like-minded CrossFitters.
“Everyone loves to talk about community and how much of a family CrossFit is, but when it comes to the reality of it, everyone is cutthroat,” said Miller. “It doesn’t need to be like that. There are plenty of people in our area that need our help as a whole — it’s not worth it to be rivals with one another. I was over talking about it and wanted to be about it. I thought this event was a good, low-key way to bring everyone together to have some fun. The Spikeball part is there to have structure and a reason for people to show up, but we really just want to raise up the community as a whole.”
Through his process of inviting gyms to the event, Miller has even found multiple benefits. He is able to share ideas and thoughts with other Affiliates, see how other gyms are operating and how everyone can help each other improve.
“I have visited eight or nine gyms within a five to 10-mile radius of me to drop off a poster and talk to the Affiliates about the event,” said Miller. “Even that simple connection has been so great for me to see there are people out there doing everything I am doing every day. We all know of each other, but this has helped us connect in a more meaningful way just by planning the event.”
Miller has also learned that it’s OK if an athlete wants to try out another gym nearby, as they all offer unique traits to set their gym apart from the others. This event is helping the Affiliates find out where they can grow their offerings, or where another gym can help an athlete if they can’t.
“We don’t own those people,” said Miller. “They are just trying to find the best form of fitness to work for them. Each gym is offering different things; it’s not like having a McDonald’s on every corner. We have different programs and operations, and we can help athletes more efficiently by working together.”
In terms of the NOVA Affiliate Slam!, Miller said he hopes to make the event an annual occurrence after seeing how this year turns out, and that they will constantly work to improve each year, bettering the community as a whole.