Lighter of butt-fires. That is Shanna Clark’s official title at CrossFit Regeneration in Louisville, Kentucky.
“If someone needs to be encouraged, get something done … then I am either going to do it or light a fire under the butts of those who need to get it done,” said Clark.
One of her job requirements is planning events — a vital part to any CrossFit Box’s community. Clark explained they start by choosing how often to have events, then where the events should occur. “We landed on once a month as a good goal,” she said. “Then we decided that we thought it would be a good idea if we had two types of social events. One that would be held in the gym and events that would happen out in the community, requiring a meet up from our members.”
At FTX CrossFit in Wheaton, Illinois, a social committee heads up all events. Andres Schwartz, the Affiliate, said the idea came after a disconnect with the membership led to a new Box opening up a mile away. It was started by two of his previous members and without his knowledge.
“It made us re-evaluate how are we communicating with our members and are we in tune with what’s happening, and do we have an avenue for them to tell us if something like that was happening? We said we don’t,” said Schwartz. “So we said, ‘How could we recruit our own members to be the eyes and ears to ever prevent something like that from happening again?’ That led to that whole committee.”
Members from all ages and class times come together to plan events. Schwartz explained the events have seen success because the committee knows what the community wants. While the staff get involved where necessary, Schwartz leaves most of the planning to the group.
Charlie Sims, a co-owner of CrossFit Regeneration, said when it comes to putting on events, have someone responsible for them. That, and the fact that no food should be allowed in the gym. “Cleaning s’mores from a bench is much harder two days later,” recalled Sims.
Clark also gave three lessons she’s learned:
1. Keep it simple.
2. Post about the events, and post often.
3. Ask members to invite other members.
Despite the work, events are worth it because they build community, said Clark. She related her statement to a recent experience where she was struggling in CrossFit and dragging herself to the Box. “But I did. And the reason is because I love the people that are there,” she said, displaying the importance of community in CrossFit.
Schwartz echoed Clark’s thoughts. “Why would I say that any Box needs to develop the community aspect? Because that’s the strength of CrossFit and that’s what’s going to differentiate you between other fitness programs and it’s also going to create loyalty in your members,” he said.