Every Box has a community. Whether it’s big or small, within its four walls or outside of them, community is there.
“Like Greg Glassman says, [CrossFit is] relational,” said Brad Cobb, the trainer and CrossFit Mandeville Affiliate in Mandeville, Louisiana. “People aren’t going to quit on people, but they’ll quit a program. I think there’s more ways to grow a community than just doing the whole workout day by day.”
At CrossFit Mandeville, being part of the local community is important. A company of one of Cobb’s members uses a phrase that has stuck, “Doing good days.” From hosting a Barbells for Boobs event to cleaning up a horse ranch for kids with special needs, Cobb said his Box wants to help all walks of life.
How does the gym decide what charities or local businesses to support and team up with? Cobb said it can either be a member or a Coach’s passion. “We try to identify either if there’s someone in our community that is doing it themselves or something strikes a cord for us for whatever reason,” he explained.
For example, a Coach’s sister oversees Operation Christmas Child — an organization that collects shoeboxes full of items like toys, soap and pencils — and its shoeboxes for the region. “We brought her in. She gave us basically a presentation for what she does. Showed a video clip; then us as a Box all come together,” said Cobb, stating their goal is 300 shoeboxes.
CrossFit Mandeville has also raised money for Operation Restored Warrior, a program that helps soldiers and retired military with PTSD. Being a veteran, Cobb said this was something he was passionate about. “I was looking for someone in the PTSD arena to give money towards because I actually suffer from it,” he explained.
Cobb gives every member the chance to volunteer by announcing the opportunities, on average recruiting 12 to 15 people. “I just feel like with all the blessings I guess that have come my way, I feel compelled to just go out and put my eyes on somebody else other than myself,” said Cobb. “And just to give back, whether that’s just me showing up and saying what can I do? Whether that’s me as an Affiliate owner, knowing that I’ve got 200 people in here so if I can bring awareness to someone’s project that I feel like they’re doing good things, then I’m going to allow them the platform.”
Cobb said he plans to use the Box and his leadership to continue to get involved in and give back to the local community. “I can sit here and say if I can grow a CrossFit Affiliate to close to 200 members well I’m blessed, and there must be some sort of influence there and some sort of leadership quality there,” he said. “Well with that, I think all good leaders will say, you’ve got to serve others.”