Together we are stronger!
March 16, 2016
Several years ago, the Plymouth CrossFit community evolved in such a way that we were, in fact, two gyms. We still had similar passions and similar goals, but we were two communities with different approaches to CrossFit and fitness training in general. During this evolution, CrossFit Lower Town was born and the two communities divided and headed in different directions. Over the years, our two gyms have competed for members and bragging rights, and we have spent valuable time and energy trying to justify being separate: why one was better than the other, and why someone should choose one gym over the other. Friendships and communities were strained by the artificial boundaries and allegiances to one gym or the other.
Fast-forward a few years: it is safe to say that as individual gyms, we have both developed exponentially -- arguably two of the best in Michigan -- but we still carry much of the baggage of the past.
That leads us to today:
As many of you know, Plymouth CrossFit is scheduled to move from its current location in April. We've spent countless hours evaluating options for a new location. We realized that one of those locations came with so much upside for the business and community that it was really hard for us to get past it. That being said, this option would also present us with large-scale change and many unknowns.
So, a couple months ago Dave and I started conversations with Dana, Brian, Matt and Kelly, the owners of CrossFit Lower Town. The "what-if" scenario was put on the table: What-if, we could join our two awesome gyms? What-if we could combine forces, equipment, coaching styles, and services into one? Could we build one of the best communities in the country? Could we stop competing and focus that attention on building the best fitness community in the area?
At first it seemed like we were shooting for the moon. But as we worked through the details, we realized how similar our models really are: our member sizes are almost identical, our class schedules are identical, and our services are identical. More importantly, we realized that our goals, the services we want to provide, and the direction we intend to take are the same! We considered what a merger meant: we weighed the pros and cons and asked tough questions about our ability to support our communities more effectively as a bigger team. Everything about the discussion led us all to the conclusion that together we are stronger. Together we can take the next steps of our evolution.
So earlier this month, we wrote it up and made it official: Plymouth CrossFit and CrossFit Lower Town will unite into one gym. The result for PCF is a new building about one mile north of the current location. The result for everyone will be: a brand new space for CrossFit, more equipment, more space, more coaches, and more classes (MetCon, kettle bells, Boot Camp, and additional CrossFit hours). We also get great friends, competitors, relationships, and workout buddies that we would otherwise not have.
I do want to acknowledge that fact that we are leaving our home for the past six years. This building has been my home-away-from-home for many years and the thought of not being there makes me sad. But what makes it all worthwhile is this: all things must change in order to grow. Even though the last six years have been great and our building has been our home, it does not define us as a community. It will be sad to leave our family home and it will feel weird at first to move to a new home with new neighbors. But we can take comfort knowing that we are going to be taking the journey together. We will all be getting out of our comfort zone (like true CrossFitters) and facing the unknown with the same nervous anticipation that we have right before the clock beeps and the coach yells 3, 2, 1...GO!