If we start our yearly lookbacks in the late spring when the original gym first opened, then a recap of Year Six starts on the wrong foot. On July 24, 2017, an F2 tornado tore through Kent Island destroying homes, cars, churches, and everything else in its path. I was in California at a SEALFIT event, and when Denee called me early in the morning and said that she thought a tornado just touched down, I have to admit my first reaction was, “we don’t get tornados on Kent Island, it was probably just a bad storm.” I headed to the San Diego airport to fly home and the TV at the gate tuned to CNN was reporting about the devastation! I came back to no power for a few days, but no damage to our house. One of the hardest hit neighborhoods though was Ellendale, where many of our members and good friends lived, and most of them had to find other places to stay – their homes were absolutely destroyed.
Everyone in the CFKI community was helping each other out as best as we could, but we felt like we could do more for the entire Kent Island community. We banded together with two CrossFit gyms in Annapolis to create a fundraising workout event and less than a month later we presented a check for $4,100 to the Kent Island United Methodist Church, who had been organizing donations as residents came to them in need.
In the fall of 2017 we began our second annual campaign to raise money for breast cancer screenings with Barbells for Boobs. Coach Jason and I both have loved ones that are breast cancer survivors, and so this has always been a special cause for us. This year we decided to up the ante a bit and threw out a little challenge to the group. If we beat our previous year’s fundraising total and broke $5,000, then Coach Jason would have to shave his head. Who knew shaving your head was considered a bad thing? By the time we hosted our Barbells for Boobs workout event in October, we had already surpassed that mark! There’s a pretty good picture floating around out there of me shaving Jason’s head. My face had a big smile on it, Jason’s not so much.
A second bet was thrown out which I laughingly accepted because I thought it was ridiculous: if we made it to $7,500 by the end of the year, I would get a CFKI tattoo. I guess we figured out how to motivate people to donate, because a few months later after several reminders, I walked into an Annapolis tattoo parlor with our logo in hand. I said I wanted it on my right shoulder, and to make it “this big” with my fingers so close they were just about touching. The artist said no, and made it six inches wide across my whole delt. What a jerk.
In a year full of heroic gestures by our members, there was also time to celebrate our athletic accomplishments and begin a new chapter of embracing technology more advanced than a dry-erase marker. We had previously been tracking our workout results on gigantic whiteboards that originated at “the old gym” and got bigger as we added more members. On the vertical axis were listed all of the major lifts and benchmark workouts that we wanted to track, and then member names were written across the top. If you got a new PR, you got to physically erase your old score and add the new one to the board! It was a fun tradition and started us on the path of measuring our improved fitness over time, but the two major drawbacks were that it had no history, and kids loved to erase the numbers. Those rascals!!
We implemented our Wodify system in 2017 that we now use to both track workout results and house membership information. It has its little bugs and quirks but after five years I have to say I’m happy about that decision!
Year Six started with a bang and proved once again that CrossFit Kent Island members are strong, resilient, and generous with their time and money. What an absolute privilege it is to be a part of this community.