It is the opening night of Capstone Crossfit following a nearly two month-long shutdown. A duration no one could have anticipated. Head trainer Jared Francis is getting ready for his 4:30 class to begin. People slowly filter in—most of them seasoned Crossfitters. One is signing up for his first day. Francis has been there all day and says the first day started off slow.
Unlike the thousands laid off during the shutdown, he actually got this job at the start of it. The gym lost five of their trainers as soon as the university closed and so they brought him onboard. He’s been leading virtual classes for the last two months. It is the first time he’s meeting his students face to face.
Francis leads the group of nine through their warmup, preparing their bodies for the first intense workout of the night: box jumps. The room buzzes with energy as people get ready for their first group workout in two months.
“I think we were always prepared for rainy days. We were never prepared for a three month crap storm. I don’t think anybody was,” says Tracy Wilson, owner of Capstone Crossfit. He also owns a chiropractic center, a restaurant slash retail shop and a property company. Each impacted in a different way.
Because so many of the people at his gym were college students, membership immediately took a huge hit, but still, He says adapting the gym to life with COVID was pretty simple. It was shifting the restaurant and store that was a struggle. “I think like anybody who owned a business through all of this,” Wilson says, “You worked harder doing stuff that you’ll never do again. It’s stuff that really didn’t matter to your business, but you had to do to survive this.”
Now that the gym is back up and running, sanitation is their top priority. Wilson explains that they’ve hired a sanitation service to come on a regular basis. They’ve doubled their cleaning areas and will cap the sizes of their classes to 15. But other actions recommended by the CDC were also inherently part of a Crossfit workout—like social distancing and fresh air.
Through this trying time, he says the biggest lesson he’s learned is the importance of community, a sentiment echoed by tonight’s attendees. “Crossfit is all about community. People come and meet life-long friends,” Francis says.