“Where should I put my phone, keys and wallet?”

It’s a question I’m often asked by folks coming in to CrossFit for the first time.  “Anywhere you want.”  I can’t help but smile at the uncomfortable look on their face.  I know what they’re feeling.  I’ve trained in commercial gyms where you live in fear of someone breaking into your locker.  I’ve witnessed it happen.  Now they’ve come to an unfamiliar place and have been asked to leave their valuables unattended.  There’s no way for them to know – as I do – that this is a safe space.  There’s no way for them to understand that CrossFit is a different kind of community that attracts a different kind of person.

Way back at a big event at CrossFit Vancouver, a $50 bill I was carrying in my pocket slipped out and got lost among the 200+ spectators.  I imagined it lost forever in a crowd of strangers.  But another coach overheard me talking about it and informed me that someone had picked up the bill and turned it in to the desk.  And sure enough, there it was, waiting for me.  How cool was that?

A member once handed in a wallet to me that contained thousands of dollars cash.  The wallet and all the cash found its’ way back to its’ owner.  In my 13+ years of CrossFit I’ve not heard of a single theft occurring in a CrossFit gym.

So I shouldn’t have worried when my belt went missing at the CanWest Games.  Friday night I’d worn the custom power lifting belt I’d ordered from Pioneer Fitness in the States for the max clean & jerk.  Sunday morning as we packed I realized it was gone.  It was a $400 belt, top of the line.  And I’d left it with our things behind the stadium while we went off to cheer for our athletes and participate in other events.  The stadium was filled with hundreds of spectators passing through from all over Canada, the US and even beyond.  The belt could have gone anywhere.

But this is CrossFit so, of course, it hadn’t gone far.  I have no idea how it got misplaced but I found it turned in to the event lost and found at the front gate.  “This has been waiting here for you since Friday night,” the lady told me.  I felt a comforting warmth in my heart.  This is my community.  This is the kind of world I am so happy to live in.  It is a world where even strangers feel like friends and family.

If you’re new to CrossFit or haven’t done CrossFit before then you might have trouble believing or conceiving but, I assure you, at CrossFit Empower you do not need to hide or lock up your valuables and if you misplace them, they will always be returned to you.