Earned, Not Given

Throughout the summer and autumn of 2015, the sun has shined with special warmth on Crossfit Merit’s driveway gatherings. And track workouts. And beach workouts.

Truth be told, we never paid greater attention to the weather forecast than the five months of Driveway Training. Beautiful days tempted the cherry picker in each of us, as much as any miserable day. Driveway training was our playground and a sunny day was never better spent than working out there with friends.

We’ve watched the sun rise and set, and the seasons change over the fields and barn of Cody’s house this year. We’ve tossed apples to the deer and watched the kids swing from the branches of the trees and mimic us with pvc pipe, inspired. We’ve put dents in the asphalt and marked the quarter-, half-, and mile distances down the driveway and along the road. We’ve thrown ropes in frustration, leaned back on our heels, hit personal records, lifted and run and rowed and swung and squatted and cleaned and snatched and even skipped every inch of the place. We’ve shared weights and partnered up and grown closer like it was our job, and our privilege.

And on the occasions when the cold, rain, or wind moved in, coaches and members alike still showed up. We weathered those rare days together, double under-ing undeterred, clad in matching hoodies to broadcast our love for Merit (and her coaches) and, maybe just a little, to also ward off the chill.

We will remember with tremendous fondness all the laughter and the sweat and the sun and the cold (which could be held at bay by greater dedication to the WOD) and the dripping rain and the shouted encouragement from between the chattering teeth of our never-wavering coaches.

Winter arrives just in time to usher us into the warmth of our new home, replete with fresh paint, colorful plates, techie WOD board, shining Christmas lights, shiny new bars, and welcoming friends. (And showers! Did I mention the showers?)

Call me sentimental, but it's a beautiful thing - this Crossfit Merit endeavor. It’s a business. (Officially now!) And, yet, it’s a dream turning into reality. And not just for the owners, but for all of us. It's a community of friends, the family you choose, coming together around a set of shared goals, values, culture, and, dare I say it, love in action.

Do you see it? It’s in the piles of borrowed tools and the table of snacks. In the friends who took off work, gave up their free time, stayed late and arrived early, brought outlet covers and kids' toys, and watched yard sale sites for good bargains.

Do you see it? It’s in the laughter, in the sweat, in the good-natured teasing. In Ryan with a broom and Brett with a camera. It’s Stella with a post full of love and encouragement for our coaches, and the full 5:30 a.m. inaugural class.

Do you see it? It’s in 14+ hour workdays to beat the cold and pass the inspection and give us all a home. In the workouts that continued through a renovation and a rebuild. In Erica’s warm “Welcome to your new home!” that greeted us. It’s in in the marriage proposal whose timing came right in the middle of it all and brought two of our favorite people together forever.

It’s in a Grand Opening Christmas Party where we celebrated our gift of a new home to share in 2016.

You see, we weren’t just tearing down walls. We were building each other up, making space for dreams and goals. We weren’t just hauling away trash. We were sweeping the naysayers right out of our lives. We weren’t just covering up graffiti. We were making the voice in our head a positive one. We weren’t just laying down new flooring. We were establishing a strong foundation for everything that will follow, all the new memories our growing Merit family will make together, even as we say goodbye to the driveway.

Up at dawn, down at dusk, as many rounds as possible, for time. Repeat. Watch the gains. 

What are your fondest memories of Driveway Training?

What will you miss about the Driveway?

What won't you miss about the Driveway?

What is your favorite feature of our new home?