SCNP Blog

Making a Difference - Steve’s Club Denver

Posted on February 16, 2017 by Steve's Club National Program
Filed under: Local Clubs


                             

One of the great things about the Steve’s Club model is that it can adapt to the needs and resources of different communities around the country. In Denver, they built their program from the interests of their founder and founding board, the volunteerism and financial resources of a nearby community, and some of the highest needs kids from their corner of the city. The combination of variables produced one of the larger and fastest growing clubs in the Steve’s Club family.

Within parameters set down by the National Program, each Local Club can decide who they work with and what at-risk population they will serve. In Denver, the founders want to pull from their immediate community, while also serving kids with high mental health needs. In partnership with Third Way Centers, an area non-profit providing housing and treatment to teens, Steve’s Club Denver (SCD) works with 3 different types of athletes in treatment.

For one, they send coaches twice a week to a locked residential treatment center and these athletes are considered higher risk for their recent history of neglect, abuse, or legal problems. Secondly, they work with more stable teens who attend a school run by Third Way and access CrossFit Broadway, or who live in Third Way group homes and workout at Project Rise Fitness-Stapleton. These students have staff with them at all times, but are farther along in their treatment than those in the locked facility. The third type of participant is an older adolescent, living in an apartment run by Third Way, and attending workouts at CrossFit Broadway.

“Since our start, we’ve wanted to follow students within Third Way from their highest risk, to their most stable. This way, Steve’s Club gets to be a consistent part of their week, every week, regardless of where they go next with their treatment.” Duncan Seawell, a clinical psychologist and the founder of SCD, takes great pride in the fact that teens within this part of his program have the benefits of consistent high intensity exercise, consistent adults as coaches and mentors, and consistent positive peer culture within workouts.

“If we know consistency is a key ingredient in healthy child development, why not mix it in with other essential ingredients like effective workouts, healthy relationships, and the good time we all enjoy by working out with our friends.”

The Denver Club is successful in a number of ways and for different reasons. Throughout their development, however, they have proven a key piece of the National Program philosophy shared by all locations: Give Local Clubs the opportunity and freedom to work with who they want and they will find a way to build an effective program for at-risk teens.

     

Learn more about how to start a Local Steve's Club in your community HERE.

Steve’s Club 10 Days of Giving: Dec 12-21

Posted on December 08, 2016 by Steve's Club National Program
Filed under: Good News


Give to your family/friends and Steve's Club at the same time!

Still in search of the perfect gift for a friend, loved one or yourself this holiday season? Check out the amazing products, coaching plans and one-on-one private sessions with elite athletes and high-level coaches in our community that our supporters have so generously donated.

Enter the raffle by making a donation to Steve's Club. These donations ("bids") will help us start more Local Steve’s Clubs in cities that need them!

How it works:

  1. Each item below has it's own donation/bidding page.
  2. Make a donation. That will serve as your "bid" which enters you into a randomly drawn raffle for that item at the end of the 10 days.
  3. Each item has a minimum amount that you must bid to be considered.
  4. Each item also has a "Buy It Now" price. Once your donation goes through, we'll email you and close the page so no other bids will be allowed.
  5. You have 10 days to bid on any/all items.
  6. Bidding closes Dec 21st at midnight ET.
  7. We will choose the winners on Dec 22nd.

Fine Print - READ BEFORE BIDDING:

  • Make sure you enter at least the minimum bid amount!
  • There will only be ONE winner per item. Just because you "bid" on an item, does not mean you will win it.
  • The size of your donation will not increase your chances of winning.
  • You can enter multiple donations for the same item to increase your chances of winning.
  • Some of the items can only be used at specific gyms/locations. If you don’t live in close proximity to the gym where the item/session is located, travel to California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, etc. and make a trip out of it! Some of these experiences are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities; so don’t let that stop you from bidding!
  • The items must be used by a specific date.
  • To select the winner for each offer, we will use a random # generator and count from the top of the list by timestamp of when the donation was received.
  • Make sure to enter a valid email when making a donation. This is how we'll contact you if you win.
  • If you win a coaching session, we will put you in touch directly with them to coordinate the date/time and logistics.
  • If you have any questions, please email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and we'll respond within 1 business day.


                                                                     10 Days of Giving Items:

1. One-on-one Olympic lifting session w/ Coach Mike Burgener
$30 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $100 -> CLOSED

                                                
                                                


1 full hour with Coach Burgener for personalized Olympic Weightlifting coaching.

Can be one-on-one or a group up to 3 people. Session would be at Mike's Gym in Bonsall, CA (a Regional Training Center for USA Weightlifting). Valid until July 1, 2017.

Mike Burgener ("Coach B") is a Level 5 Senior International Weightlifting coach and runs the CrossFit Weightlifting Certification specialty courses across the country. He has dedicated his life to Olympic Weightlifting both as an athlete and as a coach. With his 40+ years of being a strength coach he trains athletes to become better Olympic Weightlifters as well as making athletes more explosive and powerful in their respective sport. Coach B is the real deal!

CLICK HERE TO BID! -> ITEM IS NOW CLOSED!


2. 2 months of HAM Plan programming:
$20 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $70 -> CLOSED



Get 2 months of HAM Plan programming - a training platform designed by Spencer Hendel and Austin Malleolo, five-time CrossFit Games competitors, CrossFit affiliate owners and members of the HQ Seminar Staff team ($80 value). Valid until July 1, 2017 (must start the programming by then).

The HAM Plan is the culmination of a decade’s worth of elite training by Spencer and Austin. Over ten years, they’ve trained thousands of hours and will create an individualized program based on you and your goals. The HAM Plan will deliver a snapshot of where you are now and give you programming to get you to where you want to be!

CLICK HERE TO BID! -> ITEM IS NOW CLOSED!
 

3. Gymnastics one-on-one w/ athlete Maddy Curley:
$40 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $100


    

Hang out with an awesome gymnast, CrossFitter and TV and movie star as you improve your muscle-up, kipping pull-up, handstand pushups, etc. This private gymnastics skill session with Maddy Curley is a 1-hour session which can be for 1-5 people. Available only in the Los Angeles, CA area - exact location TBD. Valid until July 1, 2017.

Maddy has coached gymnastics for over 10 years, is a four-time All-American gymnast from UNC Chapel Hill, a CrossFit Regional and CrossFit Games Team Competitor, has worked on TV shows including The Office, CSI, Cold Case, and others, and has been in the movies Stick It and Chalk It Up.

CLICK HERE TO BID!
 

4. 5 pairs of Unbroken Designs women’s knee sleeves:
$20 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $50 -> CLOSED

     
                                     

Choose 5 pairs of Unbroken Designs women’s knee sleeves ($325 value; retail for $65 a pair). Don’t need 5 pairs? Give them to your friends as gifts!
Several different prints and sizes are available:

  • Flower Power (S-M)
  • Lioness (S-M)
  • Black Lioness (XS-XL; not pictured but similar to Lioness print that is pictured. Sleeves are primarily black with the pattern only on the trim.)

These knee sleeves are 5mm thick neoprene to give you the support you need when performing Olympic lifts, pistols and squats.

If you win this item, we'll send you the sizing chart so you can choose the best size to support your athletic needs and goals. *Note: if you win the knee sleeves they will not arrive before the Christmas holiday.

CLICK HERE TO BID! -> ITEM IS NOW CLOSED!
 

5. 2 personalized or small group coaching sessions w/ Nuno Costa of Invictus:
$30 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $125


      

Expert coaching in the San Diego area! This is great for someone starting CrossFit, as a way to improve on weaknesses, or for a CrossFit team that wants to prep for an upcoming competition. This is 2 separate one-on-one or small group coaching sessions at one of the Invictus locations (TBD) in San Diego, CA with Nuno Costa. Could be for CrossFit, running, or Olympic lifting and the coaching sessions will be 1 hour. Valid until July 1, 2017.

Nuno has been a head coach for CrossFit HQ since 2012 coaching Level 1 and 2 seminars, CrossFit Endurance seminars, and is a CrossFit Certified Level 3 Trainer (CF-L3). He is also the founder of Invictus Endurance, and has coached CrossFit, running and triathlon programs since 2008.

Nuno is one of only 2 athletes in the world to compete in the CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup every year since they started in 2009 including being part of the winning team in 2014 (Team Invictus).

CLICK HERE TO BID!
 

6. One-on-one Olympic lifting session w/ Olympian Chad Vaughn:
$40 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $150

   

Private Olympic lifting coaching session with Chad Vaughn.

Session would be in person at CrossFit CenTex in Belton, Texas (the location of Vaughn Weightlifting). Valid until July 1, 2017.

Chad is a 2-time Olympian, 9-time National Champion, Multi-Time International medalist including the overall gold medal at the 2003 Pan American Games, and the American Record Holder in the Clean and Jerk for the 77kg weight class in the sport of Weightlifting.

He has been involved in CrossFit for the past 5 years, and enjoys sharing his knowledge gathered from more than 16 years of utilizing and application of elite level training programs and competition.

CLICK HERE TO BID!
 

7. Virtual Olympic lifting assessment w/ Olympian Chad Vaughn and 6 months membership to Vaughn Weightlifting website
$20 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $125 -> CLOSED

                                        

Work with Chad Vaughn on your Olympic lifting remotely from anywhere in the world! He will send you a list of exercises to video and send back to him, and will then give you a full work up of feedback and drills to improve and move forward.

You’ll also get a 6-month membership to the Vaughn Weightlifting website for any of the 3 programs available: 3 day/week, 5 day/week, or Master's 3 day/week (a value of $120; $19.95/month). Both the virtual assessment and website membership are valid until July 1, 2017 (must start programming by then).

Chad is a 2-time Olympian, 9-time National Champion, Multi-Time International medalist including the overall gold medal at the 2003 Pan American Games, and the American Record Holder in the Clean and Jerk for the 77kg weight class in the sport of Weightlifting.

CLICK HERE TO BID! -> ITEM IS NOW CLOSED!
 

8. Full level of Power Monkey programming for 60 weeks:
$30 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $100 -> CLOSED

                                  
                                                

A full level of Power Monkey online programming that includes 12 blocks (a $480 value). Each block is 5 weeks and you can choose from the beginner, intermediate, or advanced levels. Valid until July 1, 2017 (must start the programming by then).

Power Monkey training programs have been designed by physical therapists, elite athletes and coaches to sculpt years of experience into simple and comprehensive training plans with over 700+ demonstration videos!

Improve your gymnastics or weightlifting skills, or choose to work on your technical flaws to fix three essential movements: muscle up, handstand and Olympic lifts.

Their coaching staff is led by David Durante and Chad Vaughn, among others. Read more here.

CLICK HERE TO BID! -> ITEM IS NOW CLOSED!
 

9. One-on-one gymnastics session with Olympian David Durante:
$30 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $100 -> CLOSED

                                                                       
   

Private gymnastics coaching session with gymnast and coach David Durante.

Session would be in person at CrossFit Solace in New York City. Valid until July 1, 2017.

Dave Durante is a multiple time USA gymnastics national champion and 2008 Beijing Olympic Team alternate. He is part of the USA Gymnastics Men’s National Team Coaching staff, and lead coach with the CrossFit Gymnastics L1 course from 2013-2015. Durante also developed the CrossFit Gymnastics Advanced Course.

He is co-owner of Power Monkey Fitness, which is dedicated to brining gymnastics education, equipment and events to the fitness world. Gymnastics is his life passion and his goal is to bring proper understanding, technique, and progression to people all over the world.

CLICK HERE TO BID! -> ITEM IS NOW CLOSED!


10. One-on-one coaching session with Games athlete Austin Malleolo, followed by a WOD with Austin + Spencer Hendel:
$40 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $150

   

Private session with Austin Malleolo. However you’d like to spend your time with Austin at the gym is up to you! Work on a specific movement, receive tips for coaching groups both large and small, discuss competition preparation, etc. After the one-on-one, Spencer Hendel will join you and Austin for a WOD.

Session will be in person at CrossFit One Nation in Needham, MA. Valid until July 1, 2017.

Austin Malleolo is the Owner and Director of Coaching Development at CrossFit One Nation. He is also the head coach at Reebok CrossFit ONE and a member of the CrossFit HQ Level 1 Seminar staff, a CrossFit Certified Level 3 Trainer, as well as a CrossFit Games competitor. Austin has trained everyone from professional athletes to moms and dads, adaptive athletes to CrossFit Games Competitors.

Spencer Hendel is the owner of Reebok CrossFit Medfield, a fierce competitor and accomplished Games athlete, and a passionate coach.

CLICK HERE TO BID!


11. Built by Bergeron Affiliate Excellence Seminar:
$40 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $175

 
                                 

The one-day Affiliate Excellence Seminar on Feb 18, 2017 in Scottsdale, AZ will explore the best practices that the world’s best affiliates use everyday. With 7 years coaching elite CrossFit Games champions like Katrin Davidsdottir and Mat Fraser, and over 10 years of experience running a successful affiliate, CrossFit New England, Bergeron will help you create excellence in your CrossFit Affiliate. This seminar is tailored specifically for CrossFit Affiliate owners ($475 value – transportation/lodging not included).

For more info about the seminar, click HERE.

CLICK HERE TO BID!
 

12. 1 Year Membership to Built by Bergeron CompTrain Masters Program:
$40 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $199 -> CLOSED

      
                                

Attention Masters Athletes!!! Work with the Built by Bergeron training team that has coached 5 different CrossFit Games champions including Katrin Davidsdottir and Mat Fraser.

The CompTrain Masters programming by Ben Bergeron allows you to follow elite masters programming from anywhere in the world. With over 10 years of experience, 4 Masters Games Champions, 18 Games Athletes and 73 Masters Qualifiers (Top 200), this program isn’t about “less volume” or “less intensity”. It’s about training smarter by creating a unique program for your age bracket, weight, volume, and movements will be specific to your division.

The 1-year membership ($480 value) is valid until July 1, 2017 (must start the programming by then).

For more info about the program, click HERE.

CLICK HERE TO BID! -> ITEM IS NOW CLOSED!


13. 3 Months of The Ben Smith Blueprint Programming:
$30 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $100 -> CLOSED

   

3 months of The Ben Smith Blueprint online programming for any fitness level ($150 value; $50/month). Get daily competitive workouts programmed by one of CrossFit's most successful athletes of all time.

Ben has finished 1st place in the Mid-Atlantic Region 5 times, has 7 appearances at the CrossFit Games, and is one of only four men that have multiple podium finishes at the CrossFit Games including the title of the 2015 Fittest Man On Earth.

Train like a Champ from anywhere in the world! Valid until July 1, 2017 (must start the programming by then).

Who is this for? Everyone! Are you an aspiring COMPETITIVE CROSSFIT ATHLETE looking to improve performance in the Open, Regionals, or local competitions? Or, are you an EVERYDAY CROSSFIT ATHLETE wanting to follow a proven programming structure designed to improve overall fitness? The Ben Smith Blueprint program was designed with both groups of athletes in mind.

For more info about the program, click HERE.

CLICK HERE TO BID! -> ITEM IS NOW CLOSED!


14. Private WOD w/ Ben Smith and his brothers Alec & Dane:
$40 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $175 -> CLOSED

   

Enjoy a private workout with Ben Smith, one of CrossFit's most elite athletes, and his brothers Alec and Dane, both of whom have their own impressive athletic accomplishments!

Train with all 3 Smith brothers at CrossFit Krypton in Chesapeake, VA for a morning session. Scaling options available! Valid until July 1, 2017.

All three brothers train together at Krypton and competed at the 2016 CrossFit Games Atlantic Regional.

CLICK HERE TO BID! -> ITEM IS NOW CLOSED!


15. One-on-One session w/ Greg Amundson, the Original Firebreather!:
$40 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $150

                                           

Train one-on-one with Greg Amundson at his gym, CrossFit Amundson in Santa Cruz, CA. Well-known as one of the founding CrossFitters, he is described by his peers as the “Original CrossFit Firebreather”, and is the embodiment of all the tangible benefits and intangible values that CrossFit represents. Valid until July 1, 2017.

In addition to his work in the CrossFit industry Amundson also worked extensively for the government as a former SWAT officer, DEA Special Agent, and U.S. Army Captain. He is also the author of several books (see Item #16 below).

CLICK HERE TO BID!


16. Greg Amundson Book Gift Pack:
$20 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $50

                                           

Greg Amundson is well-known as one of the founding CrossFitters and is described by his peers as the “Original CrossFit Firebreather”, and has graciously donated a gift pack of his books:

  • Firebreather Fitness: Greg’s program will help you align your physical, mental, and spiritual training so you can excel at work, in the gym, and in life. He shares his advice, experience, and education on how to live a great, balanced and super-healthy life.
  • God In Me: Greg shares his love for God in a unique and powerful new voice, merging Biblical truth with modern day lessons on leadership, positive thinking, and the warrior spirit.
  • Your Wife is NOT Your Sister: 15 Love Lessons Greg Learned... The Hard Way.

Note: this gift pack will not arrive in time for the Christmas holiday, and will be sent from Greg directly.

CLICK HERE TO BID!


17. Training Session or Outdoor Adventure w/ Matt & Cherie Chan:
$40 minimum donation, or ‘Buy it Now’ for $150 -> CLOSED

   

Enjoy a 2-4 hour training session or outdoor activity (hiking, mountain biking, or rock climbing/bouldering) with Matt AND Cherie Chan (for a group of up to 6 people; 4 people max for a climbing adventure) in the Denver/Boulder, CO area. Valid between June – August, 2017.

Gather a group of friends or colleagues for a cool team-building event , or enjoy a few hours one-on-one with the Chans! Both Matt and Cherie are long-time CrossFitters and avid outdoor enthusiasts and athletes. They recently sold their gym, CrossFit Verve in Denver, CO, which they started together in 2008.

Cherie is a Level 4 coach and member of CrossFit HQ Seminar Staff who has led over a hundred L1 and coaches prep courses – making her one of the most well-known and knowledgeable coaches in the community. She’s also 2-time CrossFit Games competitor and CrossFit commentator.

Matt Chan is also L4 coach and prominent member of the CrossFit HQ Seminar Staff. He’s a 6-time CrossFit Games individual competitor (podium in 2012), and a retired Denver area Firefighter.

CLICK HERE TO BID! -> ITEM IS NOW CLOSED!

 

Steve’s Club Athlete Profile: Tommy

Posted on November 28, 2016 by Steve's Club National Program


   

Most of us don’t have a very vivid memory of our childhoods, especially the very early years. But what does it mean when you are 17 years old and can’t remember things that occurred only a few short years before?

It’s not amnesia. It’s not due to any physical injury. It’s another kind of trauma. The type of trauma that comes from dealing with your mother overdosing on drugs. “I don’t really remember where I grew up. Somewhere in the country. I kind of grew up all over. My mom wasn’t really in my life, but when she was, it really just wasn’t pleasant,” shared Tommy, an athlete at Steve's Club Nashville.

Tommy’s reaction to his mother’s passing, while not ideal, is understandable. After his mother passed, Tommy made a lot of bad decisions. He acted out as many teenagers would have, and do. “I fell into a lot of bad habits, a lot of which involved drugs.” Tommy, who had to be dragged to Steve’s Club Nashville by his dad, was described by Coach Rebecca as “sullen, quiet, and aloof” in his earliest days before he embarked on a transformation that brought him around 180 degrees.

“Tommy arrived and didn’t really speak. His dad was bringing him in because Tommy was acting up and he didn’t really know what else to do with him. That was about three and a half years ago. About a year into it, he really began to change. He went from that quiet, sullen kid to a happier, more open kid,” Rebecca beamed. “Now he helps the other kids, cheers them on, and even goes out of his way to help clean up equipment without being asked." I think we all know how hard it is to get teenagers to clean up anything.

Tommy, admittedly, was heading down the wrong path, but found CrossFit in time to redirect his negative energy into a positive influence in his life and turn things around. He plans to enlist in the Marines after graduation in the spring of 2017. “I just found a better way to express myself. I realized that I can be who I really am, and be more open in front of others. I also realized that maybe it’s not about fitting in, but maybe it’s all about standing out,” Tommy said thoughtfully.

“There have been quite a few times I’ve been put down in my life. People always want to put a label on you, and that’s fine, people are always going to talk about you because they want something to talk about. That drives me to keep going, to get better, to be the best, because then, that’ll give them something to talk about, being the best.”

But Tommy now realizes something that he did not before. After his mother passed, he went on a search. He was searching for happiness. And no matter where he looked, or which drug he tried, he couldn’t find what he was looking for, until Steve’s Club. “I began to realize after a few weeks of coming to Steve’s Club that the high you get from drugs, that “happiness”, can be found naturally. And that’s what I’ve found with CrossFit and Steve’s Club,” Tommy said.

“It’s helped me so much mentally, physically, and emotionally. The workouts are hard, but fun, then you start challenging yourself. Then you start doing things you couldn’t do before, overcoming challenges, and it keeps you coming back.”

Tommy understands the impact and change Steve’s Club and CrossFit has had on his life and has turned into a recruiter at school. “There’s really not much not to like. I tell everyone that they have to try it. It’s free, it’s fun, but the community is what is truly incredible. Everybody gets down at certain points, whether it’s in a workout or in life. But at Steve’s Club we are all pulling for each other, and that’s made a huge difference for me.”
 

           

If you'd like to start a Steve's Club in your community to provide a safe and nurturing environment for kids like Tommy, learn more here.

If you want to help us reach more kids like Tommy in other cities nationwide, we rely on donations to expand our program and start more Steve's Clubs. Join us in making a difference! 

                                               

Steve’s Club Athlete Profile: Elijah

Posted on November 28, 2016 by Steve's Club National Program


   

Most 14-year-olds enjoy sleeping in, avoid doing hard work, and need to be told what to do. Elijah from Steve's Club Louisville in Kentucky is different. He was the very first athlete to join this new chapter of Steve's Club in March of 2016.

"Elijah saw the story the local news ran about our gym and called me immediately. We spoke for about 20 minutes that night. And he showed up on our doorstep before we were even open at 7:30 in the morning. He's a pretty cool kid," said Local Club founder Nicole Harp. "He just loved being involved from Day 1. He was showing up anywhere and everywhere. He even did our ribbon cutting at the Grand Opening."

"Before Steve's Club, I was a couch potato. I would just sit there, watch TV, and not do anything all day. Now if I had to give advice to that kid sitting there on that couch, I would tell him to get up, get going, and get to Steve's Club," Elijah shared. "The changes that I have seen within myself physically and mentally have been amazing. I'm way more strong physically, but mentally, I'm much, much stronger. I used to be thinking about the wrong things all the time, that's just not the case anymore."

Steve's Club Louisville, located in the lowest socioeconomic area of Louisville, Kentucky, is not in a neighborhood that makes it easy on a kid, or offers a lot of opportunity. Violent crimes there are 6.32 on average per 1,000 residents, compared to the national average of 3.8 which makes it one of the more dangerous places to live in the US. There are 53 crimes per square mile there, compared to 33 as a national average.

Regardless, Elijah makes the most of it. Using his bike to get around, Elijah puts in regular shifts at Wendy's, is in the JROTC, and is an everyday member at his Local Steve's Club.

"He's already seen some massive improvement. He looks way more fit. He's a completely different kid. Personal accountability has been a huge issue for him, but it's something we're working on and he has been willing to work on to get better," Harp said.

One major learning opportunity for Elijah was something many teens face throughout their time in school - a failed test. The teacher asked Elijah to come in early to school to remedy the situation and figure out a way to improve his grades. Unfortunately, he tried to sweep it under the rug and not tell his mother about it. Like many teens, he thought he could try to fix it on his own.

Elijah came to Coach Harp asking for a ride to school early one morning. Harp, a former member of the military, sensed something was up, and knew she had to receive permission from Elijah's mom to provide the transportation, so she made Elijah call his mother to come clean. Elijah took care of the situation and learned a valuable lesson. It is best to confront problems head on instead of trying to dance around them because they will eventually catch up to you, one way or another. That's what our Steve's Club coaches and volunteers are there for - to be another caring influence and keep them on the right path.

"I learned a ton from that situation, and I think that is a great example of just one of the many lessons that I've learned since joining Steve's Club," Elijah said. "There are going to be difficult times throughout your life, but putting them off, avoiding them, or hiding from them is only going to make them worse in the long run."

Elijah, a self-described goofball, has used these lessons to turn into one of the leaders at his Local Club. "He works so well with all the new kids that come in," Harp described. "Over the last month or so, we've probably had 10-15 kids join and he has been a huge help for them. He's great with teaching them and making them feel welcomed and involved."

"I just love the environment at Steve's Club. From Day 1, it has felt like family. That's what I try to tell all the kids I try to recruit to come to Steve's Club. It will 100% make you a more improved version of yourself, and it provides a sense of belonging. A sense of family," Elijah said proudly.

Steve's Club is a network of chapters across the country that provides fitness, nutrition, and mentorship to at-risk youth. To learn more about Steve's Club Louisville and other Local Clubs across the nation, click here.

                                                
 

Steve’s Club Athlete Profile: Tony

Posted on November 28, 2016 by Steve's Club National Program


   

Tony is the son of Mexican immigrants and has grown up in the heart of Camden, NJ, where 40% of residents are below the national poverty line.

Camden, NJ had the highest crime rate in the United States in 2012, with 2,566 violent crimes for every 100,000 people, 6.6 times higher than the national average of 387 violent crimes per 100,000 citizens.

That is the reality Tony, a 17-year-old member of Steve's Club Heart of Camden, faces every single day when he steps outside of his house.

Tony's life is not easy. He understands that. There is a constant threat of violence and danger on his block everyday and it's not going away anytime soon. But through Tony's discovery of Steve's Club and the principles of CrossFit, he has been able to take what he learns when battling through a WOD and apply it to all facets of his life. Leadership, perseverance, and drive are no longer abstract concepts to him.

As a young boy, he struggled with his weight and his perspective on life. Thankfully since being introduced to Steve’s Club, both have changed.

“I used to whine a lot as a kid. I’d tell my parents, these aren’t the clothes that I want, or why can’t I have this, or do that. I spent a lot of time indoors, on the couch and playing video games because it wasn't safe to go outside in my neighborhood. I originally came to Steve’s Club because I was overweight and chubby. I kept hearing about this Steve’s Club place and how intense the workouts were, so I gave it a shot,” Tony said.

Tony credits Steve's Club with not just getting him into better shape physically, but changing who he is deep down inside. "There have been a ton of changes that I've noticed since I first came, especially externally. But the best change I've noticed is I feel like a better person internally. Whether I'm at Steve's Club or not, I can feel it inside of me. I can feel that I am a good person."

It was not until Steve’s Club and CrossFit that he truly began to believe in his future. "My dad is also a great role model for me. He stresses the importance of attending school, getting a career, and providing a good life for my children. That's just something that I don't think a lot of kids in Camden understand. And to be honest, that isn't really something I believed was possible until I joined Steve's Club."

Since joining Steve’s Club Heart of Camden, Tony has been fortunate enough to attend Leadership Camp, a Spartan Race, and represent Steve’s Club in a number of other events.

"At Leadership Camp, I really started thinking about who I want to be. Being a leader means a number of things, but first and foremost, it means maintaining your calm in any situation. If you realize that you can control, what you can control, and only that, it leaves you in a much better chance to succeed," Tony shared. "As a leader, it is also important to help those around you. That goes hand in hand with remaining calm. If those around me see me begin to lose my cool, how can they be expected to do anything different?"

Tony’s coaches at Heart of Camden have also noticed big changes. Once a very introverted kid, Tony is now much more sociable. “I have seen such growth in Tony since starting CrossFit. He used to be shy and secluded, preferring the comfort of his own home rather than any interaction with the outside world,” shared Coach Karim. “It was easy for him to sit at home. No judgments, no challenges, nothing pushing him to be better. Now, he is more open in conversations, well-mannered when speaking with adults, and very grateful for the opportunities given to him.”

Tony has fully embraced a new perspective - one that is full of gratitude. “Now all the times my parents advised me to be grateful resonates so much more,” said Tony, a leader and an inspiration to the younger athletes at his home gym in Camden.

“I now understand and see, it could be much worse. It always could be. You miss an attempt for a PR? At least I have a gym and friends at Steve's Club. You don't like your neighborhood? Someone could be without a home. You don’t like the way your food tastes? Someone could be totally without food. When you keep things like that in mind, it makes life much more enjoyable.”

“Heart of Camden has been an unbelievable experience for me. Working out while having fun has been awesome, but I really enjoy getting to know people, have good conversations, and share our stories with each other for support. This environment has been so helpful for my personal growth,” Tony shared with a smile.

 

 
     

To learn more about how you can help more kids like Tony beat the streets, check out the Suggested WOD Fundraiser here.

To help Steve's Club expand our reach into underprivileged communities make a donation anytime here. It costs $1,000 to start a new Local Club to reach more kids like Tony. Please help us Strengthen a Nation, One Kid at a Time!

                                                 

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