Posted on September 20, 2016 by Steve's Club National Program
Every once in awhile, a kid, seemingly wise beyond his or her years, will blow you away in a conversation.
It isn’t until somewhere in the conversation that you may be brought down to Earth when they mention Snapchat or Justin Bieber; but before that, it felt as if you were talking to someone with years of life experience.
This is what it is like being around Luiz from Steve’s Club Denver, a 17-year-old, who provides perspectives on life that one would expect only from someone much older.
“Integrity is huge. Personally, I view integrity as being truthful to yourself, not to seek out shortcuts, not to cheat. It’s knowing that it will never feel as good as if you do it yourself and give it your all to get there,” Luiz shared at Steve’s Club Leadership Camp this summer.
Moments like this make you take a step back and say, “Despite all that they've been through, these are some impressive kids involved with Steve’s Club.”
Personal Development is Crucial to Helping Others
Luiz is described by his coaches at Steve’s Club Denver as a very soft-spoken kid, who is never boastful, and always willing to step in to help others succeed. But it has not always been this way. Initially Luiz was uncomfortable leading, despite his ability to excel in the gym. He was great at the movements, rivaling some of the adult members in workouts, but he was very reluctant to connect, share, or lead others.
Coach Duncn Seawell, founder of Steve's Club Denver and a member of SCNP Board of Directors, painted Luiz’s picture well. “Luiz is no different than many teenagers. Meeting the demands of school, finances, and outside expectations can be too much at times. On occasion, he will turn inward and fail to return calls or show up when expected and that can really bother the adults around him.”
“However, without exception, every time Luiz has an episode where he may go off the radar for a bit, he understands and sees his behavior for what it is. At which point, he always comes back with a most sincere apology,” said Seawell.
Since joining Steve's Club, Luiz has been pushed by his coaches to step up and utilize his character and drive to motivate his peers. It took some time for Luiz to be comfortable in this role.
"Luiz has an uncanny ability to coach. He can work with the younger team members without making them defensive or resistant to his input. We enjoy having Luiz in class because he's capable, knowledgeable, and humble enough to motivate others without demanding their compliance. That's a hard skill to teach," said Duncan.
This skill is not something that Luiz truly understood he had. "I always knew I could help [others] from a technical standpoint, but the coaches helped me realize that mentally and emotionally, I had a lot to offer as well,” Luiz recalled. “At first, I was very reserved. But now, when I see something or someone needs a little push, I voice my opinion and it resonates with those around me.”
Luiz, who plans on going for his L1 certification in the near future, knows that as much as he has been able to help others through CrossFit in Denver, it is he who has learned the most from CrossFit. “The challenges of CrossFit are tough, but they have helped me learn so much about myself."
As a future coach, Luiz also realizes the importance of self-improvement and personal development. “As an older member of our gym, many younger or newer kids look to me to lead. If I'm not in a good place in my own mind, it is absolutely impossible to help someone else,” Luiz remarked, once again showing wisdom well beyond his 17 years.
To receive more inspiring stories like these about at-risk teens making huge changes in their lives, and learn how you can support more kids like Luiz, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
If you're a member or owner of a CrossFit gym, please consider hosting a Suggested Donation workout to benefit Steve's Club. Learn about our Beat the Streets fundraiser here.
Posted on September 14, 2016 by Steve's Club National Program
Do you remember the first time you hit a major PR?
It may not have been a lot of weight compared to the experienced CrossFitter next to you. It may not have been the prettiest lift in the world. It may not have even been seen by anyone else. None of that mattered.
Nothing could stop you from feeling like you were walking on air. It left you feeling like a totally different person - a more self-assured version of the person who had walked into the gym a short time earlier.
That’s exactly the feeling Liric, a 12-year-old from Chattanooga, TN, got when she nailed a 105-pound clean and jerk for the first time. "The feeling you get after hitting a big lift, the sense of accomplishment, there is nothing like it,” said Liric.
“After I did that, my confidence level went way up. It helped me begin to encourage myself through challenges, but also my peers. Now when I see others struggling with a concept in school, or a lift at CrossFit, I can help them much easier with my new leadership skills and confidence.”
She even credits CrossFit with boosting her social skills. “Before joining Unbroken Kids [a Steve’s Club program hosted by CrossFit Brigade], I was a very shy person. Through Steve's Club I became this very outgoing, confident person. CrossFit changed my whole personality."
Liric, one of the 22 at-risk teens selected to participate in Steve’s Club Leadership Camp this summer, made an impression before even showing up. Athletes submit applications to attend Camp that include an athlete profile, coach recommendations, and a personal essay. Where many kids wrote short paragraphs explaining what CrossFit meant to them, Liric felt as though she may not have enough time, or space, to explain how much CrossFit has meant to her life.
“The long paragraphs weren’t something I did consciously. I just set out to write how CrossFit has helped me, how CrossFit has affected me and my leadership in the gym and other places, such as school, and that is what came out.”
“I view myself as a leader now. Before, I didn’t have the self-confidence to step in when I saw someone struggling. It’s totally different now. I have no problem speaking up and helping someone I see in need,” Liric said proudly.
By exposing more kids to the positive disciplines of CrossFit, we provide an opportunity for kids to get off the streets and become leaders among their peers.
Donations allow us to reach more kids like Liric by starting Steve’s Club programs in the cities that need them the most.
An easy way to raise money for Steve's Club is by hosting our BEAT THE STREETS Fundraiser. Through this Suggested Donation Partner WOD, you can help us expand our reach. To schedule your BEAT THE STREETS Fundraiser, check out the WOD, and hosting details, click here.
To learn how you can start your own Steve’s Club in your community, click here.
Posted on August 30, 2016 by Steve's Club National Program
Many kids involved with Steve’s Clubs across the nation are not always sure where their next meal is coming from.
Some of them are not expecting to get three meals a day.
The last thing on their mind is what’s a fruit, what’s a vegetable, what’s protein, what’s fat.
They care about eating.
How Does One Eat Healthy If They Have No Idea What ‘Eating Healthy’ Means?
Due to this, many at-risk youth do not have the slightest idea how to eat healthy. They really don’t even know what that would look like.
Unfortunately, this can have a compounding effect leading to worse health, lower self-esteem, and less chance of success.
At Steve’s Club Leadership Camp, these teens learn not just the leadership, teamwork, and communication skills to be successful, but the healthy eating habits that amplify all of their hard work in the gym.
Knowledge Is The First Step On The Road To A Healthy Diet
Along with donating meals for camp, the generous team from Snap Kitchen hosted a nutrition workshop for the teens.
Snap Kitchen, the healthy meal shop whose headquarters is in Austin, TX, places an emphasis on chef-made, nutrient-dense meals, and snacks as close to real food as possible.
During the workshop, Beth and Lana (representatives from Snap Kitchen) highlighted all types of information to increase the teens’ chances of success through healthy eating habits.
• The importance of food as fuel for performance in our daily lives
• The composition of a ‘healthy’ plate and what that looks like for each meal of the day
• “Survival options” if you have to get food on the go (like grabbing hard-boiled eggs over chips at the convenience store)
“It’s important to eat healthy as well as exercise. We want the campers to realize that they can achieve anything, and a healthy diet will only increase those chances,” said Beth.
In addition to their interactive workshop, Snap Kitchen provided 50 prepared meals for the campers, staff, and volunteers to eat on the first evening of Camp, as well as giveaway bags.
It is donations like these that help Leadership Camp succeed, but also have the enormous impact on the kids that it does.
When describing the food at Camp, one of the campers mentioned that he had gained ten pounds in the first few days because he was eating three healthy and balanced meals a day. He enjoyed the food so much that he always went back for second helpings. The food fueled him for every workout during Camp, and he slept incredibly well because he had a full stomach and wasn’t hungry.
Investing In These Kids Is An Investment In The Future Success Of Our Communities
Sponsors like Snap Kitchen realize that by helping to change the habits of these kids early in their lives, they can play a part in serving underserved communities.
These kids are the future of their communities.
And by placing them in the best position to succeed, everyone can come out ahead.
“It was incredible to be a part of the Leadership Camp. You could tell the kids took it seriously and really look to the coaches and fellow attendees for guidance both at Camp and also in their everyday lives while at their respective Local Clubs.”
“We are just hoping to add to their toolkit by providing them with an education of what healthy eating looks and feels like so that they can apply it to their lives at home, and in the future,” Lana added.
Rewards Come From Unexpected Places In Unexpected Ways
“I felt so energized being around the kids. Watching how they were so locked into everything they were learning, and the immense growth they experienced as people over the course of Camp. It was such an unexpected reward.” - Beth
You never know what you may get out of giving back.
And you, too, can get involved.
Donations and sponsorships do not always come in the form of money.
If you don’t have money, you could donate time.
If you don’t have time, you could donate food.
Whatever it is, every little bit helps.
Every little bit adds up to a major difference in the lives of these at-risk teens who have the ability to turn around and take their leadership skills back into their communities to make a huge difference.
Find out how you can donate here.
For more information on Snap Kitchen click here.
Posted on August 23, 2016 by Lee Knight
Everyone has seen the impact that CrossFit can have on a person:
• A former athlete who lost his way is re-inspired to regain his past form
• A soccer mom who never lifted weights before now loves Olympic lifting
• Someone who has fallen into the routine of life, sitting at work all day, now chases PRs and enjoys the positive side effect of a healthier and fitter body
It inspires people to change the way they live.
After only a few weeks, the way that they walk, talk, and carry themselves totally changes.
They are hooked.
At Steve’s Club, at-risk youth across the nation are provided with the exact same opportunity.
These young athletes come from varying backgrounds, each one seemingly more difficult than the next:
• Absentee or abusive parents
• Friends & family in jail or juvenile detention
• Murders and gang activity on their block
Experiences no child should have to go through, yet they know no different. They see no way out.
Once athletes like Tre find CrossFit and are exposed to the environment at Steve’s Club, they, too, are hooked.
They have a realization that they are much more capable than they ever imagined. Their future is in their own hands, and it can be very bright.
At 30 Local Steve’s Clubs across the country, these young athletes learn lifelong skills, taught through the CrossFit lifestyle, within a positive, safe, and supportive environment.
Alongside their coaches, volunteers, and peers at Steve’s Club they begin to beat the streets one day at a time.
That is the inspiration behind the Beat The Streets workout.
Each Dollar Raised Means A Brighter Future For Someone Who Didn’t Realize They Had One
In order to provide more and more opportunities for at-risk youth across the nation to get off the streets and break the cycle, Steve’s Club National Program hosts a Partner WOD to raise the money needed to continue starting new Clubs that:
• Provide kids without direction with a new sense of purpose
• Create safe environments for kids to flourish alongside their new ‘family’
• Generate brighter futures for kids who never knew they had one
Events like Beat The Streets give kids an opportunity to change their future, and create a different, much more productive cycle.
“How Can I Get My Gym Involved?”
Beat The Streets (BTS) is a partner WOD, open to any gym or CrossFit affiliate, that can be programmed as a regular workout during the week or as a larger community event.
The BTS WOD has a suggested donation of $25 per person that is fully tax-deductible.
Keep in mind as you and your community start generating momentum that for every $1000 raised through Beat the Streets, a new Local Club can be started in a city in need, meaning:
• Less crime in underprivileged areas
• Brighter futures for youth most people write off
• Better leaders to create better communities
To learn more about how to get involved as a local gym owner, click HERE.
• Cookie cutter letters ready to send to potential donors
• Videos to share detailing the impact Steve’s Club has on athletes and Local Club leaders alike
• Marketing material detailing what the money raised is going towards
There are 30 current Local Clubs, and with your donations we can bring fitness, nutrition, and mentorship to more kids like Tre by starting new Local Clubs.
Through Beat the Streets, you too can help Strengthen the Nation, One Kid at a Time!
Posted on November 06, 2014 by Steve Liberati
Steve’s Club Camden was packed for the Sixth Annual Beat the Streets Fundraiser on October 4. Over forty Steve’s Club athletes welcomed local box owners, CrossFitters, community supporters, family, friends and spectators as over 100 people threw down to raise money for the cause.
“It’s hands down my favorite day of the year,” said Steve Liberati, founder of the Steve’s Club National Program, that now has over 20 clubs nationwide. “What started six years ago as a group of friends working out and throwing up a couple dollars to help has now turned into a massive WOD for a brighter tomorrow.”
It was a chilly rainy morning, but that didn’t dampen anyone’s excitement about the 12-minute partner AMRAP (as many rounds/reps as possible) of 20 heavy thrusters, 30 pull-ups and 40 burpees. At 3-2-1 GO, the music was ramped up, and the athletes fed off of energy and encouragement from the crowd with a competitive intensity. Many teams completed two, three and even over four rounds of work.
A few Varsity athletes moved the crowd while sharing what Steve’s Club means to them. To get Varsity ‘status’ and become a peer leader, an athlete must have consistent attendance and display the Steve’s Club National Program values: integrity, respect, improvement, teamwork, support, positivity, discipline, character and community.
“Steve’s Club has taught me important life lessons: if you don’t work hard for what you want you’re not getting anywhere,” said Gabby, who recently received her Varsity status. “You have to find your inner strength when you feel like giving up.”
“Some of our kids walk miles to get to us,” said Steve. “Our club is a constant in their lives and provides much-needed safety and guidance. Their dedication and work ethic inspire me everyday.”
“It keeps me from being bored, and keeps me active and eating healthy,” said Xavier. “It’s a place where everyone comes together, knows each other and loves each other. It’s amazing. Steve’s Club is my family.”
Many kids recalled their very first workout, and how the pain of those moments helped shape the athletes they are today and the leaders they would like to be in the future.
“Last October I came for the first time,” said Dominic. “I knew nothing about CrossFit. The workout was the hardest one of my life. I completed it, and was proud. The next day I was really sore, and stayed sore for about a week, but then I came back. I want to be here for a long time, helping other kids find their way.”
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