Luiz: A Steve’s Club Teenager Wise Beyond His Years

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.