The other day one of my members mentioned that so many women at CrossFit Cranbourne are going through something or suffering many of the same insecurities she suffers. Her comment initially had two main thoughts behind it:

  1. She wasn’t sure why we seemed to have such a large volume of people dealing with personal issues as compared to other gyms she had been to.
  2. She felt more comfortable knowing that others were going through similar things to her and that our gym felt safer as a result.

I thought it was such an interesting observation. Are we a gym the attracts all walks of mental suffering? Are all the members of other gyms just crushing it on both the outside and inside, totally content with their mental well-being? Are we at Cranny CrossFit just a bunch of crazies??

No, absolutely not.

We’ve just built a place that speaks up.

Over the weekend Court and I were fortunate enough to sit in on a seminar with Martin Heppell of The Resilience Project. It was a truly awesome presentation. The Resilience Project run talks and seminars for primary & high schools, elite sporting groups, corporates and any groups going through challenging times. The major theme of these talks are to help people build resilience, confidence, gratitude, mindfulness and learning to open up when going through challenging times. There were a TONNE of takeaways, but one in particular clicked with me in relation to the gym. It was a couple of statistics about mental health…

  • 1 in 5 adults will experience mental health challenges this year
  • 65% will not speak up about it

That is like saying that 40 of our members are struggling with something, but only 14 are sharing. That’s 26 people with a tonne of trauma boiling up inside, brewing and stirring on their minds, with no foreseeable sign of relief. In a globe gym of 2000 members, that is 400 people on struggle street, 260 of them keeping it to themselves.

I couldn’t have that. Not when I know we have the people, the knowledge and the resources to  help make a difference.

So the comment my member made… rather than it making me worry that we were suffering an epidemic of mental health issues, it made me proud. Proud to know that our members feel safe enough here to have the courage to be more open, to be vulnerable. Proud that they all come together for each other, support one another and realise that they aren’t alone with their struggles. Proud that they realise that by sharing, they grow and gradually overcome.

So much of what Martin spoke about was very in tune with what we have been working on in this space at CrossFit Cranbourne. These emails, our podcast, regular posts in our members group and much of the content we have been delivering on our socials very regularly circle the themes of resilience, gratitude, empathy, vulnerability, backing yourself, not being afraid to fail, care and support. This has all been intentional.

I strongly believe this is so so important. A gym is a place where people come for change. On the surface it is physical change, but when you dig deeper it is far more than that and very often it is a change that requires more than exercise and diet. Much of what people need is beyond what we are capable of and qualified for, but what we can do is provide a safe space for people to open up. A space where there are people listen, share and provide support. My members comment helped confirm to me that we are on the right track and that our ‘speak up %’ is much better than the average.

My goal, drop our ‘will not speak up %’ to 0%.


PS – Speak up! No matter how hard, how scary. Talk. It will transform your life.