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Why I Started Ripple Effect, by Coach Chris

It’s officially been one year since our first class at Ripple Effect! On June 13th we had our first group classes. Bike, burpees, squats, and pull ups. It was an awesome day!

One year later, it’s been quite a ride. A pandemic, a worldwide civil rights movement, and de-affiliation from CrossFit. Not at all what you hope to encounter in your first year as a new business! 

At this one year mark I wanted to reflect a bit and share with you all why I started Ripple Effect in the first place. 

A few years ago, I saw a disturbing trend in the local fitness community. Class sizes were growing larger and larger. The training and professionalism of coaches seemed to shrink by the day. Each class seemed to be a competition to see how many different workouts could be programmed in one hour. Everything I saw seemed to scream “Quantity over quality.”  

I was guilty of perpetuating some of these things. Or at best, I waited way too long to do or say anything about it. 

I wanted something better, for myself and for the clients I worked with. I wanted to focus on Quality. Quality coaching, movement, programming, relationships. I don’t believe More is Better. I believe that Better is Better. 

I decided there must be a better way. A way to keep the community smaller, and focus on building meaningful relationships and trust with people. To stop the endless churn of losing clients all the time because we were more about MORE clients all the time. To intentionally go smaller, instead of bigger.

At Ripple Effect, we’re trying to go a mile deep instead of a mile wide. With our small group of members, our mission is to dramatically change their lives for the better. Fitness, nutrition, and relentlessly caring about our members are the tools we use for the job. 

I’d rather have a large impact on a few people, than a tiny impact on many people. It’s the same reason my wife and I decided to become foster parents and eventually adopt our son Jaxson. 

It’s like the tale of the starfish:

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied,

“Well, I made a difference for that one!”

We might not be changing the world on a global level, but we’ll do our best to change the world for our members and our families. 

In a world full of turmoil and uncertainty, we’re here to be a rock for our members that they can rely on, to be their firm foundation no matter what happens. 

Maybe you’re thinking, “What a blowhard this guy is! It’s just a freaking gym, not Mother Teresa’s orphanage!” 

Well, you’re right, we’re actually not caring for any orphaned children at the moment. But I see us as more than just a gym. We’re a coaching company. And coaching is valuable in every aspect of life, not just lifting weights. 

I’m so incredibly proud of our members. Continuing to find ways to stay moving, in the face of the COVID pandemic. Leading the charge for social justice in the community. Supporting each other constantly, in so many ways. And laughing at my bad jokes. 

If you’re skeptical, I encourage you to come check it out for yourself. Come to get fit, stay because now you have a new circle of friends who think you’re awesome even though they just met you. It’s a pretty great place to be, if we do say so ourselves. 

Looking forward to what Year 2 and beyond has in store! 

  • Coach Chris
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