This is the second article I wrote this year about gym cleanliness. Check out the first article here. http://northshorecrossfit.com/nscf-dojo/ . I don’t think I touched on what I should have the first time so here it is.
Something happened this morning that sparked an article that I never wanted to write. I have been talking about it for years and watching it rear it’s ugly head over and over with different groups. I have, by default, become an expert in foreseeing it over and over. My position with the MadLab Group now let’s me hear about it going on in literally 100’s of CrossFit Affiliates with overwhelmingly negative results every single time.
Before I dump this crap on the whole world, I found a great quote I want to share.
“Watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, faultfinding, and a negative, judgmental attitude.”
You see, some people, no matter how positive the situation will always seek to find the negative in every situation. The one thing I realize from my years of observing this in the gym is most of the time these people Do Not Realize They Are Doing It. They are usually 100% Grade A great people. Being critical of others and things is most likely something imbedded in them from a lifetime of listening to other’s do the same thing. Negativity is addicting! It only takes one in a group to constantly drop an idea over a period of time. At first no one listens but eventually they follow suit. You know, maybe you are right. Yes…Yes, you are most definitely right! You are then looking for that thing all the time. 100 day’s of nothing is immediately interrupted by see, I knew it, no toilet paper. This place sucks.
I have heard some pretty crazy things over the past 10 years about myself, members of our community and NSCF as a business from former biggest supporters. Most of the time it is from an indirect negative influence that has convinced a person of some distorted form of truth. I have seen our biggest fans change their minds because of a third party influence. Not because of their experience but because of believing someone else’s. Talking with all these other CrossFit gyms with all the same community stuff is interesting and informative. Because of how close the community get’s it is like an amplified version of high school, water cooler gossip and housewives of Beverly Hills combined. No one wants to address it head on and there is always community fall out.
In one way I should thank these people. I have put a huge amount of effort into understanding it. So much that it has improved my positive outlook on life and my ability to communicate how I feel. Especially with my family.
This is what I have learned. If a joy stealer points out the negatives and no one responds to them with how they feel or what they know is a much different view than they got confirmation they were right and up their game. If confronted with resistance to the negativity they don’t bring it up again. They just always need to be reminded of what our mother’s taught us growing up. Don’t criticize if you cannot offer a solution.
So what happened this morning that made me want to communicate how I feel?
Over the past few weeks we have been working hard at making NSCF the cleanest facility on the North Shore. We have had some grumbling of it is always so dirty. I had one of our coolest community members bring it to my attention. Communication is key! I dislike hearing things like that and I agree with them. We are one of the best training facilities in the country. We should also be one of the cleanest. The coaches and myself have been on a mission. I thought I should share where we were at before the grumblings.
Coaches do a deep cleaning of equipment 1x per week. The gym is vacuumed and bleached 2x per week. The turf is bleached daily. Every day it takes about an hour to tidy up the gym (pick up tape from hands, band aide wrappers, water bottles, gum on the floor, put random equipment away, etc.) We have a professional cleaner come 2x per week and do a full bathroom cleaning. Toiletries are stocked daily but are not checked on periodically throughout the day. We did a scheduled deep floor cleaning 4x per year that takes around 10 hours to complete. We spend about 10k yearly replacing damaged equipment not from wear and tear but from misuse. All this is time consuming and also costly. The volume of use and size of facility doesn’t help the equation. Some exciting news is that we just purchased a new Zamboni machine to be able to deep clean the floors in about an hour weekly.
Last weekend the team cleaned this gym top to bottom. We busted out the new Zamboni machine for it’s maiden voyage and made the floors beautiful! I was so excited all weekend and couldn’t wait for all the compliments when I came in on Monday. When I walked in this morning I got hit with how disgusting the floors are. Two hours into the week. And they were. There was a pile of protein powder dumped all over the floor and a huge amount of dog hair in that area. No mention of how clean the rest of the gym was. I felt defeated. Totally defeated!
This got me thinking. It’s time to talk about it publicly. We, that’s right, I said WE have the coolest treehouse in town. That is a fact. We are pioneers with my coach Neal Thompson in all of New England. Every CrossFit gym around us, all the people whose lives have been changed with CrossFit is because of your cool treehouse. Our community is the catalyst. We have never strayed from our approach. If our community wants to continue to be the coolest treehouse we need to take more ownership and have huge pride in who we are and what we stand for. If there is something that you don’t like please bring it to our attention. If we don’t know, we can’t do anything about it. We are going to put up the suggestion area. Communicate what’s on your mind to us! We care and will do everything we are able to find solutions. We are implementing the “Cleanest Gym on the North Shore” proclamation. WE are going to do everything in our power to back that up. From this day forward, all equipment gets cleaned after every use. Chalk stays in the buckets or does not come out. All band aids, tape, freeze pop plastic, food, drinks and anything else in the facility will be policed by the members at the end of class. We are going to take ownership and pride in our treehouse culture. I love this place and the people in it!
Stay positive, never look at the negative in things and don’t let others drag you into their negative thoughts. Recognize joy stealers and speak up! Hit them with a fresh dose of Positive! That is most likely what they needed all along!
The Coolest, and now cleanest, Treehouse in Town!