Building Community: Friday Night Lights

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by DARIA SALAMON

“We are all in this together.”

"We are all in this together."

So, what is the impact of all this?

Element, who handles the daunting task of coordinating the almost 100 athletes, volunteers and spectators who show up for Friday Night Lights, hopes for so many things from the Open. “I hope that athletes leave these five weeks with a strong sense of accomplishment, with some clarity of where they are at as an individual, and with a whole new set of goals to work on. I hope that our community gets closer. I hope that they get out of the Open what I did: a confidence and pride and a motivation to be the best they can be.”

Coach Quinn Taylor, who assists Element with Open operations explains,

“When someone new walks into our gym for the first time to support their friend or family member doing the Open and witnesses the atmosphere, the camaraderie, the passion, the fight, the grit, the ‘never quit,’ I’m just proud to be part of something this big, this significant, this life changing.”
Coulson points out that the community has so many strengths, but it’s when we come together that it creates magic.

Matt Winchar wants to put people in a place they’ve never been before. Whether it’s finding the dark place in a workout, or performing a movement they didn’t think they could do, or even just making new friends — which for some can be scary.

After four years of CrossFitting, athlete Jaimie Swailee finally signed up for his first Open. “I love the atmosphere and seeing others do so well. I love pushing my body to what I think is the limits. I just fucking love it all!”

The smiles, the social media posts, and the PRs speak for themselves.

They will continue to throw down every Friday night at Undefeated CrossFit throughout the Open. It has united the box. Friendships have been forged, the spirit of competition has been embraced, and teamwork prevails. But you get the distinct feeling that the magic will continue long after the last 16.5 scores have been posted. They really are all in this together.

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