I’ve had the honor of knowing Bekah Dilworth, co-owner and coach at Violet Community CrossFit, for over a year now. In that time, she has taken ownership of, moved and reignited a CrossFit community. Below, she answers what opening an affiliate is like and what her perfect WOD would be.
What is your background with CrossFit?
I started CF in Fall of 2011. A ref friend had opened up a box nearby and talked me into it. Like lots of people, I was nervous. When I played sports, my strength was my smarts and strategy, not my raw athleticism. So now putting myself in a position to just be an athlete was scary for me. I was working as a personal trainer at the time in a globo gym, and my owner friend wanted me to start coaching CF with him. But he said I had to “walk the walk” which meant committing to doing it myself. Plus like a lot of ex-college athletes, I was having trouble doing things on my own and getting that competitive fix.
So with that as motivation, I finally went in for my first WOD. 21-15-9 of dumbbell thrusters and box jumps with a 400m run each round. Looks easy (and short) on paper but I was shocked at how challenging it was.
How do you feel that CrossFit has impacted you?
CrossFit is my safe place and my therapy. If I don’t workout for a few days in a row, I really start to notice my attitude / reactions to people / situations start to digress. Am I a better athlete now? Absolutely. But the real change is the routine of working out and how I feel mentally and emotionally. When I workout (I’m a morning wodder) the whole day is just set up better. I tend to move more through the day, even though I have a primarily desk job, I tend to eat better, I have more patience and understanding with people. Life is just so much more balanced. It’s also fascinating to see the opposite effect. When I don’t get to the gym, I am lazier, sloppier, grouchier and generally less productive the rest of that day.
Tell me what it’s like to open a CrossFit affiliate. What are some of the nuts and bolts?
To no one’s surprise, it’s the details. There are so many tiny hoops to jump through to be official from the perspective of the federal and state people. Other things I wasn’t fully aware of was the domino effect. I need to do this one thing, but it depends on another form to be filled out and that form can’t be picked up until this info is submitted and everything takes 2-3 business days. Very satisfying to find that first domino and see the rest fall into place.
Its also a bit complicated to balance the CF processes with the general business processes. Each entity has its own set of requirements and procedures so you constantly have to make sure you are keeping up on both of them
Violet Community CrossFit has been open for a month as of this writing. What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
The challenge for me has been prioritizing. Prioritizing what should project or activity should be next. There are so many ideas and plans floating around. It’s been tough putting some things on hold until we have the time to properly devote to it. You don’t want to start 5 different projects and keep jumping from one to the other without finishing one.
What’s been your favorite part of being an affiliate owner?
Honestly I love the behind the scenes work. Getting a new email filter set up or automating a bill or entering WODs into BTWB or making a new excel sheet is so rewarding (weird I know). It’s also been great fun working and collaborating with the City of Pickerington and other local businesses. It’s a big wide world out there and we are excited to be a part of it!
My other favorite part has been seeing the community come together to make it work. SO many people have contributed their time and effort and talents to making the collective great. From moving equipment to cleaning mats to putting together the rig to hanging plywood to painting to organizing to shopping to videoing to muraling to researching to posting to liking posts to participating. There is NO way we would be where we are right now without the help and support of all y’all.
You also coach most classes right now. What’s your favorite part about coaching CrossFit?
Whoo boy. I have been coaching in some capacity for my entire adult life. It’s something I love to do and I look forward to each day. I NEVER get tired of seeing the lightbulb go off when someone grasps a concept or finally puts complicated movement together perfectly for the first time, or when someone gets a basic skill down and their confidence just grows. I also simply LOVE watching members start to connect with one another, independent of me or CF talk. Just connecting as people.
I know you can’t make promises or predict the future, but what’s your vision for VCCF? Big plans?
Always plans. Our goals are to branch out in order to serve more types of people (such as youths) and bring our community feel to Pickerington at large. We also want to connect in deeper / different ways with the members that are already here.
Also some new challenges and events are in the works.
Fun question: if you could have a WOD named for you, what would it be named, and what would it be?
Hmm, excellent question. I like chippers and rounds for time (opposed to AMRAPs) best. Favorite movements are wallballs, power cleans and HSPU. I love movie quotes, lines from books and comic strips. So lets say…
“Emotional range of a teaspoon”
5 rounds of
-11 Power cleans 95 / 135
-16 Wall Balls 14 / 20
What makes the VCCF community unique?
I would hope our community is not THAT unusual, but I can’t speak to all boxes. I love how the stories fly during class. We have some outstanding storytellers and senses of humor. We have successful people. And I don’t mean they make gobs of money, but they produce quality work in their outside life. Our people have a wide variety of jobs. I also adore the amount of children our box has. I know that’s not unique in of itself, but its so fun to have them around. I love our members willingness to be open and authentic. I love the inside jokes and nicknames. I love the great cooks we have, potluck parties are not to be missed!
Mostly I love how people keep showing up and putting in work to be better. That “better” will look like dozens of different things to different people and that variety is exciting to me.