Most people live their lives with a healthy awareness that nothing is guaranteed, but that awareness has nothing on when life actually threatens what they mostly took for granted. About five months ago, when we first heard about a virus spreading in China, we had zero concerns about how it might impact our daily lives. Four months ago, when we heard it had spread to Europe, our interest was piqued at the ability of a virus to spread in such a way, and that was about it. Three months ago, when it was declared a pandemic, we started paying closer attention. Then it finally hit us like a freight train a little over two months ago, when Miami Dade County declared we had to shut down Soul to help stop the spread of the virus in our own hometown. We’d be lying if we said this didn’t initially destroy us. We knew we had to do it and that we wanted to handle this with integrity, but we were shook. Many of us at Soul rely on our work here as our sole income. The gym is all we have, and we were being told we had to close it for an indefinite amount of time. There were literal tears and the questions were endless. How do we continue to pay our employees? How do we continue to provide a service for our members? How do we avoid cancellations? What do we do when clients’ lives are impacted and they have to cancel to make ends meet? How do we pay our personal mortgages, rent and bills when our cash flow can potentially come to a halt? The answers to these scary questions came when we put our heads together and found our solution in developing our online programming and presence, and we haven’t stopped working on this since we first heard the devastating news of the mandatory closures. Driven by pure love for what we do, we were able to create an entire “Soul at Home” program in the span of 1 week, and our team has come together to execute it with grit and adaptability. The heart of our transition to the online platform is maintaining a positive mental attitude, which our coaches selflessly pour into everything they do to make it work. We’re putting one foot in front of the other every day to continue to provide our clients with the daily services we know they rely on, which brings us to our next point: community.

We’ve always known that our Soul community is strong, but to be honest, we never knew how strong until now. Our members’ support and understanding during this time of uncertainty has been the fuel we need to continue doing what we do, and we couldn’t be more grateful and humbled by their own ability to adapt and continue to stay by our side in spite of our services looking and feeling completely different. Every day, we have 15+ clients log in to our multiple ZOOM classes, promote our programming through social media, send us personal messages of encouragement, sign up for fundraisers, buy our new gear, join online discussions and generally keep us on our toes. To our clients, we do this for you guys. You have given us so much in the past, and now is a time for us to give back as best as we possibly can during all this madness. We truly feel like a united front with you all, and we’re working everyday to continue to be there for you as a source of normalcy and stability when the world around us is changing on a daily basis. We don’t know how long this is going to last, but we’re in this together. If you keep going, we keep going. We’re not stopping, and we’re always looking forward. We promise to continue to help you do the same.

As part of our adaptation process, we have had to take a look at our programming from a very different perspective than before because our community is no longer within the four walls of our box. In spite of loaning our equipment to paying members during this time, we’re still programming for a majority of people that are very limited at home. Because of this, we’ve had to go back to basics and figure out what should really be at the root of our programming during this time. We’ve discovered that the answer is actually what it’s always been: simple and functional fitness. With that in mind, we’ve divided our new online program, “Soul at Home”, into three categories: main, lite and flow. Main is a standard CrossFit workout, often a CFHQ or Soul benchmark. This category is for those lucky enough to have fully stocked at-home gyms. Lite is a variation of the main workout for those that may not have access to a lot of equipment, and flow is a version of the main workout for those with no equipment at all that will focus on body weight work to target the same areas as the other two versions. As we talk with our clients in our ZOOM classes, one-on-one virtual training and meetings, we’re noticing that that most important thing for everyone right now is to stay healthy and move, so we’re focusing on programming that allows everyone to be able to do that while still receiving a quality workout that, of course, has that Soul edge.

We are currently living in a very fucked situation. Our healthcare system is being threatened, loved ones are getting sick and some are even passing. Many of our jobs hang on by a thread and some of us are filing for unemployment. A portion of us risk our lives every day to be able to provide essential services as healthcare workers and providers, firefighters, police men and women and others who work in fields that help us keep the familiarity with the world we have left. At Soul, we see everything that has changed for us and our clients, and we’re realizing that our stake in the game is even more important now. We have an opportunity to still be the best hour of our client’s day during a time when everyone is desperately clinging to what makes them feel good. We don’t take that lightly, so we’ll keep looking ahead even when it’s hard and out of our comfort zone. We’re lucky enough to still be able to figure out what kind of business and community we want to be now and in the future, and we’re not going anywhere. It might look different right now, and it will look different when this is all over, but that’s only because we’re going to come out of this better than we were before. This world won’t defeat us.