Together We Will Endure

Connection to something bigger.

Posted on March 08, 2021

Nine months ago Dūrātus made the decision to de-affiliate ourselves from CrossFit™. This decision was not easy. In fact, it was one of the harder decisions I have had to make as a business owner. For the previous 7 years, our CrossFit™ affiliation was made by way of a significant yearly fee paid. This fee allowed us the ability to use and market under the word CrossFit™. Although the yearly affiliate fee did not provide many practice/tangible benefits, I was able to justify the expense as it connected us to a larger community I have deeply appreciated and was a way to practice loyalty. However, I had for a long time felt that the core values of Dūrātus were not fully aligned with the core values displayed from the leadership of CrossFit™, the distance and non-interference of our contractural agreement allowed us to stay in "relationship". This all changed in June 2020, as a series of deeply offensive racist and bigoted comments were espoused and a pattern of misogynistic abuse was uncovered in the leadership of the corporation. These abhorrent actions, alongside an arguably dismissive corporate "response" and a history of our diverging value sets, made it such that we needed to step away from this toxicity.

Certainly we grieved the end of our official connection to a company that had deep impact in many of our lives. However, standing in our convictions regarding inclusivity, gender equality, the posture of humility, and the intrinsic shared valued of all human beings far outweighed our affiliation with a company. I have not once regretted the decision and firmly believe it was the right move for us. As a business, not only are we established enough to stand without the word CrossFit™ in our logo, but we benefit by saving money yearly in not paying affiliate fees. Yet more far importantly, stepping away from the toxicity of the company allowed us to put action behind the values that have guided us as a community since we have opened.

All this being said, I have lived enough life to know that most decisions are not as cut and dry as we would hope. To go one step further, I have long believed that good leaders need to continually evaluate past decisions and humbly seek repair where needed. Even though we are officially removed from the CrossFit™ world, I am still connected relationally with other affiliate owners and people on the corporate staff that I really respect. This has afforded me further insight into the organizational systematic changes made since the sale of the company last August. I have been impressed by the work done by CrossFit™ in the last 6 months. Real effort and actionable change has been made in the company as evidenced in its focus on diversity and inclusion, renewed respect for science, and work to create actual value for their affiliates. If you are curious to learn more regarding some of these changes, feel free to visit or track me down and I would love to further discuss. I applaud CrossFit™ for their intentional allocation of energy and resources toward the things that unite, rather than divide us.

As I have been monitoring this ongoing movement, I am very aware of the pitfalls of indiscriminate "cancel culture". Judging someone on actions or words without creating the ability for reconciliation is a dangerous course of action. As much as Dūrātus has always been a place of welcoming and inclusion, we have also been a space where people are allowed to grow, change, and better themselves. I believe this pattern of operation should extend beyond our membership as well. As our staff has discussed the future of Dūrātus and its connection to broader generative communities, we have not closed the door on a possible re-affiliation with CrossFit™. Additionally, we have committed to research similar opportunities for official affiliation and/or various levels of partnership with other fitness organizations. We understand there is deep value and increased opportunity when you are willing to collaborate and partner with other likeminded businesses and people.

As of now, nothing changes, but we value transparency enough to pull back the curtain and let you into the conversations we are continually having as a staff. We are not fully ready to re-affiliate, nor are we sure if we ever will be. But it seems prudent, as more time passes, to avail ourselves to the continual process of discerning if we should connect ourselves with a larger community of people with shared convictions and goals. We are not sure what the future holds in this regard, but we are sure that our staff's collective goal is to make Dūrātus the best it possible can be and we will continue to be relentless in this effort.