A Sense of Belonging: A Community That Wills You to Hit Your Goals

ByAli SamieivafaJanuary 19, 2023

Everyone needs a place where they belong.

A place where they can connect with others, sharing equally in life’s joys and sorrows. Supporting and celebrating one another — and pushing each other to be better.

For both members and staff of the affiliate, that place is Auburn CrossFit in Auburn, California.

“I can’t overstate how meaningful it is,” says member Dane Sanders, who found friendship in the gym after moving across the state. “These are my people.”

What brings them together, he continues, is a common ethos.

“What we practice at CrossFit is hard choices, and the result is we get a better life,” Sanders says.

It’s a practice that does not discriminate. Athletic or deconditioned, young or old, if you put in the work, you’ll get results — and you’ll be supported every step of the way.

“Everyone welcomed me,” says 93-year-old Auburn CrossFit member Annie Holmes, who joined the affiliate at 89. “It makes you want to stay — and I did.”

With affiliate owner Cinnamon Prior at her side, Holmes made those hard choices. At an age where no one would balk if she decided to spend her days knitting on the couch, Holmes chose to be active and engaged with her community. The result? At 93, Holmes can get down on the ground and back up unassisted, do jumping jacks, and squat to full depth.

“I just (fell) in love with the way my body was changing, that I was finding muscles I never had,” Holmes says.

“You’ve got to connect with other people … and stay active.”