Back in April, Matthew Krakowski, the owner of Switch CrossFit in Clinton Township, MI was arrested for placing a hidden camera in the ladies restroom.
While news crews flocked to the gym to cover the story, members fled. That’s when head coach Mike Novak came up with the idea to buy the gym. He approached Derek Elwart, the box’s in-house chiropractor, and said, “I’m going to buy this gym. I’ll do anything.”
Yes, but it took a lot of rebuilding. Members who had already left were hesitant to come back, and for good reason.
“Whole families go here. Wives, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, kids, my physical therapy patients. Some of the police officers that are investigating the case have wives that went here,” Derek explained.
But the two were determined to keep their community intact. So Mike led free boot camps at the park five days a week to keep the community training together. As soon as the two new owners signed the lease and got the keys they began remodeling the gym.
So what happened next?
Well, members were still understandably angry. But to blow off a little steam, they gathered together and hosted a “burn party” to send their old gym shirts and letters written to the previous owner up in flames. That night, Mike and Derek revealed to the community that they had bought the gym and the new name, CrossFit Platoon.
That’s so cool.
Mike got on the phone, calling every member, personally giving them his word that CrossFit Platoon would be a safe environment. Derek is proud of how his community has rallied together in such terrible times.
“What I have witnessed being a part owner is exactly what CrossFit is about. I’ve seen people cheer the last member on until they finish and literally carry people to the end, but I have never thought I would see a whole community begging us to keep this gym open and do whatever it takes to re-open and that is exactly what this community has done. We are just blown away.”
…and that’s how one CrossFit community saved itself after one massive breach of trust.