CrossFit Liminal Makes Transition a Positive Thing
Deep in the heart of Georgia lies a small town with a big heart. For the past twenty-five years, Clarkston, GA has welcomed thousands of refugees fleeing 40 different nations and speaking nearly 60 languages.
But the city has become more than just a place to stay for these refugees and CrossFit Liminal head coach Nick Johnson is making sure of that. This year, he set out to provide people from all walks of life with the opportunity to be part of a community and live a healthier and happier life.
Finding fitness: In 2017, Nick Johnson found himself out of shape and overweight. A former high school athlete, he was looking for a way to pull himself back to what he used to be. That’s when he found CrossFit.
- CrossFit helped him reach fitness levels that he’d never experienced before, even as a high school athlete
One big thing: In 2019, Johnson started a free gym out of his garage to provide the local refugee community with a way to get started in functional fitness. While he was able to afford a CrossFit membership, many of his neighbors did not have the same privilege.
- “I knew my neighbors, many of whom are refugees and new Americans, faced cultural and financial barriers,” said Johnson about turning his garage into a functional fitness gym.
- “CrossFit levels the playing field. It doesn’t matter where you come from, how much money you have, whether you are an elite athlete or a beginner. When we are on the gym floor, we are all challenging ourselves to be better,” added Johnson.
Expanding beyond a garage: As Johnson began to see more and more people without access to any sort of fitness or nutrition program due to financial constraints, he realized he needed to do something bigger than his garage gym program.
- He opened CrossFit Liminal in the fall of 2020 as a place where anyone was welcome regardless of their background or financial status.
- “The concept is pretty simple,” explains Nick. “Currently we operate with a pay what you can fee for those who can’t afford CrossFit, and in the most basic form, our ‘typical’ CrossFit members supplement the members who cannot afford a higher fee.”
- “We also do a fair amount of fundraising for scholarship athletes,” Johnson added about how they bring in enough money to support the gym.
More than just a name: When opening his affiliate, Johnson decided to choose a name that was significant to what the gym represented for them and their members.
- “Liminal space is a transition space. It involves moving from one state to another,”
- “Liminal space brings us face to face with who we are. If we let this space do its work in us, it will shake us out of our old habits and birth something new. Deep community is formed here and deep transformation takes shape,” said Johnson on the significance of the name.
The big picture: As CrossFit LLC and the broader community of CrossFit athletes moves forward, it becomes more and more important to provide everyone with a place for fitness regardless of their background or financial situation. CrossFit Liminal provides a shining example of serving a population that otherwise would never have had this opportunity.
- “We have a healthy mix of all types of people, from all ages, all abilities, and all life journeys. We seek to continue to grow in cross-cultural humility as well.”
- “There are so many people who have been changed by CrossFit that want to give others the same opportunity.”