“The Magic of Mid-State CrossFit” Documentary Shows Community and Love in Local Box
Brian and Gabby Boucher didn’t have the best luck when it came to the timing of buying their affiliate, MidState CrossFit, in January 2020.
The couple had been involved with the box for years, but had finally decided to go all-in on CrossFit after realizing that Brian’s previous venture furthering his education as a paramedic wasn’t allowing them to live in the present.
Since then, the Bouchers plus a group of ever-loyal, ever-growing affiliate members having been powering through the pandemic, a changing affiliate, and coming together to build a second home for the entire community.
MidState CrossFit is featured in a new documentary by Best Hour of their Day, a podcast network, that was released on June 21. The Bouchers became part of the network through their partnership with Affiliate University, a business coaching program for affiliate owners.
- The program, which takes 12 months to complete, can earn participants 50 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) from CrossFit.
- The Bouchers say that they’ve greatly enjoyed and benefited from Affiliate University, and that it’s a large part of the reason they’ve been able to so successfully grow their business.
- “I had my L2, but I wasn’t purposeful about it, so suddenly there’s these guys being purposeful about the education of CrossFit, and I love education,” Brian Boucher said.
Trained as a paramedic (both in an ambulance and as a flight paramedic), Brian Boucher’s adjustment to life as a small business owner had some growing pains.
- “When you do shift work, there’s an on and offness. When I work on an ambulance, my services and skills are associated with being in that shift and when I leave, I’m done. I’m not suddenly still doing it. When you’re a small business owner, though, the stack of papers on your desk, they never really go away.”
While the markers of success for a CrossFit gym generally include gym population, revenue, and retention rates, Boucher has another metric that he puts on the same level (if not higher) than the others: the community.
He says that he finds small, mundane things in his everyday life that stick out to him as ‘wow, we made it’ moments as an affiliate owner. Creating and hosting Hero WODs for member’s wives who passed away, the 6am crew coming together to throw a going away party for a member moving back to Germany, and helping each other through the worst of the pandemic are all examples of what he calls “MidState Ohana.”
- “(The community) is curated by us, but to a certain degree the thing is on fire without us,” Boucher said. “We’re picking where the fire burns the brightest, but often it is the people executing on the things we said we wanted to be and they just own it.”
Ohana (meaning family) resonates so truly to Boucher and the MidState community, not only because of the ways they consistently show up for each other, but because of the “second family” nature of the group.
Parents, Boucher says, are his target audience. As a parent himself, he’s eager to spend every moment he gets with his own children and knows other parents feel the same. For this reason, kids are always welcome at the gym, and while there’s no organized childcare, the generally unregulated free play the kids partake in while their parents workout has generated tons of benefits for members (including writing their own workouts on the chalkboard).
- “There’s a meme that goes around that’s like, ‘if you don’t have a dad bod, are you even a good dad’ but we really believe that health and wellness for the family is so important,” Boucher said. “Your children watching you exercise is as formative, if not way more formative, than saying ‘you should do exercise.’”
In the opening scene of the documentary, the Bouchers address their children and explain their lives in the gym. The kids spend their days with their parents at MidState, who know that while it’s not necessarily a traditional way to grow up, it’s the best thing for their children. And Gabby Boucher says one sentence that while it’s in regards to her children, can actually be said for the entirety of the family they’ve fostered.
- Gabby Boucher: “I love you, I love that this community that we’ve built loves you.”