Affiliate of the Month: FitHAUS; “More than a Place to Workout”
When Katie and Matt Stahl took over ownership of FitHAUS in Long Lake, MN in 2017 they decided they wanted to be more than a place to workout.
They wanted to be a community that steps up and helps those in need, a community that raises money for causes they believe in, a community that ultimately gives back to people in their local community to improve lives beyond physical fitness.
Creating a community like this meant they couldn’t do it alone. So in 2019, Katie and Matt brought on their friends—Nicole and Stiles Anderson—as co-owners to help them run the gym.
- “We found (our values) were very aligned across the board, and I think that just translates into business, as well,” Matt said about why the two couples decided to team up as business owners four years ago.
What they have achieved together: On top of being busy gym owners, the two couples are raising seven kids between them, yet they still find the energy to make sure their team is always the first to step up to start a meal train or raise money for a member going through some kind of adversity.
- Further, each November, their community donates to a local food shelter, and even more impressive, they have raised $135,000 for different veteran’s organizations by hosting Murph for their local CrossFit community on Memorial Day the last four years.
- Finally, FitHAUS has also become a second home for the local chapter of the Phoenix—a non-profit that provides fitness opportunities to those in recovery from substance use disorder. For the last three years, the local Phoenix community has been training together three days a week at FitHAUS.
When they were approached about the Phoenix community training at their gym they “didn’t even bat an eye,” as the opportunity fell right in line with their mission to be a place where people can “find different connections,” Nicole explained.
- “Our gym is obviously a place to workout, but supporting community and making an impact is really really important to us, so being able to offer up our space to a community like (the Phoenix), where they can practice wellness and have (provide) support was a no-brainer,” Nicole said. “Wellness is really important, fitness is really important, community is huge, but just giving back is a huge part of what drives us.”
The results of having the Phoenix community at their gym has been a powerful one. Not only have some of the Phoenix members become regular paying members of the FitHAUS, the opposite is true, as well. Some of their existing FitHAUS members, who are also recovering addicts, have since become part of the Phoenix community, which has made “a huge impact” in their lives, Katie said.
Most recently, the Phoenix showed up on Memorial Day with more than 40 of their members, who tackled Murph with 200 athletes from both the FitHAUS community, as well as athletes from nearby gyms.
- “(The Phoenix) said it was one of the coolest things they have done as a group, for them to come together, support something bigger, but also be united as the community that they are, that was really cool,” Nicole said.
The big picture: As many gym owners say, “You don’t open a gym to become rich.” And while the Stahl’s and Anderson’s say it’s still possible to build a financially successful business, which they have done, for ultimate success and long-term fulfillment there needs to be a greater purpose.
Four years into their gym ownership journey together, the Stahl’s and Anderson’s are living their bigger purpose and they couldn’t be more proud of the community they have built with “an amazing team of people that see it the way we do,” Stiles said, adding that they have 13 coaches on board their team.
- “Yes we are CrossFit box, but at the end of the day it is about how we do have an impact in this community, and how we can make people’s lives better,” he said.