Monday, June 16, 2014

What Is A "Third Place"?

This is a big part of what made my old dojo great, and it's a big part of what makes a good CrossFit gym great.

Following the cultural move toward isolation and anonymity, the fitness industry has built gyms where people work out in parallel, sealed off from each other by headphones and personal television screens.
But CrossFit affiliates are different. Applying Oldenburg’s criteria for third places to boxes (such as a welcoming atmosphere, a diverse membership and a low-key physical space) yields a shockingly apt fit—as though affiliates were designed as gathering spaces first and gyms second.
CrossFit is not just a novel workout; its boxes offer a new community space, an alternative to the village tavern or the general store, with the power to reconnect us to our communities and to each other.

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