Whatever You Do, Don't EVER...

by Rob on December 15th, 2015

Steven won "Best Holiday Sweater" for the evening, and Becca approved the voting.
I can remember several pieces of somewhat universal advice from other affiliate gym owners during the time when Arena Ready was in its infancy.  When slightly jaded people who were once in your shoes learn you're trying to build your own place they tend to recite the things (often in an unsolicited fashion) they wish someone had told them before they "had to learn it the hard way" themselves.  Some of these such things we heeded, and others we decided to ignore and go our own way.  One emphatic notion from several experienced owners was, "Whatever you do, don't ever host a holiday party at the gym.  EVER.  No matter how much you love the members, and how awesome the people are during training hours, it just doesn't go well in that setting.  People will trash the place, and it will make you mad or sad... or both."

Four holiday parties later I can say we've never been mad or sad following our gym's festivities.  In fact, we've always felt a warm re-confimation of what we already knew - we have the best community of members/athletes/people we could ever hope for, and it makes for a such a positive and welcoming environment whenever we're able to come together in a big group setting (we had over 100 people in the house on Saturday night!).  Trashing the place was not on the agenda.  Being awesome and friendly, and cool, and unpretentious, and respectful, and intelligent, and hilarious apparently was.
‚ÄčAs eluded to in yesterday's blog post below, Saturday's party was full of members and coaches, their families & kids, significant others (many of whom workout together at/met at/were married while at/had children at AR... not literally, but you know what I mean), a few dogs, some close friends, and a lot of holiday cheer.  Once again we were blown away by the sheer volume of food and fine beverages folks brought to share & enjoy, and the old classics (K&K's Chinese Chicken Salad, Mini Rex's SPAM Musubi, Cyril's whole roasted pig, The Webb Family's fine wines, Leisa's "Meat Bouquet," Senator & The First Lady's "it's gluten free so it must be good for you" desserts that give me sugar overdose, and so many others...) were joined by dozens of new and wonderful dishes and creations. Our community's culinary game gets stepped-up every year, and 2015 was no exception.  The generosity of everyone putting so much effort into bringing delicious things to share with friends really made for a festive atmosphere. 

When we weren't busy stuffing our pie holes, some old faces (who hadn't seen each other in a while) had a chance to be reunited, and some of our newcomers got a chance to get to know more of our old school peeps.  Everyone seemed happy to be able to spend time together in normal civilian clothes, and not immediately after rolling around on the floor in sweat and anguish.
Thanks to Cyril this happened once again...
Some of the kiddos watching the Warrior's first season loss How The Grinch Stole CrossFit
Baby Blair in the house! Her first AR social outing!
A good looking crew, right thurrr...
Those who left a little early may have missed out on the crowd-pleasing reappearance of the Annual Bag Game Championships and the Bottle Game Team Series.  I'm not sure I've heard cheering and screaming that loud in the gym since the CF Games Open, and this year the ante was upped as Two-Time Bag Game Defending Champion, Kate F.Sq., was pushed to her limits by the young Zuckerman girls, Ileana and Alexi.  Apparently the CrossFit Kids program is really developing some impressive mobility...  
Trust me, it's not what you think.
The Bottle Game Team Series had less drama than in previous years thanks to some newly instituted safety rules by the League Commissioner following Sparkle's near death experience last year in the championship round.  It was apparent that the performances were certainly more measured and precise, and the various styles of gameplay had evolved from complete ridiculousness to just slightly embarrassing.  Sadly, the Commissioner's feet slipped during her own attempt at the 2015 crown... maybe it was the mismatched socks...
Turn up the sound for full effect.
Even with all that ridiculousness toward the end of the night we managed to close up shop with hugs and high fives, and many folks found themselves with a few more friends than they started the evening with.  I even had to shoo people out the door, not because they were belligerent or overstaying any sort of expiring welcome, but because far too many people stayed after to offer help cleaning up, putting things away, and organizing any leftover food to give to a neighborhood friend in need.

"People will trash the place" they said.

Not our people.  Not these people.  Not even close.   
Thanks again to Coach Esterina, and to Stacey W, for snapping photos of some of our people during the evening... it was nice to have some shots of the fun, and we wish we could have included everyone (but a big group photo of 100+ just wasn't happening, haha).
I love this community.  Happy Holidays, everyone!

WOD for 12-15-15:

Pause Front Squat:


Back Squat:


For Time:
Kettlebell Swings @ 70/53 lbs
Box Jumps @ 24/20 in
Air Squats

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