While many people were hunkering down during quarantine and resigning themselves to lots of snacks and couch time as the world outside seemingly ground to a halt, the members of CrossFit Wall Street were recommitting to their fitness goals.
Owner and head coach Keith Hurd considered it imperative that the community he oversaw at 60 New Street stay together. He immediately zeroed in on social media as a medium that he could use to bridge that gap.
“I kept our members engaged by posting the scores for their workouts on Instagram so that they could stay accountable to each other and also to me,” Hurd told the Downtown Alliance. “I was emailing everyone every week to week, and if I didn’t hear from anyone I would just give them a call to see if they were struggling or getting fed up.”
Since the Wall Street location reopened in September, Hurd said social distancing has been a breeze. Even before the pandemic hit, the industrial-style facility was already set up with painted floor lines, spaced six feet apart, to ensure that members didn’t crowd each other during workouts. The space isn’t designed to house more than six to eight people at a time anyway.
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Like other gyms throughout the city, CrossFit Wall Street finds itself subject to the whims of elected officials and at the mercy of surging case numbers as the winter months approach. But Hurd said that if a second citywide shutdown on fitness centers does occur, it’s better if it happens during the winter months, when community members are more likely to be traveling to visit family members or letting their fitness regimens fall by the wayside in favor of indulging over the holidays.
For Hurd, who helped to open the gym downtown in 2012, the whole situation is reminiscent of Superstorm Sandy, which forced the facility to shutter for the first time just 30 days after it had opened its doors. In the intervening years, the neighborhood has bloomed, with supermarkets and family dwellings sprouting up where corporate offices once stood. “Over time it became this really cool community down here where it was more hustle bustle, where after 6p it wasn’t like a ghost town anymore like it used to be,” Hurd said.
“I feel strongly that it’s going to come back,” he added. “In six to eight months I think we’ll be able to look out at the neighborhood and say, Wow, remember how quiet it was? And now look at it, the hustle’s back. The families and the businesses are back.”