Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Crossfit is good for downtown

| April 7, 2021 7:45 AM

Hellroaring Crossfit is not just a gym, it is a community that was built via the hard work and dedication of Gabe and Sarah Murphy. At the heart of Columbia Falls in the middle of Nucleus Avenue the residents of our small town have access to an exceptional crossfit gym that welcomes everyone. Each new member is supported by coaches who modify workouts to meet the individual where they are on their lifelong health and fitness journey. When I first joined Hellroaring I had no idea that the gym I was joining was going to provide not only physical health and gains but a community of well-being that I have been seeking since I moved to the Flathead Valley 18 years ago.

The Hellroaring Crossfit community is made up of local school teachers, area professionals, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas and a growing community of kids. At the center of Nucleus is a physical space that is visible and available to all who want to join. Hellroaring brings tourists who attend “dropin” classes to Nucleus where they then explore shops, boutiques, restaurants, and a grocery that would otherwise never be discovered. Athletes at Hellroaring also support those businesses and are consistently encouraged to do so by Sarah and Gabe.

It has recently come to our community’s attention that Ruis Holdings is strategically pushing Hellroaring out of the space that it rents on false accusations and two faced communication. This past year has been difficult for everyone and through it all Hellroaring has done everything it can to keep our community together. Even when the doors were closed and we were not permitted in the building Gabe and Sarah checked out all their equipment to athletes and guided us through daily Zoom classes.

They lent thousands of dollars of equipment (their investment, their business) to their athletes with a simple contract that we would return their belongings when we could all return to the gym. They did this, not because their goal is profits, but because their commitment is to keeping our community together and on a path to wellness.

In the last several years I have proudly said to many, “Ruis has invested so much in our little community.”

In retrospect I feel naive; Ruis isn’t investing in our community — he is transitioning our Main Street into overpriced apartments and retail space that will struggle in years to come. Nucleus Avenue is currently a diverse place but is quickly becoming a homogeneous line-up of expensive rentals that are more

in tune with the vibe of Whitefish. Nucleus doesn’t need more retail space or housing, it needs unique opportunities to draw locals and tourists to the center of our town — exactly what Hellroaring Crossfit already does.

I have belonged to numerous other gyms and have never looked forward to getting up every morning and getting to the gym.

I am prideful that I belong to one of the coolest crossfit gyms on the planet and it is on Nucleus Avenue in Columbia Falls. My heart is heavy and my mind is reeling: Why wouldn’t Ruis want to invest more in our gym? Make Hellroaring a cornerstone of our community by investing in the health of Columbia Falls residents who are already here.

Alli Mitchell

Columbia Falls