There are so many wonderful things to say about Rebels that I’m having difficulties initiating this. The first thing that attracted me to Rebels, as we relocated to the Clearwater area from across the country, was their experience with the Functional Movement Screen. This was HUGE to me because I knew this meant the coaching staff was educated and understood how to correct dysfunctional movement patterns. AKA: They can correct your front squat, improve overhead mobility, and train to move your body optimally while decreasing chance of injury. I consider myself selective with fitness providers so without hesitation I signed up thinking it would be a healthy environment to meet people in my foreign surroundings.
My journey at Rebels commenced with a long departed athletic background and extinct confidence that had been suppressed by an adulthood of stress and worry, which toxically consumed my life. I was volatile in chasing athletic goals, to no avail. I tried it all: bodybuilding, marathon running, Olympic Weightlifting, and some CrossFit. I turned away from CrossFit and carried a looming “chip” on my shoulder that developed from groundwork of poorly managed boxes, uneducated coaches, and a plethora of stereotypes. The only thing that ever kept my interest was Olympic Weightlifting but I never managed to accomplish my goals or be consistent enough to see results. When a stressor would occur, it controlled me. In the snap of a finger, I would self-sabotage, give up on my goals, and consort with anything but my wellbeing. This was a vicious and familiar cycle which lingered for years, and ultimately led me to believe I wasn’t capable of achieving my goals. I will mention it never stopped me from setting more goals. Every attempt felt like I was setting myself up for yet, another failure. (I compare it to a child sticking their finger in a light socket, receiving a tingling-painful-shock, yet sticking their finger back in the light socket the next day because their curiosity will not be hindered—you are expecting the shock but you do it multiple times anyway). I refused to give up because I genuinely enjoy training and largely believed, deep down, was a capable athlete.
The beginning of my membership with Rebels was extremely humbling. I was very frustrated and hard on myself because I had to start at ground zero (sub-zero if you will). I frequently wanted to give up and destructive thoughts ran through my mind constantly, “I will never be able to perform a pull-up anyways” type-mentality. The Inclusive and genuine environment at Rebels is what kept me coming back. Everybody who enters (no matter where you are in your journey) has the opportunity to be coached, gain knowledge, and genuine support. Even in a box of numerous participants, I am always greeted by name, provided personal instruction (with superb visual, verbal, & tactical cueing), and receive quality instruction from approachable coaches. Rebels’ inclusive and engaging staff has established an exceptionally supportive community of athletes who encourage me and motivate me to be the best version of myself, to never give-up and keep grinding!
With experience at previous CrossFit programs, it was the opposite: an exclusive environment to only the “best” performers, nobody greeted or knew my name because I was just a number, etc. I absolutely believe in the environment Ed, Sam, and the coaching staff provide and it’s unique in that everyone can flourish personally, physically, and mentally. I have said multiple times that Rebels deserves recognition on a higher level for the community they have created. Everyone has the opportunity to be better and it’s because of the owners and coaching staff. This is the first time I personally witnessed an environment that proves CrossFit is for everyone.
I have been with Rebels and living in Florida for 8 months now (seriously, my spouse strongly encouraged me to find a gym the very weekend we moved to Florida and drove me around Clearwater to gym shop before we unpacked the Uhaul). The holistic experience of Rebels has been life changing for me! I have finally learned to believe in myself and acquired a mentality that “no challenge is too colossal to overcome”. It will be tough, it will hurt, but if you can just push through the hard stuff—which will inevitably end; you will be a stronger and better person physically and mentally. I am happy to express, for the first time in my adult life, that my fitness journey is no longer an oscillating bungee jump cord—THANK GOODNESS! I I genuinely thank the Rebels coaching staff for the environment to openly communicate my goals, my flaws, and for the guidance to help me overcome barriers. I ALWAYS knew I had the potential to be a strong, confident, capable woman (which is always a work in progress). I just had issues bringing it to the surface.
So with that I say THANK YOU for the community, education, encouragement, and genuine solicitude you provide for your members! Personally, I thank you for helping me find my lost qualities of confidence, motivation, and passion—I’ve been hunting them for years now. Everything that has improved in my strength, performance, and physique is a direct reflection of the trust I have in your staff and the influence you’ve had on my internal development.
With Humility and Gratitude,