Let us start with this: Thank You.
Thank you to the coaches, captains, support staff, and athletes for sticking with us through this shitshow. For the month following the closing of 1101 Rhode Island in March, I had to talk myself into getting out of bed. Eventually, I’d get myself up because there was work to do — that I’d let my team down by quitting.
I know I’m not alone here. I had many conversations with people going through the same thing. Because, fuck — it’s hard to get up when the most exciting part of your day is working out at a computer screen. Day after day, time after time, I’d finish a Zoom class thinking, “Is this real life?”
But we showed up because you showed up; and you showed up because we showed up. At the end of the day we actually had fun with it.
The end of the year got me feeling grateful about how lucky Cut Seven is to have the team we have. So I started a list (not comprehensive one, to say the least), but if my brain chooses not to blackout 2020, these are a few of the things — in no particular order — that I’d like to remember:
1. Cut Seven Shows Up, Building or Not
As soon as we heard we could workout outside, an athlete suggested we go back to where we started in DC: Bundy field. From there, you followed us wherever we went — from sneaking into Bundy (through a clutch hole in the fence), to Marie Reed, to precisely 6-hours’ worth of classes at Stead, to Garrison, back to Bundy, to finding another hole in the fence at Brentwood Hamilton, to Dock 5 (those short-lived, heated ventilated-indoor workouts were nice), to 14th Street, to Union Market rooftop, to finally crossing state lines to workout.
No matter how many fields we get kicked off of, we know this: If there is a workout, the team shows up.
2. You Stuck With Us, Through All the Curveballs of Quarantine
There was a second at the early-stages of quarantine where we thought we were going to be the next Peloton. So we asked you all to sign up for Vimeo, then we asked you to sign up for a group within Vimeo, then we asked you to sign up for updates on uploaded content to Vimeo, then we asked you to sign up for Youtube, Vimeo, and Zoom so we could interact while working out at home.
After writing that all down I am even more appreciative of this team and the hoops we had you jumping through. For all the type-A athletes that go here, you were incredibly flexible throughout the ever-changing scenes (and screens) of quarantine.
And to show you how sincere we are with gratitude, I present you with this:
3. You (And Your Neighbors) Helped Us Fine-Tune the Workout
Speaking of online workouts, we owe your neighbors a bit of thanks as well. Apparently all the tuck jumps, bounds, burpees, and belly downs weren’t appreciated by some.
As a matter of fact, a lot of you started to realize just how soft and cushy the black turf is. As time went on we started to see your beautiful hardwood floors replaced with thick black mats and cushy rugs.
But hey, we heard you and we modified…a little. We hope your neighbors are understanding. It’s either put up with a little banging or put up with you when you haven’t gotten your workout in. I think they’d prefer the former.
4. You Always Had Our Backs. Literally.
We received a lot of complaints this summer, fall, and winter. And to be 100% honest, this is totally our fault.
We created an atmosphere of encouragement and team spirit where now it feels weird not to yell for someone crushing their workout, or another teammate looking like they need a boost. GUILTY! We created this monster and now we are living with it, for better or worse.
With that said, we tried to control the noise. We were yelled at, cussed at, had the cops called on us, been thrown off multiple fields, and had our business threatened by enthusiastic neighbors.
During one Saturday noon workout, a neighbor came by Garrison and started cussing us out, giving us the finger, and yelling at the coach and athletes. And the team wasn’t having it. The athletes defended the coach tooth and nail, with one athlete saying “It’s noon on Saturday!”
Not that I condone confrontation, but I really appreciate the athletes having our back and considering their workout something worth defending. There is nothing better than to feel supported, especially by your team.
5. You Dealt With the Elements
Remember the time we posted pics of us workout out on a beautiful, snow covered field? Then remember when you took class later and it was an ice storm, then freezing rain? Thanks for showing up.
Listen, we’re outside! Outdoor workouts started in comfortable temperatures, then it quickly became a I-think-I’m-dehydrated-warmup to a no-I’m-definitely-dehydrated-finisher, then it got comfortable again, and now we’re slowly shedding layers as the workout progresses.
This speaks to the team and the connections we’ve made. We are literally willing to endure the sun, rain, hail and snow just to be together. For some of us, Cut Seven makes up the majority (or all) of our IRL human interaction. It’s going to take a lot more than water to stop us from being together.
6. You Proved We’re Family
On and off the turf, this team sticks together. I noticed that some of you — at least in your IG Stories — exclusively interact with other Cut Seven athletes. When Cut Seven first opened, we used to break up these little cliques and ask folks to branch out and meet new people. Now, some of you all are basically living together — and we don’t break up families.
You all are doing Peloton classes together, on Whoop teams, getting brunch, drinking wine, and having dog picnics, all with the same people you sweat with on the turf, and we love to see it. No new friends… Unless they go to Cut.
7. We Got Closer
The overarching theme of 2020 is we all got closer even though we stayed farther apart. This is the product of the times we’re living in because we were (and still are) grieving together. This past year has been unquestionably awful, and there is a shared loss among us.
Cut Seven athletes, captains, coaches, and staff refuse to be blind participants as the world goes on around us. We refuse to stand idly by — we are activists, hard workers, and leaders. We work our asses off, and it won’t be for nothing.
We welcomed a bunch of new teammates this year and they’re all kindred spirits. How do I know? Because they wouldn’t come back if they weren’t.
What I’m trying to say is this: We care. We care about what’s going on in the world, we care about the people we spend our time with, and we care about the effect we have on people we meet. Not everyone is built that way. So, when you meet someone who works hard, exercises humility, and gives a shit, you kinda want to meet them again…and again.
Cut Seven is a magnet for those people. And the more who jump on this train, the tighter the train gets.
Thank you, to the Cut Seven team, for making an unbearable year bearable. You can take the building, but you can’t take the team.