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People enjoying conversation in a CrossFit gym

Inside the Box: How CrossFit Builds Strong Communities


CrossFit gyms, or “boxes,” are more than just places to train. They’re spaces where athletes come together to push their limits, support one another, and share their successes.

Every box has a unique story, but they all share a similar purpose: creating an inclusive community that celebrates athletic ambition.

When you step inside any box, you’ll be welcomed with open arms, whether it’s your first foray into CrossFit or you’re training for the CrossFit Games.

We wanted to share the stories of three unique boxes and their founders: Jesse Bifano of Squamish Barbell, Troy Straith of CrossFit BC, and Simon Damborg of Raincity Athletics.

So, get out there, train hard, and you’ll be rewarded—you might just find your new favourite place to hang out.



Jesse Bifano: “We opened this gym 14.5 years ago.

How I got started… My friend sent me an email and said check out this website, that was

I mean, it's still so, so damn good. It just works better than everything else.” 

Troy Straith: “We got into CrossFit because it's just the most functional fitness training there is.”

Simon Damborg: “When we opened, we only ran beginners classes. 

We didn't actually allow any existing CrossFitters to join because we knew we wanted to build our community from the ground up.”

Troy Straith: “We just enjoy seeing the average person walk in here and we change their lives.”

Jesse Bifano: “It felt like a piece that really drew me in for how effective it was.

You could see the results very quickly in what we were up to, and just the physical and mental challenge of it.”

Sophie Straith: “I think the best part is you see people walk in from their days and you can tell that they're a little bit down just from stress of life and everything.

And as soon as they're here, they see their friends, they just hang out together, work out together.

And by the time the hour is up, they're out and they got the big smile on their face.”

Simon Damborg: “The communities inside are awesome no matter where you come from and anything that I can do to connect those communities with each other, I'm here to do it.”

Sophie Straith: “It's been pretty cool to see all the different friendship groups that have been created here and we've had families created here, babies, everything.

It's pretty cool just to see the whole outcome of everything at the gym.”


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