Hey guys, Cami here. I wanted to do a quick recap of our anniversary party last week. If you couldn’t make it, we missed you. If you were there to celebrate with us- thank you. There were a lot of things that I wanted to say, but as you know, my emotions got the best of me, and I was left with only enough time to muster out one quick statement.

But first, let me backtrack. The food was fantastic! Thank you everyone who brought something. I am still eating Frankies left over pasta salad and it is WAY better than I will admit to him. Darren was a HUGE help barbecuing. “The neighbors” made it out there which warmed my heart. Really, thinking about everyone sharing a meal together and introducing their families to each other… that’s the stuff that gets me in all the feels. The fact that some of our paths may have never crossed if YOU hadn’t decided to come in & try out a new workout routine. It’s pretty dang incredible, friends. (I’m not crying, you’re crying!)

I knew everyone had sat down to eat, and I knew one of us (I BEGGED Mitch to talk) had to say something. The truth is I’m a total sap. Ask Mitch sometime, I can cry at the silliest stuff. I’d like to think it’s just my big heart, but really, my hormones must be outta whack post BK. ANYWAY- Mitch said I had to say something. Ironically, I love talking, and don’t mind being in the spotlight- but ya’ll, this is just too much for my overly sensitive self. I walked out and saw all 11 tables full, and people still playing on the grass, and I just couldn’t rally myself to say anything.

ACT 2 SCENE 1: Brian Boucher. For those of you that got to hear Brian’s kind words about Mitch, myself, & MidState but maybe haven’t met him before… you were probably asking yourself, “who is this guy?”. Brian Boucher and I met YEARS ago (way before MidState). We met in a fire science classroom at Merced College. I remember he was late to class, loud, and had cool tattoos. I was just trying to pass the class. We became quick friends and our conversations revolved around his girlfriend (maybe fiance at the time) Gabby Boucher, and me trying to talk him into trying CrossFit, because I just KNEW he would love it.

If you fast forward to when Mitch and I opened MidState in October 2014, Brian and Gabby were some of our first friends to join. Though, I’m not sure they ever had official memberships. Gabby was our bookkeeper, but more importantly, our unofficial CFO. Mitch and I would spend HOURS every night using a dinky $18 vacuum from WalMart to vacuum up the black stall mats before we could mop. The vacuum was AWFUL. Every month, for several months, I would ask Gabby if we had enough money in our budget to buy a leaf blower, so we could BLOW the dirt off the mats, rather than trying to vacuum it up. I can still feel a little bit of the heartbreak when she would say, “sorry, not this month”. YOU GUYS- we’ve come so far!!

The Bouchers are awesome people. I didn’t mean to make this blog post about how much I value their friendship- but to say that they have been an INTRICATE part of MidState would be an understatement. My favorite story, that almost nobody knows, is when Brian & Gabby helped us get out of a bind by lending us money for several stall mats. I remember knowing we couldn’t afford to buy the stall mats that we needed to buy, and not knowing what we were going to do next. It was without hesitation that they gave us a blank check, and a hug, and told us (tears rolling down my face) that MidState was worth it. To say that this gym is built on the foundation of good people helping their neighbors, again, would be an understatement.

Back to Friday night… When Brian got up to talk & reminisce about MidState, and how far we’ve come in just the last few years, it made it hard for me to say the things that I really wanted to say. All I could really mutter out while fighting back the water works is this… It is REALLY special to celebrate 4 years with all of you, because the truth is, there have been times in the last 4 years that I really wasn’t sure if we were going to make it this far.

Thank you. Thank you for wanting to better yourselves. You were looking for a challenge, a new workout regimen, maybe a new hobby- you were looking for something on your path to personal growth when you stumbled upon MidState. When you found us, you trusted us. Thank you. I was 22 when we opened MidState. (Please don’t tell the cf kids I’m only 26, they all think I’m in my 40s, and I’d like to keep it that way, haha). I don’t have a college degree, but I do have a pretty strong intuition. I didn’t know HOW we were going to do it, but I knew why we had to try.

I’d like to wrap this up by saying thank you to our staff. Maybe you didn’t know, but we have a volunteer staff. That’s right. Our coaches VOLUNTEER their time to coach because they love this community, and they love coaching. (And they are pretty dang good at it, too). On more than one occasion, Mitch & I have walked into the gym and noticed that some new piece of equipment has shown up, or something has been fixed that was broken. It’s our trusted coaching staff that has helped us keep this dream alive. Mitch is GREAT at programming, but I know that’s not what keeps people coming back… it’s getting to be a part of something bigger than just working out. Whatever role you have at MidState I want you to know how much you mean to my little family. This isn’t just what puts food on our table, this is our reason for getting out of bed every morning. You’ve probably heard this phrase before, but it’s so applicable to the role you have in our lives. “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”. (Marianne Williamson) You are a light in our lives. Keep shining.