By Coach KJoy
5 years ago, I walked into a little store front garage like space. In it I saw wooden boxes, rowing machines, a metal structure looking like it belonged on a playground (A.K.A a rig, as I did not know the term back then). I saw coaches, athletes, and kids here and there. Walking in, I expected a workout, a sweat, and to head out the door – in and out, maybe I’d come back, maybe not.
Fast forward 5 years later, I am still at that garage like space, playing on that playground like structure, and now can put the name Illumine to it.  I can’t believe how much more I’ve gained from that once little box.
As an athlete, I’ve experienced personal hardships Illumine helped me get through.  My experiences made me look around and wonder who else in my classes has this kind of inner turmoil, like I’ve had, and how can I help?  I realized all the little things Illumine coaches and fellow athletes did for me that would brighten my day, mood, and even my perspective.  I also realized I wanted to do that for others – as a coach and athlete – every day.
Illumine’s logo is a light bulb. It could not be more perfect. Illumine brings out the light in all of us. Illumine shines light on and challenges our weaknesses physically, mentally, emotionally.  Through my time at Illumine, I have found weakness in my mobility, body weight skills, and endurance. Illumine also challenged my mental and emotional strength. 17.1  and Murph are two workouts that specifically challenged me differently than the rest of the workouts.
To me, Illumine is literal – to light up.  A place where we can open that entrance door and leave all the negativity, the things disconnecting us from the world, behind. We enter a place where we can forget about stresses, negativity and self doubt, and just work on ourselves physically – which in turn improves our mental health.
Illumine is not just CrossFit.  We have our own niche and community.  Establishing goals, creating a plan, and getting after it are priorities to the people running Illumine and the athletes. Illumine is your sanctuary is a saying we all hear from one of our amazing coaches daily. If you like Crossfit, obstacle courses, olympic lifting – come through those doors and just work. Find the best version of yourself. Feel connected to something.
Brian mentioned to us, Illumine does not make better crossfitters, but better people. Illumine to me, has made  me a better version of myself. I have experienced dark places, disconnection, so I know that it is not where I want to be. I have learned to strive, fight, and live.
Illumine lights up my weaknesses, but also shines on my strengths. I have been challenged, but always found that light to chase to keep going.
Next time you come into Illumine, know that there are athletes there trying to find their light. Be that light for them, a reason they what to better themselves, a reason to strive. Make a connection with the next person you workout next to or see in your class.  You never know who that person is wearing their masks at the gym, feeling completely disconnected. If you are one who is wearing the mask, know that Illumine is the place to be where you can find light, support, connection. 
This goal has kept me an athlete her for 5+ years and is what now inspires me to coach.
Lights on.