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In July 2012, Stockton, Calif., became the largest U.S. city to file for federal bankruptcy protection under Chapter 9. The same year, it ranked 10th on a list of most dangerous cities in the country, and it was ranked second in the state. This year, Stockton was named the third-most-illiterate city in America, with fewer than 17 percent of adults holding a college degree.

“A lot of our families are struggling financially, so the focus is on the day-to-day things, on surviving, on how they’re gonna get the food on their table, how they’re going to pay their next bill,” says Kristina Garcia, a child psychologist.

Few children or teenagers have access to extracurricular activities in Stockton. But at CrossFit 209 Sport, owners Vince Carter and Gabe Subry are changing that.

“Vince is just kind of giving these kids like a second home,” Subry explains. “It kinda keeps them off the streets as opposed to being out of school and going out and gettin’ into trouble. They’re comin’ in and they’re tacklin’ their back squat or their bench press.”

Carter says it’s about more than getting people healthy.

“We’re changing lives now. It’s a proven fact,” he says. “We could be so much more than just coaches ... . And CrossFit can do that.”

Jamill Thomas says CrossFit gives him the work ethic to hit the books—and the field—hard.

“Pain is beauty,” he says, “that’s something I have learned.”

Video by Jay Vera.

9min 22sec

HD file size: 276 MB
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Additional reading: More Than the Street: A Steve’s Club Story by Liz Wolfe with Lee Knight and Steve Liberati, published Aug. 2, 2012.

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8 Comments on “Shelter From the Storm”

1

wrote …

Great thing you guys have going on in Stockton. Lived there for quite some time and know how it can be. Thanks Gabe for the Level 1 training in Costa Mesa a few weeks ago.

2

Jay Grob wrote …

CrossFit waived the affiliation fee for life for CrossFit NYC for having the most people sign up for the Open. I think waiving the affiliation fee for this Box would be a great idea. I greatly support all of CrossFit's philanthropic endeavors (i.e. Hope For Kenya). How about the home front? This looks like a great way to give back in our own back yard.

3

wrote …

Great Story.

4

wrote …

Man oh man....what an amazing story. Keep up the great work Vince, Gabe and the 209 crew. Now if you'll excuse me I'm gonna dry my eyes and head to the gym. Please do a follow up story in the near future.

5

wrote …

Beautiful inspiring story. I might have shed a tear or two...

6

wrote …

The Box's owner amkes a very poignient example of how simple positive encouragement to young people can make all the difference. It's such an impact. See how he wells up at the thought of that encouragement from his priciple at his school. The note that his school's leader KNEW and conveyed that confidence in him, that he would do good things and be successful. That's great. I know that I convey those things to my kids but when you hear that from someone other than your parents it often times seems that much more beliveable and starts to put that internal pressure that drives ones self. Great story and obvious to note how great and all encompasing a great physical exercise program can give to a young person... it can translate to all aspects of their lives and make them continue on when it gets tough... things get tough in every aspect of your life.. DON'T give up.. YOU CAN achive and you will, but NEVER if you give up.

7

wrote …

Your story is very inspirational and relevent to all of us in the crossfit community. I too am an ex-Stocktonian and understand the challenges faced in your area. Your efforts bring new meaning to an all-inclusive CrossFit family. Vince and Gabe, you both walk-the walk by helping these young men become the best versions of themselves. By sharing what is obviously your passion, and in giving your time and talent, you provide them the role models and many of the tools that they can use to succeed in life. Matt's comment comparing his school work-load and homework (and perhaps life) to a chipper is right on. Just stay the course and don't quit. Keep up the good work!

8

wrote …

Awesome story! Don't let anyone tell you that you "cannot" do something. Eliminate it from your vocabulary and the possibilities are limitless with hard work and mental fortitude!

-Semper Fidelis

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