We believe that healthy habits promote a healthy life, and prison is an opportunity for people that have made significant mistakes in their past to reform these bad habits. These bad habits can be reformed with continuous exposure to healthy influences and training from others treating one another as responsible adults, with an emphasis on proper morality.
We strive to be the absolute best we can be, reaching the greatest of our potential. This potential is in part our physical capability, but it is heavily dependent on being mentally strong and learned. The combination of body and mind make up the foundation of our soul. Therefore, being a developed soul requires fitness in both of these areas.
Fitness of the body requires determination, and continuous exposure. It does not come easy or cheap, it requires sweat and drive. With so many men that struggle with addiction problems, a healthy fitness routine can fill that void, providing a platform to better understand resolve in an individual's life. When a man accomplishes a physical feat with a team, greatness is promoted in both.
Fitness of the mind is more important than the body for many reasons. First, the body is controlled by the mind and what the body is capable of comes down to this body-mind interface. Secondly, a brain must be in balance, academia is the greatest path toward strengthening the left-brain, while exercise strengthens the right-brain. Thirdly, without a mind a body is a corpse. Fitness is a physical representation of your muscular strength, but it is more than that: it is heavily dependent on constant determination. Fourthly, the way you speak and conduct yourself is the outward representation of the internal body-mind-emotion balance. A fit person does not leave his determination at the gym, he carries it with him everywhere he goes.
Fitness of the soul is our goal. A man that believes in nothing will fall for anything, and our goal is to develop belief in our lives. That belief stars by the recognition that life is meaningful, and that the lives of people are worth an infinite amount. We do all that we do as social creatures, and so we must respect life. Pain and misery has characterized our former ways of life, conducted by immaturity. A fit soul is willing to mature and take responsibility, in others words: to become an adult. A fit soul is quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to anger.
Influences change our lives whether good or bad, and so we strive to surround ourselves with others that use responsible language with respectable thoughts. Those influences should reflect the character that we strive for, if we are to be fit. A good influence will not support you in walking down the wrong path, they will not assist you in doing wrong. A good influence will push you to achieve your greatest potential in all three areas of fitness, and then take a greater step by doing it with you. These goals are not achieved in isolation. When you go down the wrong path, a good influence will call you out on it and point out your error, but then help you back up.
These are the things promoted in the program. CrossFit is a series of routines that challenge the body and the mind to their limits, and is community based. In this program we want to connect men in prison with the world of CrossFit, and to give them a healthy family that believes in these things as well. A network of pro-social, healthy connections. CrossFit performs workouts in honor of fallen soldiers and fallen officers. When we do these same workouts, we strive to honor these great people with our dedication and sweat. These heroes honor the community by their sacrifice, and we seek to honor the heroes by our recognition of that sacrifice. We remember the valiant things they have done because we admire great people.
Our vision maintains three stages:
Stage 1) Beginning at Limon Correction Facility as “Ground Zero”, we work to redevelop what prison is: a divided, hateful, and hopeless state of stagnation.
Stage 2) Through rehabilitation and ideological development, and accountability to others, we strive for growth in Ethics, Hope, and Purpose.
Stage 3) Finally, maintaining this same hopeful purpose upon release, we connect with a likewise dedicated community which holds that same forged ethical system. And we remain faithful to a continuing vision of dedicated world change through positive action.
Any person that has had any sort of encounter with the prison system, or has seen a prison show on TV knows that things behind the walls are often very dysfunctional. Black men don’t sit with white men, older men do not speak with younger men, impressionable men do the bidding of predators. Everyone espouses some form of convict code, but that code varies and is wholly relative. More than this, hate consumes the cells as men fume over violations they feel from the courts, the officers, and the prevalent disrespect. That fury sits deep within their hearts effecting everything they touch. Hopelessness eventually consumes their hearts as families are pushed away by the system, and relationships crumble under this death-grip, choking away all life. People are left with no family, no marriage, no job skills, no economic security, and no love. This is the time they usually get released from prison: there is a serious problem here.
But there is also a distant and quiet light which shines like a beacon in this darkness. This virtue is the element that is not seen on TV, and it is what no one speaks of to the world. This light is the actions and conduct of a few good people; their hope, determination, and maturity effecting all this pain around them and producing change. It is our experience that sometimes a person truly grows in prison, and if they dedicate to what is good during their suffering, then that goodness is a reliable portrait of a core inward belief.
This character is the rehabilitation produced by a long and challenging road, a Redemption Road which sees individuals as valuable; that sees them as redeemable. Great acts are done in an instant, but a good life is lived as a daily walk. The Redemption Road is the path that is walked upon daily. It does not exist solely upon a gym floor, rather it prevails within the cells and cell houses. It does not rest, and it is only made stronger when tested. If it is tested, it is seen as true because the beliefs and pursuits of the men have been forged by fire.
This rehabilitative process is not something hidden and traveled alone, rather it is a road walked with likewise dedicated men and guided by mentorship. Love, Trust, Duty, Honor, Encouragement; these social qualities are refined through teamwork as these teams overcome physical challenges together. It is quite another thing indeed when these teams consist of every race, age, and background. The teamwork which is developed at the gym carries over into the cell house where the coaches mentor men in academic, spiritual, and emotional therapeutic manners. Through these continuous studies and sessions, and through the teamwork accountability, real morals are built, hope is created, and purpose is found.
Enough could not be said about the trainer/mentor leadership. These men achieve this position only through a constant dedication to these principals. They begin through humility with the core belief in repentance for a mistaken past, regretful and remorseful of their previous ways and ready to pay their debts to the world. This discipline carries forth through their teaching where they must be good athletic coaches, able to critique technique, prevent injury, and program personal and team building routines. They must be respected by their peers through their conduct and adherence to the redeeming qualities of humility of which Redemption Road believes (see our motto). Most of all, their actions and conduct will be mimicked, and so they must recognize and act in view of the infinite value of each human life.
Lastly, this program begins at Limon Correctional Facility as “Ground Zero”, but we do not want this rehabilitation to stop when someone is released from prison, where mentorship is most critical. The rehabilitation begun here is carried out upon release for dedicated participants. A person is less likely to get in trouble at work than they are during their free time, when bored. And so, the community team of Redemption Road is a constant reminder of these men to succeed, knowing that their fellows at Ground Zero are counting on them and look up to them. Furthermore, Redemption Road Fitness is partnering with several addiction recovery gyms which will permit serious Redemption Road participants with gym membership and mentorship: A place like Ground Zero where principals are developed and maintained with accountability.
Redemption Road Fitness is set on changing the world. We are small now, but only in quantity. Our goal is to positively effect every prison in Colorado, and eventually the country. We are currently partnered with mentors from law enforcement, and even work with correctional officers to change lives. We encourage the respect of authority, and the value of life that each of these authorities has. We promote CrossFit methodology and regularly honor fallen heroes, military, police, and civil service members who have died for the protection and livelihood of America. We host hero workouts, and dedicate our sweat and toil to cancer fighters, survivors, and victims on a continual basis. This is the sweat that must fall while traveling the Redemption Road.