Glace Bay gym owner pumped to reopen after Thanksgiving Day flood

When Keely Wadden saw the parking lot outside her Glace Bay, N.S., business filled with water last Thanksgiving Day, she was shocked.

Crossfit D10 had only been open a year when about a metre of water invaded the building during a major flood that hit the Sydney area. 

She ventured inside to check it out.

"I don't want to say I swam but that's essentially what it was like," said Wadden. "I was crying and sobbing. The gym represented so much more than a gym. To see all of that washed away was devastating."

Plans to reopen

After the initial shock, Wadden quickly came to a decision.

"It wasn't a question of, 'Are we reopening?' It's, 'How are we doing this?' It was just trying to absorb what had happened and make a game plan on how to rebuild," said Wadden.

That game plan has now come to fruition as Crossfit D10 has reopened.

Wadden checked out a few places in Glace Bay before choosing a large building on Sterling Road.

"Initially when we first opened, I didn't even give the new location a thought. Myself and Terry Jackson, one of our coaches, decided to go look and fell in love with it right away," Wadden said.

Renovations a group effort

Wadden's insurance covered the loss of the gym equipment, but the cost of the renovations to both the old and new building were not covered. 

Her friends, family and Crossfit crew all stepped up to assist in getting the new doors open.

"It's been a long haul. We've been doing the work ourselves," she said. "Without the help of members and their families, none of this would be possible. It really shows how tragedy can bring a community together."

A 'family atmosphere'

Jordan McNeil has been a member of Crossfit D10 since before the flood. He attended a another local gym while he was waiting for the new location to open and is happy to be back with his Crossfit family.

"It goes back to that family atmosphere — everyone pushing each other to get to the next level. I've been mulling the idea of being a trainer, so when they said they were reopening, I was pumped because now I can't just say, 'I'm going to do it.' I have to actually go through with it," said McNeil.

The new location is open to all those who had a membership before the flood. A grand opening will be held in June. New members can sign up at that time.