We Fixed Our Sign – DEUCE Gym

A sign hangs on a rusty gate at 110 Lincoln Blvd in Venice, California. The text carved into the wood reads, “motivated people only.” For a long time, that sign represented an ideal that we held, but it did not reflect reality. It should have instead read, “motivated people with an extra $200-$300 a month in disposable income only.”

The sign now accurately represents what it takes to be a student at DEUCE. The only requirement is that you show up with willingness. 

This change came from a realization that some of the the hungriest, most motivated people were being denied access and opportunity. We realized that these were people we wanted to be around. We realized that these people would enhance our lives and our community. Specifically, we decided to open the gates to individuals who had been impacted by the criminal justice system, homelessness, and substance use disorder.

Most people think that we are in the business of fitness. We are actually in the business of development, and that is what gets us fired up. We want to improve the world by helping its inhabitants become different versions of themselves. 

We believe that the process of overcoming the gap between where we are and what we want to be is life’s highest aim. 

Our work sometimes includes barbells and plates, which are merely tools for adaptation. Fitness is often the starting point, but our aim is to drive a much deeper transformation. 

To help realize this vision and better help people in the above-mentioned demographic, DEUCE evolved to include a 501c3 nonprofit, DEUCE Community. 

The organization takes an intentional approach to working with students in our nonprofit program. This approach is informed by our beliefs that:

  1. Leadership is a teachable skill.
  2. Leadership can be shared.
  3. Leadership is one’s willingness to take responsibility for outcomes.
  4. Responsibility is earned, not given.

Our process towards transformative impact begins with various touch points that introduce DEUCE Community Inc. to men, women, and youth with lived experience. These events include but are not limited to our monthly street clean-ups, free strength and conditioning classes for the community, and various training/educational experiences with partners like Mass Liberation, Amity Foundation, and Homeboy Industries.

At these events, we identify motivated individuals. Ultimately, we share our mission with key players and offer them an opportunity to take increasing levels of responsibility. This serves as an important right of passage and is vital to creating and maintaining trust and willingness in the organization. Our culture is built on this foundation of trust and willingness. 

To enable their success, those who enroll in the next level of our program are paired with a mentor who shares their lived experience. This mentor helps them navigate the adversity they are facing and determine a path forward. This is facilitated through case management, wrap around services, and curriculum aimed at developing high levels of leadership and self awareness. The mentor also ensures the correct placement in our educational, workforce development, and housing programs. Over time, these programs have evolved to meet the needs of those who walk through our gates. 

DEUCE defines success in our programs by imagining people for what they could be and holding them accountable to realize their potential. We do not use metrics like recidivism or relapse rates that call the bare minimum transformation. Such an approach starts by taking people at their worst. Instead, we utilize net transformation scores that capture internal and external change and how empowered our students feel to navigate the world. 

DEUCE Community students are challenged to begin redefining what success means to them. They are then asked to own their success so they might develop increased ownership over themselves and their circumstances. The idea is to expand their paradigm about what might be possible. Once this happens, they are the architect of their own change.

As students progress through our program, we increase their level of responsibility in the community. This starts with being asked to show up consistently. At the highest level, it looks like the person coming on as an equity partner in DEUCE or exiting the program to run their own enterprise. We help them get there by creating a manageable progression, providing support, showing them through example that this transformation will be possible, and surrounding them with a community that believes in the best in them. 

Once students move on, they are supported by an alumni network and plugged into the resources they need to succeed in their next chapter. Our students know that the process of becoming is never finished…

4/16/24 WOD

DEUCE Athletics GPP

Complete 4 rounds of the following:
8 Back Squat

Complete 3 rounds for quality of:
10 KB Front Rack Lateral Step Ups (ea)
:25 Captain Morgans(ea)

12 Lateral Plate Push Ups
6 DB Renegade Rows



Make 3 attempts at a 100′ Keg Carry for load

Paused Seated BTN Press

Then, complete the following for time:
150 Air Squats
5 rounds
15 Pushups
10 Pullups

#Fixed #Sign #DEUCE #Gym

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