We grew up loving fitness. Mike played college baseball and spent hours in the weight room starting at the age of 14, and I started teaching group fitness classes and personal training before I had my driver’s license.
We met after college while living in the same apartment complex. I was teaching third grade and Mike worked for Abercrombie and Fitch (which is incredibly funny to me now). We continually saw each other in the small gym at our apartment complex. Mike started to run with me… every day… for months (and if you know Mike, he is NOT a fan running!) before asking me out on a date. Fast forward almost 15 years later, we will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary this year and have two little boys. And Mike hasn’t run with me since.
In 2010, after 15 years of teaching group exercise classes, I started CrossFitting. I fell in love with it instantly. Mike was hesitant to join me as he “wasn’t into working out in groups” and “no one could push him harder than he pushed himself.” Ha. After a few months, I finally convinced him to come to a class. He did the warm up, threw up, and laid in the grass for the remainder of the class. (Functional fitness was not exactly a part of his body building regimen.) He was hooked. We both were. We loved competing against each other in WODs.
After the birth of our second son in 2012, it became increasingly difficult for us to CrossFit as our box didn’t offer childcare and we often hit terrible traffic trying to get there in the evenings after work. Traffic and a newborn did not mix. We decided to build a garage box so that we could continue to CrossFit around our new baby’s schedule.
It turns out that CrossFit is not much fun by yourself. Mike and I could no longer train together because one of us had to take care of the boys. So, a few weeks in, I started inviting friends over to workout with me. Mike had his Level 1 and would program workouts for us. A few friends that August turned into 60+ friends by December. We were suddenly running a CrossFit out of our garage. Mike coached a 6am class before he went to work and a 6pm class when he got home. We didn’t charge anyone to workout in our garage… it was just a group of friends… friends of friends of friends… who wanted to CrossFit. It was frigidly cold. We packed in. Ran heats. Shared two squat racks and two pull bars. It was the best of times.
It all happened organically. It felt kismet. There wasn’t a box in Cornelius, the town just south of where we lived, and we found a 100 year old vacant building that could be up-fitted. We took a leap of faith. Mike quit his job and I got my Level 1 so that I could help coach too. My dad and my brother ran a whirlwind up-fit of the vacant space and we were up and running in February of 2013.
Word of mouth took us from 60 “garage” members to almost 180 in our first year. Just as we outgrew our garage, we outgrew the 100 year old building in a matter of months. It was scary, but we took another, even bigger, leap of faith and built a new building (June 2015) that will be our forever box. A box that houses THE BEST CrossFit community in the world. A box that we are proud of.