Katie started CrossFit in February of 2015. She gathered up her sisters and forced them to try it. Shortly after they all fell in love. Katie was in school for her masters at the time and we were living off of one income. CrossFit had to happen. It was on the list with the mortgage and electric bill and somehow, we just had to make it work. After Katie had been doing CrossFit for 3 months, she finally convinced me to join. Mostly because she was getting so strong and I couldn’t have her getting stronger than me! Ever since those days 5 years ago, we have continued to push each other to get better.
Fast forward 5 years. Katie had been wanting to attend a level one training, but was deterred by the cost. After a brisk, fall workout, I finally decided that the Level 1 training would be a perfect Christmas gift. In preparation for this, I phoned the previous gym owner on my way home from the gym. (Often when an experienced athlete received his/her Level 1 credential, the gym would take him/her on as a trainer.) The intent of the conversation was to see if the owner would consider taking Katie on as a coach. I also wanted to see if she could get the ever coveted zip up “Coach” hoodie as part of the big Christmas surprise.
I felt a knot in my stomach when the owner said, “Well that’s kinda tough right now.” The owner went on to say that they had decided to put the gym up for sale. I felt like I was going to puke! CFX had been our home for 5 years! She then said that Katie and I were one of the first to come to mind as the new prospective owners. I was honored and terrified at the same time!
I arrived home to my bride, cozy under a blanket, reading a book in the dim lamp light. It was here I pitched her the thought of taking over ownership of the gym. She said, “No way, we definitely don’t have time for that.” After a lot of discussion, we decided that we were ready to make a difference. We realized that this was the opportunity to help others find fitness and allow it to change their lives in a positive way, just like it did for us.
We sat down and really thought about what we wanted the future gym to look like. We wanted our clients to see results of their hard work, we wanted to help people, we wanted a group of people that ALWAYS has each others backs. After looking back on lessons learned in our lives, we also decided that this environment would exemplify our core values: Help First, Honesty, Integrity, Perseverance, Respect, and Grit. All the while, never letting bias or false promises plague us.
Our mission is:
Help enrich lives of the surrounding community through hard work, humility, and integrity.
On January 1, 2020 we officially took ownership of CrossFit Exemplify Morris. This began a rollercoaster ride of a lifetime! After just getting up and running, the COVID crisis began. We were forced to close our doors and pivot to online training. The lessons that came from this crisis will last the rest of my life.
The COVID crisis was certainly unexpected as new gym owners, however, it presented an opportunity to grow as coaches and gym owners. After the stay at home order was lifted, we emerged stronger than ever. We restructured our programs to give clients the best experience possible. Additionally, we became better coaches after at home personal training pushed us out of our comfort zone and forced us to learn more about functional movement and injury prevention to better accommodate the needs of our clients.
The team of experts that we have on our staff are passionate about helping people overcome adversity and enrich their lives. We are excited to help our clients with all of their health and wellness goals and cannot wait to see what the next 5 years has in store for us. If it’s anything like the first 5… It is going to be a wild ride!