In Defense of CrossFit

shannatokarsky
Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 18:03
Image
Lake Carolina Boot Camp 2009
Image
2010 Iron Curtian at
Image
The CrossFit Box 2014
Image
2016 Unbroken Athletic in our Home Garage
Image
Murph Challenge 2019

In 2009 during an internet search for some new workouts for my boot camp, I stumbled on a blog called CrossFit.com. We didn’t have any of the right equipment so we modified them and/or made our own equipment (remember our “wallballs” ?) so we could do them. For almost a year we followed this blog as a tiny group of friends, posted our times and were hooked on the bigger online community of people that were also on a mission to get better every day.

In 2010 on our way to church, after Jeremie and I moved to Florida we drove past a building with the word “CROSSFIT” in huge lettering across the top. I probably did my obnoxious gasp that made Jeremie think we were about to crash, but I told him we had to pull in. I said “this is the blog we’ve been following, I didn’t know they had a building.” I called the number and Monique answered. Had no idea what I was asking but she said I needed an appointment. When we showed up she asked us our goals and what we wanted to do. We were all starry eyed thinking that we found our home also a little chip on our shoulder because you, know we had been doing this for a year. Wrong. In 7min she humbled us with the worst workout we had ever done.

Laying on the ground afterward, she graciously explained how everyone has to start somewhere and if we stuck around we would get better. We joined and 3 months later were competing in our first competitions. We traded in our beer bongs for barbells, late nights at the bar for early mornings at the gym. Literally had no idea how big this community was, how incredible the people were and that it was even a sport. We did know that we found our passion and that we would never stop growing here.

In 2011 after failing hard in the house flipping business we had to move home to Ohio for financial reasons. We had a dream to bring CrossFit to our community. We somehow found the money to get our CrossFit L1 certifications. We also found a small gym in our neighboring city called The CrossFit Box. We called the owner looking for somewhere to train and possibly coach. We didn’t have any money but we had time and he was looking for business partners. We invested years of our life learning and failing but we grew, expanded that business together we did incredible things. It was great times. Met some of the coolest people again

In 2014 after having 2 babies back to back, different business opinions and some tough growing pains, we just couldn’t make it work. Failed again. It was heartbreaking. We split ways on owning a gym to spend time with our family.

In 2016 we moved to Olmsted Falls, a dream of ours since we had kids. We outfitted our home garage and trained at home. Still feeling like we were part of a bigger online community. We posted and shared our workouts on social media. People started following. By the end of the year we had 10 people training with us.

Still not recovered from owning a gym the first time I was completely digging my heels in on the call to open something in our hometown. I literally did not want to do it because I knew the heartache I was possibly opening myself up to. And if I’m honest, I was scared of failing again. But God is amazing and His plans are always bigger. One day driving past the old fire station in our town there was a “for rent” sign. Jeremie called because I wouldn’t. We presented our business plan in front of city council, did prayer circles around the building, had a ton of help from our current gym members. They approved us. With no loan from the bank yet we signed on the dotted line on pure faith that this was our calling. Unbroken Athletic / CrossFit Olmsted Falls was born and our original plan to bring our passion for CrossFit to our hometown was a reality. Full circle. Told you God is amazing.

So here we are 4 years later. I share because our stories matter. The broken pieces and heartaches led us exactly where we are supposed to be. I wouldn’t change any of it. It’s beautiful. I am grateful for it all. Especially the people. The transformations I’ve seen and had the honor of being part of (including my own life) make it all worth it. I’m not ashamed of being part of something that has been the light for so many.

Also if you were wondering where our name “Unbroken” came from. 2 Corinthians 4:8 “we are pressed on all sides but not crushed our broken”

I can’t wait to see where we go next. My vision is huge, but it’s not mine. I’m going to let God keep the pen. My human self keeps fumbling from failure to failure, He always turns it for good.

-Coach Shanna