Great American CrossFit Journey: STAGE 1
Fievel goes North.
Hey All, now that I’ve made it up north, after driving through rain, I have made many many contacts with our CrossFit friends while on the road from Atlanta. Through this first stage on my Great American CrossFit Journey, I have gained a full understanding of the term “CrossFit Community”. We have a very strong community among our gym members at ATL Barbell and also with our other gyms in and around Atlanta, but adventuring out like Lewis and Clark, the community reaches far beyond the 404/678 Area Code. With http://map.crossfit.com/ as my navigator and my VW GTI as my chariot, I am pleased to show you where I have gone and where I have visited. This was also a huge step for me as someone new to CrossFit to just stop into gyms and randomly spark up discussions and find out information. I do have the gift of gab and enjoy just stopping in at random places and saying “Hey I’m Pete from ATL Barbell, tell me about your box.” I never got the finger or was told to leave, everyone was receptive and I feel like a legitimate member of the global CrossFit Community by everyone’s welcoming reaction to me. In my visits I had 6 Objectives. 1. Checkout a Gym that I was previously not familiar with and if I had time workout. 2. Meet people/owners/trainers and other CrossFit members to expand my CrossFit network. 3. Find out where you as members can go when you’re traveling and ease the process for you just stopping in to WOD. 4. Acquire apparel to build my CrossFit wardrobe. 5. Tell other gyms about ATL Barbell so when they’re stuck at Hartsfield-Jackson or on business up in Alpharetta, they know they are welcome to drop-in at one of our locations. 6. Channel my inner Anthony Bourdain, without the frivolous drinking, but with CrossFit.
CrossFit Discernment, Dalton, Georgia: http://crossfitdiscernment.com/
Starting out from Atlanta, my first stop was 90 miles north of Atlanta on I-75 in Dalton, GA. As I entered Whitfield County, I knew I was no longer in the urban landscape of Atlanta. There was a small town feel, and I liked it. What I liked even more was stopping into CrossFit Discernment and meeting with Owner Justin Hair. Dalton’s first CrossFit box, CrossFit Discernment has been there since June and is in the oldest existing fitness gym space in Dalton. Along with his trainer Joshua Tatum, Justin runs classes every day of the week except Sunday, and he invites anyone who is traveling up I-75 to stop in and WOD. Their first drop-in is FREE!
CrossFit in Chattanooga:
Choo Choo. I am either horrible at timing or Chattanooga doesn’t believe in midday CrossFit. I enjoyed driving up over the river and through the hills to CrossFit boxes in a new state. I did find two well set up boxes but none were open. This made me very very mad as I saw some great Jack Daniels styled CrossFit shirts. I will definitely have to stop back. Here is where I stopped.
CrossFit Brigade, Chattanooga, Tennessee: http://www.crossfitbrigade.com/
CrossFit Brigade had the awesome JD shirts, and they had a great indoor and outdoor setup, and I liked their gym presentation from the road.
Get Built CrossFit, Chattanooga, Tennessee: http://getbuiltchattanoogacrossfit.com/
This had one of the best outdoor spaces I have ever seen, equipped with astro turf and a rope climbing area, I totally wanted to WOD out on their big kid playground.
CrossFit Rampage, Murfreesboro, Tennessee: http://crossfitrampage.com/
Continuing on my rampage towards the north, I figured I would just stop in at CrossFit Rampage in Murphysborough, Tennessee. Its not pronounced Mur-Frees-Boro, its pronounced Murphysborough. Name aside, I stopped into CrossFit Rampage during their open gym workout time. They have a great space and there was a large group doing open workout with Owner Korey Akers. Korey welcomed me along with two energetic CrossFit Gym Dogs. I also met the #1 Red Sox fan in the South. It was great to stop in to a quality gym where I felt welcomed. Below is a photo where I am with a few of the members that wanted to get their picture with me. Being 45 minutes Southeast of Nashville, CrossFit Rampage would be a great box to stop in and WOD if traveling. The drop in is $15 or the purchase of a shirt. You’ll want to Rampage, I did!
IMA CrossFit, Lebanon, Tennessee: http://imacrossfit.com/
Karate, Kung Fu, Jiu Jitsu, Martial Arts, CrossFit. Just 30 miles East of Nashville sits the Integrated Martial Arts Academy. This full service Martial Arts Academy has one of the most interesting and successful pairings of Martial Arts and CrossFit together. Having the market for all places east of Nashville (until you run into Fittest Man territory) IMA CrossFit amazed me at what was going on at their facility. In one section, a group of 25 children were doing their Martial Arts classes, and in the next room a group of individuals were WODing. Trainers Kurt Mullican and Brian Fussell welcomed me and told me the way of their training philosophy. Crossfit helps their Martial Arts competitors and Martial Arts helps feed athletic and competitive students into their CrossFit program. Brilliant. This is full service, come WOD and do some Kung Fu too. Kurt also was familiar with us in Atlanta as he was at the Downtown Box over a year ago and dropped-in. They have a member who is a blacksmith, and welded their rig to the frame of the building, it was pretty impressive, and its fair to say they have probably the strongest rig in the USA.
Crossfit in Nashville:
CrossFit Nashville, Nashville, Tennessee: http://www.crossfit-nashville.com/
CrossFit Forte, Nashville, Tennessee: http://www.crossfitforte.com/
CrossFit 615, Nashville, Tennessee: http://www.crossfit-615.com/
Continuing on with the trend set in Chattanooga, I found that more Tennessee CrossFit gyms weren’t open around noontime. I stopped at a few places, all were closed. However I did randomly run into someone on the street wearing a CrossFit Nashville sweatshirt and quickly introduced myself “HEY CROSSFIT NASHVILLE, HEY!”. Her name was Emma, a trainer at CrossFit Nashville and she told me about her gym and where I could get good farm to table paleo food in Nashville (Burger-Up http://www.burger-up.com/ and Fidos http://www.bongojava.com/fido.php). She was very nice and welcomed any of our members from Atlanta to come WOD at CrossFit Nashville if they were traveling or passing through. While stopping at Jack White’s Third Man Records, I stopped at CrossFit Forte a few blocks away, they were also closed, but they have a great downtown location with plenty of outdoor space. On my way out of Nashville, I stopped at CrossFit 615. It was closed, but I was impressed by their setup and attention towards law enforcement specific strength and conditioning, pretty cool. At this point I was racing the clock before massive rain hit to get to Columbus, Ohio.
CrossFit Old School, Bowling Green, Kentucky: http://www.crossfitoldschool.com/
Headed to my third State in two days expecting to be greeted by Will Farrell, Luke Wilson, and my boy Blue, I was greeted by a vibrant and most impressive box in Bowling Green, Kentucky. CrossFit Old School, impressed me with everything they did from coaching, to philosophy, to facilities, to involving the Bowling Green community. Owner Erin Richter gave me a tour of their facilities, and introduced me to their class. Erin had me speak about what I had done so far in my CrossFit journey, so like a teacher, I gave the class a quick lesson about ATL Barbell and what I had done with Pete’s Page and my progress. One guy wearing a Georgia Tech Shirt boo’ed me for my Bulldogs hat. CrossFit Old School had a great vibe and I wish that I could have stayed and WODed with them. Their philosophy is to go mobile and do many events and off-site WODs to engage the community. Amazing idea, so amazing, they have their own DJ Booth trailer so they can take their music with them. They had coaches specialized in endurance, mobility, and olympic lifting in addition to the all around coaches, and they were all there instructing the members during the open gym time. From their member kitchen, to staff lounge, to pro shop area, and outdoor obstacle course, CrossFit Old School should definitely be a stop if you’re ever in Bowling Green.
Thats it for now of the first leg of my Great American CrossFit Journey. I will give another update in a day or so about a certain Fitness Company I stopped at in Ohio.