You may have driven by this gym in Tyler and seen people running along the road, people of all ages and all sizes pushing beyond their physical limits. “I hate the running” says Jeremy Souter, a former Navy man who says he’s in better shape now than when he was active duty. “I’m stronger than I used to be, probably the strongest I’ve ever been."
This is why even the military is jumping on the Crossfit bandwagon. “We actually get our certification at Fort Hood, and they're adopting our style of training for their pt,” says Amy Chesley. Amy and her husband Brad opened Crossfit Tyler last year. They started with a handful of clients, and now the gym can barely contain all their members.
So why do so many people love this workout? “It's like the perfect balance between having a personal trainer and going to the gym,” says Heather Bolestridge. Her and her husband, JD, met in the Navy and served five years together. But after a few years on their own, decided it was time for a change, and Crossfit is where they found it.
“I had been working out in the gym, but it just wasn't getting it done like I wanted, so I checked this out, and I love it,” says JD.
“This is the first opportunity that we've had to really bond with people like we did in the military,” Heather chips in.
Co-owner Brad agrees. “They always say the Marines don't leave anybody behind, well it's kind of the same in our workout. We never leave anybody behind.”
If you walked into their gym off the street, or a "box" as they call it, you might think it's some sort of Olympic training center, or even some sort of torture device. But it’s none of those things: it’s called Crossfit. It’s a gym that mixes cardio training, weight-lifting and gymnastics, and it's drawing people from the age of five all the way up into their 50s and 60s.
Larry Lott and his wife Joni recently joined Crossfit Tyler. At 49 years old, Larry may be one of the older regulars at the gym, but his journey to fitness is inspiring. He’s lost 130 pounds over the past few years, and Crossfit has given him the extra boost he needed to lose the last 20.
“I've had to take my suits and have them re-altered and my clothes re-altered,” Larry explains.
For those who think Crossfit is intimidating, you're not alone. “When I started, I couldn't do but 3 pushups, but the workout I just completed had 100 pushups,” says 61 year old Roger Chesley, who does Crossfit every morning without fail. In fact, he’s never missed a workout in the past year and a half.
As a reward he's lost 25 pounds and cut down on his diabetes medicine. But Roger, like many people, didn't have to jump right into the full Crossfit workout. That’s what so many people appreciate. No matter what your skill level or age, you can still workout with the group.