It all started when...
Teresa decided I needed to spend some time in the gym. You see I'm diabetic and at the time I wasn't doing very well. I had recently left a PhD program at FSU and was feeling the stress of not having a job and not really knowing what to do next. So Teresa decided I needed to workout, so it's all her fault. :)
She got me to go on Sundays to a small gym where she worked as a personal trainer. After a few visits I miraculously began to feel better. My blood sugars were getting better and things were looking up! I still didn't know what to do next, but thing were getting better. That's when she did the next thing. She gave me a book to read called, "Practical Programming" by Mark Rippetoe.
I was very impressed! Here was a guy that was no nonsense and funny too. His approach to exercise was scientific. It was eye opening to say the least. This led me to look for more information and I quickly found that he was teaching a barbell course for CrossFit in a couple of weeks...
At the cert Mark was just what I expected. Funny, down-to-earth but rigorous. I loved it. Reading him reminded me of many authors I head read during my Masters studies. Rigorous critical thinking. Great stuff! Soon after returning home the needs of finding a job pushed me to consider all my options. I had been doing some substitute teaching but that didn't seem to be where I wanted to go. I was over qualified for some things and (it seemed) too old for others.
Through my experience at Rippetoe's CrossFit barbell cert I began to look more closely at CrossFit. I was amazed at Coach Greg Glassman's writings. The similarities between him and Rippetoe were obvious but Coach Glassman didn't limit himself to one mode of training. He specifically avoided specialization. The possibilities of his approach meant anyone could be athletic and it was sustainable too! It was an epiphany for me. Previously I believed that athleticism was a group of inherent traits and that I did not have any of them. It was exciting stuff!
Soon reading about CrossFit wasn't enough. I wanted to do CrossFit, but I had several challenges. My physical fitness was minimal. Years of marginal diabetic control coupled with a life-long tendency to prefer being still and sitting had accumulated to make me pretty unfit and unhealthy. How could I do CrossFit? Glassman said anyone could, so maybe that meant me too.
First I looked to see if there was a CrossFit affiliate in Tallahassee. There was one on CrossFit's list but when I contacted them they said they really didn't do CrossFit. The more I read and thought about it the more I was determined to do CrossFit. It seemed exactly what I needed to do for my health and fitness. I was honestly concerned if I would be around to help my family since my health had been deteriorating for several years. I had to do something different other than try new medications.
So I decided to attend the CrossFit Level 1 trainer cert. This was just a bit controversial since Teresa had started me down this road she was thinking maybe I was drinking too much kool-aid. After all here I was with no job but wanting to spend $1,000 for a weekend to learn how to be a CrossFit trainer all the while I couldn't even do a pull-up. Sounds crazy!
But I believed Coach Glassman when he said that it didn't matter what your fitness level was because all workouts can be scaled. So I went to the cert and sure enough it didn't matter to anyone there that I was decrepit middle aged guy. Everyone was super nice and happy to share their knowledge. On the last day as I lay in a fetal position feeling like I was going to die after a heavily scaled (jumping pull-ups/45 lbs bar) Fran I knew this CrossFit thing was different.
The more I learned about CrossFit the more I wanted to be involved. If there was no CrossFit affiliate in Tallahassee then I would create one. This served two important purposes in my mind, first was getting to do CrossFit and the second was getting me a job. CrossFit was an exciting way to exercise and different than everything else in town. I felt I needed to make it happen. Teresa was certain I was choking on kool-aide, but she soon came around . . .
We started our little CrossFit in our garage in January of 2009. As soon as I had the web site up and it was linked on CrossFit.com we started to get calls. I knew there had to be others in Tallahassee that wanted to do CrossFit and there were! After 3 months it became apparent that the garage wasn't going to work any longer. My neighbors were complaining about the parking and the noise of weights being dropped over and over. It was time to find our first real facility.
As I knew it was getting tight in the garage I had been looking for a good space and when I found it we moved the next day. This first location was on Centerville road. It was a decent place but not very centrally located. It did have 3 large roll-up doors across the front of the building so that was nice. After the first year we knocked down a wall and doubled the space to 3,000 feet. It was better but still the ceilings were too low for ropes.
After two years at the Centerville location we moved again to our present location on Capital Circle SE. This place is bigger at 5,000 sq. ft. and with taller ceilings ropes are not a problem. We like this location a lot. It is centrally located and big enough that we do do 16 athletes with no issues.
Over the years we've had many different trainers but only two full time employees other than Teresa and myself. Jon Humberstone and Pat Deasy are awesome trainers that live the CrossFit life. Teresa and I still coach and I'm happy to say my health and fitness are 1,000 percent better than they were at the beginning of this journey. I've been known to go for a run now even without something chasing me, even a 5k or 10k too. I'm still not the athlete I want to be but I am making progress and that's all anyone can really do.
CFTally has grown over the years but will always be a place where everyone can do CrossFit and have a great time doing it.
If you have any questions please give me a call at 850-566-3269.