A Journey Back to See Where We Started

As we are all digging out of the latest storm, some of us heading to work, some dressing kids to get out of the house for a few hours (hopefully) and some just sipping coffee watching the plow undo all the work we just did, we thought it would be fun to share with you this little bit of history. We found Rich’s application for becoming a CrossFit affiliate. We thought it was fun to look back and read about what brought us here and what/who inspired us. Enjoy!


Affiliate Application Essay:

Explain what Crossfit means to you, why you want to become a CrossFit affiliate, and what you want to achieve as an affiliate. This essay does not need to be long but it should be from the heart.

 Explain what Crossfit means to you:
Crossfit to me means integrity, hard work, dedication, perseverance, education, community, belonging, caring, growth, mentorship, giving back, and more. 

Why you want to become a CrossFit affiliate?
Becoming an affiliate will be the culmination of one long journey for me and the start of another. Being a lifelong athlete and martial artist I have dedicated myself to learning how the body works and moves. Over the years I was in and out of gyms, trying every new routine I came across. Eventually I realized that I didn’t have a clue about how to properly build strength in the body. I found myself a mentor and dedicated 3 years to his instruction inside the gym. This involved the typical bodybuilding split with tons of cardio. Being a martial artist this body building routine left me slow and unconditioned to the realities of fighting and instant explosive action. Above all I wanted to develop the body in the way that it moved.

The second leg of my journey took me to getting certified as a personal trainer through the ISSA in order to learn more about the body and training. I started my own personal training company Mountain Strength Fitness and started training personal clients. This is when I started experimenting with my own program designs for personal training. What I came up with looked a lot like a crude CrossFit type routine. I did not know about CrossFit at the time. I started looking for similar programs online to the one I was developing and came across Jon Gilson’s site when it was just a blog on the internet. (2007)

This led me to all things CrossFit and realizing that this was what I was starting to develop but it was already done. I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel. After a year of working out on my own I signed up at Crossfit Boston to dedicate myself to proper coaching. (06/2008)

Neal Thompson of Crossfit Boston gave me a great first workout that was simpler and harder than anything I was doing at the time. It was only 7 minutes long and I was hooked/sold/convinced on the program. I signed up on the spot. It’s amazing how much I didn’t know after spending years studying the body and bodybuilding.

 Since I started CrossFit my life has improved in many ways, my choices started to revolve around wellness of mind and body, my confidence in myself and my movements skyrocketed. By this time I had already done 4 years of high school varsity Track and Field, 10 plus years of martial arts, been a bouncer in multiple night clubs, spent hours upon hours in a “globo” gym, and thought I was at my peak of fitness. Working out at Crossfit Boston taught me that we can always push past our boundaries, improve our weaknesses, and learn what we don’t know that we don’t know.

Crossfit has shown to me a side of myself I didn’t know was there or I thought I had lost. The training has helped me improve the lives of all those around me by becoming a better person. I also saw this every day at Crossfit Boston in others as well. I loved seeing that wide eyed look when someone feels the movement correctly for the first time, the look of accomplishment on a PR or when they overcome the mental block that they couldn’t do something when they can. 

Crossfit means a better life to me.
Crossfit means making other people’s lives better.
Crossfit can help make the world better and this is why I am proud to be a part of it.
Maybe I sound all gushy, but it changed my life. The direction, the focus, and the quality. 

What you want to achieve as an affiliate

Becoming an affiliate will connect me to a much larger community of people that are changing lives and changing fitness as most people know and understand it. As an affiliate I will be able to fully express that I am Crossfit and that others can be too. That fitness can be fun, engaging and purposeful. 

On a Business side I feel that it will take my personal training business to the next level and allow me to achieve my goal of running a fitness and martial arts facility. Allowing me to do what I am passionate about and love to do. 

The area in which  live is 7 miles north of Boston and there are currently no affiliates in this area. This means most people currently have to travel to the Boston area to receive this kind of fitness.

I wish to bring Crossfit to my community.

Background information on yourself and any of the people you will be partnering with.
Some Background info on myself:
As of January 2010 I am 33 years old.
I grew up in Revere Massachusetts. Attended high school at Savio prep in East Boston, where I ran Varsity cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field.
Specifically The 800m (best time: 2:15.00), the long jump (18′), the triple jump (33′), and the 4×440 (59sec).
I attended college at UMass Lowell.
I spent 10+ years as a computer professional in the Dot com and video games industries.
I am an avid traveler, love the outdoors, working out, training, and teaching/coaching.
I am currently working for a financial software company in downtown Boston as a Systems Administrator.
I have studied various martial arts over the years (Karate, Aikido, Hung Gar Kung Fu) but have spent the last 10 years studying Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu under Mark Davis at the Boston Martial arts center in Allston, Ma and hold the rank of 1st degree black belt.

Information on your exposure to CrossFit (work at or exposure to other CrossFit facilities, length of time training with CF methods, etc…).
I was first exposed to the Crossfit methods sometime in 2007. I started training at Crossfit Boston under Neal Thompson and Jon Gilson in June of 2008. I attended my Level 1 certification in March 2009 at Crossfit Montclair and was re-certified on May 16th 2010 at Crossfit Morristown. 

After the first certification a fellow Crossfit Boston member Justin Keane and I started an outdoor class in Boston, MA using the Crossfit Methods. The class on average has 6 – 10 attendees and met once a week. This outdoor class was successful and received great reviews. 

Justin could no longer continue training in the Boston area so I sought out space to coach on my own. Justin has since founded Crossfit Woodshed in Littleton, Ma. For a year I sub-leased some space at a toddler tumble gym in the mornings. I started coaching here with only 1 med ball 2 small kettlebells, a few sets of Dumbbells. I slowly added ab mats, jump ropes, a few more med balls, and a bunch more KB’s and DB’s. I programmed a M/W/F/S morning classes.

In May 2010 I started up a second outdoor class with a Level 1 trainer Amber (Daniels) Lee. This time I handled all the programming and website work and Amber ran the coaching for the morning outdoor classes. These outdoor classes have allowed me to mentor another trainer, build a great community and create a successful framework for a future On Ramp class when we find a more permanent facility.

In August 2010 my lease for the Tumble gym had ended so I moved my morning indoor group to an MMA gym called Redline Fight Sports in Central Square, Cambridge, Ma. This has allowed me to work with professional MMA fighters and boxers and learn from other conditioning coaches in the trenches.

Information on past or future CrossFit events you have attended or plan on attending.
I have attended a level 1 certification. (March 15 2009)
I volunteered at the Crossfit Northeast Regional Qualifiers. (May 2009)
Level 1 Re-Certified May 16th 2010

If you will be a CrossFit Only facility or if you will offer other types of Fitness classes.
Crossfit will be the main focus of my facility, but in the future I would like to offer martial arts and self defense classes as well.


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