Mountain Strength – Why Are We Here?

With so many gyms and training studios around why does Mountain Strength exist? In order to talk about the Why of Mountain Strength we need to go back 18 years to 2002 when the seeds of Mountain Strength were planted.

In 2002 I was 24 years old, working in a dead end job and experiencing an early crisis of “who am I” and “what do I want in life”. I was fortunate that a friend helped me out of this existential crisis by offering me a space on his couch in Santa Monica, CA for a few months so I could get away and think about my life. It was here that I was introduced to my first fitness mentor Paul Adent.

To keep me from depression Paul would run me around Santa Monica doing push ups, and running stairs, blasting me with squats and sit ups. Paul introduced me to all sorts of new exercises as well as Yoga! He helped change my diet and my outlook on life. To say I was grateful would be an understatement. After my time was up I went back to Boston with a new outlook and quickly took charge of my life and its direction.

I went to work for a video game company and found my next fitness mentor and workout partner Jeff dePuy. Jeff was a lead artist and a former wrestler. He never missed a day at the gym and he didn’t let me miss one either. Jeff taught me that workout partners are invaluable and that your schedule was important. I quickly learned that when I thought I was having a bad day in life it would turn out to be my best day in the gym. A good workout and time away from distractions can often lead to major breakthroughs in work and in life. During this time was my first encounter with personal trainers in the gym. Often I would see them not paying attention to their clients, having their clients doing useless movements or spacing out.

I know now that this time in the gym I learned a lot about what I did not like in the fitness world. It seemed most people were not serious about training and the environment did not lend itself to positive changes in body or mind. By the end of 2005 the company I worked for was shutting down and it was time to move on. But not before I found online. I no longer had a gym membership but I had a way to seriously workout in my driveway.

By 2007 I was working a corporate 9-5 job, Teaching and training in martial arts and a newly certified personal trainer. I had spent the better part of the past 2 years working hard to become stronger and faster. I was starting to put together my own methods and ideas. This was the year that I also attained my Black Belt in martial arts. The lessons I learned during this test became the feeling known to me as Mountain Strength. A seed blossomed during this test that showed me something great is buried in us all and needs some challenge to be brought out. But how could I share these thoughts or feelings with others?

I thought at first that I should get a job in the fitness industry working at a gym. Every time I applied at a gym I got a sinking feeling. I didn’t want to be like those trainers I had seen previously. I didn’t want to water down what I wanted to share or what I thought were good training methodologies and basic building blocks of strength and speed.

The only gyms close by did not fit in with the athletes I wanted to train. I was looking for a place where athletes had goals, trained for events and with purpose. Where were the people like me?

In 2008 I found the gym with people like me, CrossFit Boston in Jamaica Plain. Neal Thompson, who was the original owner, became my next fitness mentor and gave me the space to train athletes like myself and get immersed in the CrossFit way. I was surrounded by coaches and athletes that would later become household names in the CrossFit world. I was truly lucky and fortunate to be in this environment.

After my time training under Neal I took what I learned and was ready to bring it out to others. I was confident that a mix of challenge, mindset, strength and conditioning could benefit many. Mountain Strength was started in 2008 as a way to mix all of these concepts together and help people that may not see themselves as athletes transform into what they want to be. Many of us may see ourselves as just our jobs or responsibilities. We get stuck in “what is” as time goes by and start to miss seeing the possibilities of “what can be”. We start to miss our purpose in life.

“On every level we are fighting entropy, a slow decline to stillness. Mountain Strength is a way to break out of that decline. A way to bring a healthy challenge into our lives that can benefit our mind and body. This is why Mountain Strength was created and why we endure. The way is forward. Together We Are Mountain Strength.”

Rich Borgatti
Owner and Head Coach

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