I’m a former United States Marine. I served with 2nd Battalion 8th Marines in Weapons Company (CAAT-Bravo, MAP2, and Scout Snipers). I deployed with 2/8 to Iraq twice, once in a combat zone of Kharma, Iraq. During my time in Iraq our unit would receive attacks from insurgent forces on a consistent basis. I and the warriors I served with, came close to death multiple times and some lost their lives. To escape the chaos of the battlefield many of us would workout to relieve stress. I would personally find escape through running any way possible. Even if it meant putting on my iPod and running in my head. I ran in place in our forward operating base, I would run on the treadmill back at the main base, or at night to run around the compound.
When I returned to the states my passion grew tremendously. I signed up for some running races and eventually it turned into me doing my first triathlon. Since then I have completed one Ironman, three half-ironmans, and multiple other shorter distance triathlons. I have also completed 1 non-sanctioned ultra-marathon, 3 marathons, 4 half marathons, and numerous shorter distance running races.
This was a very hard deployment to come to terms with mentally. After the deployment, many of the members in my unit were overcome with Post-Traumatic stress order (PTSD). My main motivation to compete in triathlons is to push hard because my brothers have paid the ultimate sacrifice or have sustained serious injuries. I want to show them there is nothing we as humans cannot overcome. I’m pushing myself right beside them through some of the most grueling races on the planet. Every time I put my goggles on, clip in my bike shoes, or tie my laces I think about the guys I served with. I also run races with dog tags of service members that provide me with motivation as a constant reminder, when I’m hitting a low point throughout a race or even hitting the wall.
My promise to myself is, I will continue to push myself every day beyond the limits that I thought were possible and never quit because something is too hard. Some of my fellow warriors no longer have that option to push, so I will push the limit for them. For those who are living but dealing with an injury, I will show them it is possible to push through the hardest part of their life. We will make it as a team!
Our passion for CrossFit started back in the heart of CrossFit – San Diego, California. Chase was introduced through a gym located in Encinitas, while I was introduced to the potential of the sport in Carlsbad. After Chase and myself joining CrossFit 760 in July 2011, two individuals going hard at the gym, we met.
Aside from us having a mutual respect for the sport of CrossFit, we were both previous endurance athletes taking our training to a whole new level. Chase being an Ironman Triathlete, Ultra-Marathoner and United States Marine Veteran, he had a huge advantage towards a competition we both had signed up for – CrossFit Frogman. CrossFit Frogman is designed to test athletes in AND out of water. And how the heck do I learn how to competitively swim? Yeah, I tried beating my sister’s butts swimming the length of the pool half “grabbing the apple”, half backstroke, half breaststroke – but how do I compete like the guys in the Olympics? That’s what Ironman Triathlete Chase was for!
We trained, we ate sushi, he visited me at D Street for dinner (and tipped me good!), we made paleo meals, we watched movies, he was my apple cutter while making my Grandma’s homemade apple pie, we watched red tide on the beach – and yes, we were just friends. Friends with the same dream to someday own a gym.
Once December 2011 hit, Chase moved to Hawaii to take a new job and I was back in San Diego doing my thing, gaining experience shadowing in my CrossFit gym, taking classes at school to learn the movement of the body and further gain knowledge on the sport and the healing remedies of everyone’s bodies. After months of skyping, texting, sending snail mail and flirting long-distance, we decided this whole ‘friend thing’ wasn’t really for us. WE HAD TO BE TOGETHER.
He had to move to San Diego, I had to move to Hawaii, or we were to do the whole long-distance thing for a few years. Wait, what? A FEW YEARS? No thanks, I chose Hawaii.
In May 2012, Chase attempted to open a gym in Kaneohe, HI. He had the loan all set and was checking out a few buildings. Little did we know, he would drop a 100# KB on his toe and be on-the-bench searching while visiting me in California the same weekend. By the time he got back, the building he was surely set on had already been snagged by a new gym, CrossFit Kaneohe, which is a part of CrossFit Oahu. Attempt number one shot down. God haulting us? Possibly.
The second attempt was almost a for sure, exciting, promising opportunity – one problem; no lighting in the building. After briefly going through round a bouts and contract ‘negotiations’, the landlord finally came to the conclusion that he didn’t want that type activity in his space. Crap. Now, in Hawaii there aren’t many locations or warehouse buildings to rent from. They are far and few between – and we realized this was really crampin’ our style.
A few months later, come August 2012, when I took the leap of faith to join him out in Kailua, we decided on buying $3,000 worth of equipment to train athletes in the local park. Pohakapu Park was our number one choice; pullup structures, benches, large space – SCORE! We started training there for a few weeks and little did we know, daylight savings time was slowing creeping upon us. We needed to find a location with lights once the winter season started of zero daylight past 6pm.
Luckily, we found a basketball court playground literally 1 block away from our studio home, which had lights starting once it got dark out. We were training there and things felt RIGHT (for the circumstances). Then, the little league football coach approached us about getting a permit. Permit…NOT GRANTED.
The tail end of living in Hawaii, I tore my ACL and needed to have surgery back in Wisconsin. We made the decision to move back to the mainland, get surgery, get married and figure out our gym dream. While hopping from a few different gyms, we knew we really needed our own.
Our drive for life, adventure and what the everyday athlete gets thrown at them is what we live for! We love seeing PR's, we love seeing better form than the day before, and we LOVE seeing the gym be turned into your daily routine whether it be hiking, climbing, picking up the newspaper or kickin' up into a handstand. We want to fix people’s poor mentality on fitness and the “whoo is me Eeyore attitude”. We want to cure athletes that are afraid to ‘get back in the game’. CrossFit is not for ‘those in shape’. Every single person – big and small, coordinated or not, needs to start somewhere – that’s what we’re here for. We literally live when we can bring a broken person in the gym and make them feel new again!
On a normal Tuesday in December 2013, CrossFit One Shot became a reality. We were determined to start our own facility after a long-yearning for. We decided to look for a space - my dad found 1545 Cornell Rd Suite 6 and told us to just go check it out. We scoped it out on a Thursday, signed the lease, and ordered $25,000 of matting and equipment by Friday on our way to the airport to go visit Chase's family in Florida for Christmas. One week of vacation and we were in the gym by the following Saturday getting the keys, painting the office and starting to play gym set up. January 1, 2014 we opened our doors and have never looked back. This gym and family that has been created, has been THE BEST DECISION OF OUR LIFE.
After being in our first space for just over 4 years, we were busting out of the seams in what once seemed like such a perfect, large space. We started to look into new space options and that’s where 1277 Cornell Road came to light. Our 5,000+ sq ft building has granted us with the opportunity to give people a clean, beautiful space to work out in. We love that it’s the perfect blend of rugged and refined. Although we’ve changed our location, one thing has remained the same – WE ARE HERE TO USE FITNESS AS THE GATEWAY TO CONNECT AND CHANGE PEOPLES LIVES.