The JC Colosseum est. 2009

As with all things great, The Johnson City Colosseum has an amazing story. As a group, we have been around since 2009. As the areas first and only CrossFit certified coach at the time, I took up the role of director and head coach at the areas first ever CrossFit gym, CrossFit Johnson City. In 2009, CrossFit gyms were as well known as gluten free pizza, Joseph Kony, and Twitter. In other words, in our "neck of the woods", few knew about it. Although only 20 years old at the time, I already had a years experience of gym management, two years personal trainer experience, and in the middle of attaining a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. For two years, a small group of us could be seen carrying weird objects over head down the side of the road, or running sprints on the sidewalk. After two years in operation the gyms owner, after having her first child, decided to shut down the facility due to time constrictions. As "CrossFitters" we knew we would find no home at local facilities for our band of chalk using, music blaring, callous bleeding misfits. To add to my problems, I was a matter of days away from marriage and with only $5,000 to our name, my wife and I were in a tight spot with my unexpected unemployment. I never realized what a blessing would come from the situation.

Upon learning of the gyms closure, many of my clients became convinced I should open my own facility. My first client ever and best friend David Chambers literally teared up, begging me to open up my own facility. How could I though? To be a gym owner, you need money! I certainly had very little, and the $5,000 I had was set aside for a honeymoon and the start of my new, married life. Nevertheless, within a week I had signed a lease and purchased $5,000 of equipment. Yep- My entire savings... My wife to be and I both agreed to have faith and give it a shot. For those of you familiar with fitness equipment, you will know that $5K doesn't buy much... Not to mention, I drained my account, and had absolutely nothing sat aside for my first months rent! Taxes? Hadn't even thought about it. Our faith paid off however, and within a month we were able to pay rent and utilities no problem. Did I mention we built an apartment upstairs in our gym so we could afford to live now that we had spent all our money on a gym? Oh yeah... It happened. My young wife traded in her alarm for the sounds of Dead-lifts downstairs at 6:00am. Yes, we are still together...

For several months passerby would see the same crazy group under the new name of "The JC Colosseum" throwing basketballs filled with sand and duct tape, pushing our cars, and carrying one another up hills. We worked out on used equipment and the 2 power racks, 5 squat stands, 5 barbells, and 9 kettlebells my hard earned $5K had afforded us. We hit our chest to the ground on a little bit of rubber, but mostly on the 1980s style carpet we were forced to use for the majority of the flooring due to affordability (the stuff was ugly!). Still yet, we grew...

The JC Colosseum had survived its first two years of business without missing a bill. For two years, our proud little group worked out in less than optimal conditions. It was high time we moved into a facility that we deserved. After our lease, the JC Colosseum would move to a new facility. Our new spot was not only equipped with the equipment of our dreams, but also had the look that represented our JCC family- one of strength and honor. It's been a mere 6 months since moving to our new facility and I tear up when I think about how far we have come. I have made my best friends through our journey. Dave "RoboCop" Chambers, while no longer with us in body while he recovers from a severe brain injury is as much a part of the gym as the brick that holds it together. Through hard times, we have banned together and pulled one another through. We have grown as a family and have seen one another make miraculous changes. I have grown as a person as a result of my journey with these people, and have met some of the best people on God's earth. I never knew that back in 2009, my wonderful, supportive wife and I would start a journey that would forever impact me in the way this journey has. I look forward to "work" each and every day and miss it every moment I am gone because I know there is nowhere on earth I can feel the support and love I feel when I enter The Johnson City Colosseum.

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