My favorite part about running the gym with Stephen is that every single aspect of it is personal, emotional and something I'm passionate about."
It’s a CrossFit fairy tale. One year after opening their gym, CrossFit Industrious, co-owners Molly Hunsinger and Stephen Hitt have qualified a team for Regionals, as well as both qualifying as individuals.
One year ago, they were both jobless – Hunsinger quit her job, finding her profession in human resources unsatisfying. Hilt chose to leave his 13-year career at Dun and Bradstreet. Being CrossFitters since 2010 and loving it, opening an affiliate together just made sense. It was the gym or nothing.
And to add a little pressure – they go home together, too. Hunsinger and Hitt are a couple, in every sense of the word.
The immediate thought that comes to mind is that being a couple, running a business and in a personal relationship is hard. Though it is challenging, the rewards far outweigh any downside for the two. “My favorite part about running the gym with Stephen is that every single aspect of it is personal, emotional and something I’m passionate about,” Hunsinger says. “I consider it a huge blessing to be able to feel so connected to and passionate about what I do for a living, and that I get to share it all with the man I love.”
Some might wonder if spending all day with your loved one, making challenging business decisions, and then coming home and spending more time with a partner gets difficult. For these two, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
“In the beginning I thought it would be challenging to be spending so much time together, and that we would struggle separating the business side of things from our personal relationship. But I’ve found that since our business is CrossFit, and it’s something that is very personal to both of us, it’s not even necessary to try and separate the two,” she says. “I mean sure we have our little arguments about things like what color to paint the walls, T-shirt design, whether we need to order more jump ropes or not, but I would much rather be arguing about pieces of our small CrossFit gym that we own and love together than anything else that couples normally argue about.”
Hitt finds himself a bit torn at times, between his two loves – wanting time with Hunsinger away from the gym, but loving the community at CrossFit Industrious so much. “We run our gym together, we coach together, we train together, we plan our business together and we go to meetings together. In short, just finding time to go on a short vacation or get some down time away from the gym is hard, because we love everything about Industrious so much,” he says.
When they do find time to train, they train hard. As individuals, Hunsinger qualified for Regionals in 24th place and Hitt placed 49th. As Regionals draw closer, finding time to train presents challenges for the couple. “For me the hardest part is getting my own training in. This is way harder than I thought it would be,” Hunsinger says. “I always thought gym owners had it made, because they were at the gym all day and so they could train all the time. For me, training other people, as well as making sure everything in the gym is clean, organized and running smoothly is a much higher priority than my own training, and so sometimes it can be hard to have the energy and motivation to get my workout in.”
When it comes to the affiliate team, just like with the business, CrossFit Industrious keeps it all in the family. Both Hunsinger’s brothers are on the team, along with their significant others. The CrossFit Industrious Olympic lifting coach, Ben, his mother, and another couple in a relationship round out the team.
Whatever the remainder of the competition season has in store, for Hunsinger and Hitt, the reward is in the community. For both of them, the joy is in the journey, not in the win, and the love and support of CrossFit Industrious carries them.
As far as the future, the CrossFit Industrious family will just keep growing – maybe adding even more family and team members to the mix, Hunsinger says. “As a couple, in one year I see us getting close to getting married and in five years maybe we’ll have a CrossFit baby or two of our own to add to our growing CrossFit family.”