"Follow your faith and love what you do when you wake up in the morning."
Affiliate Name: CrossFit 402
Affiliate Owner: Michael Brownfield
Affiliate Since: September 2011
Location: Omaha, Neb.
Square Feet: 3,200
Number of Members: 80
Describe your affiliate in six or fewer words:
Welcoming, Fun, Supportive, Strong, Happy and Healthy
How did you get your box started?
CrossFit 402 began on a collage/vision board in December 2009 while I was a member at CrossFit Sioux Falls (S.D.) The owner at that time, Chris Mello (currently at CrossFit 818), led a discussion on what goals we had for ourselves. I knew from the very beginning of finding CrossFit that, one day, I wanted to open an affiliate. It took almost two years of planning, saving and serious soul-searching before the dream board literally became a reality. The name I had proposed was still available, so I am glad I didn't have to modify my artwork!
The sweat equity that I poured into this place makes me appreciate it even more. The space was previously an upscale hair salon. The entire month of September in 2011 was spent demolishing the walls and tearing out everything to make it a wide-open box. Working 70-80 hour weeks for almost four weeks straight was all worth it when I had my grand opening with friends and family from as far away as Wyoming attend. I wouldn't trade that month of "hell" for anything now.
Tell us who you were/what you did before you owned a CrossFit affiliate.
Before I opened my gym I was a cubicle dweller for a large company that develops accounting software and services for financial/banking organizations. I was also a part-time trainer at CrossFit Sioux Falls for Liza Nelson. It is probably the same feeling that a lot of people have, but I didn't enjoy going to work and spending my day in a cubicle working for someone else. I needed to make a change and I followed the steps of my mentor to make my switch. In the course of a couple months, I quit my job, sold my house, returned to my home state of Nebraska and opened CrossFit 402.
Do your members compete in the CrossFit Open/Games or in local competitions?
Our gym participated in the Open last year and will do so again this year. My goal as a coach and affiliate owner is to qualify a team and an individual for the North Central Regional competition in 2013. There are several local competitions that we participate in, as well. Most recently, we had several members compete in the Market-to-Market relay race between Omaha and Lincoln.
What do you and your members do together besides train?
We have hosted nutrition seminars in the past and we have plans of hosting additional educational opportunities for our members in the future. Holiday parties and lift and grill (BBQ) sessions are something that brings the community together, as well. Next summer, we plan on having a sand volleyball team compete in a local league. Members are great at offering to host parties and events at their houses to watch football games or celebrate birthdays.
Best lesson you’ve learned so far:
Follow your faith and love what you do when you wake up in the morning. I also have a much more significant appreciation for my friends and especially my family who have supported me in this decision to follow my dream.
Advice you wish you had been given:
Don't trade a full-sized truck for a car when you have to complete the construction phase yourself.
What question would you love to ask other affiliate owners?
What's the most consistent service that you are asked to provide that you don't have the ability to do so? (i.e. childcare, CrossFit Kids, personal training, drop-ins for local non-members, etc.)
Why do you do this?
Simple answer: I get to help people and encourage them on a daily basis with the gifts that I have been given.
Tell us something cool, unusual, or just slightly different about your affiliate.
Our gym is a fairly barbell-biased gym and we offer several opportunities for Oly classes during the week. One of our athletes was recently featured on the Outlaw CrossFit site. The majority of the members at my affiliate absolutely love burpees.
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