"The southside of Chicago was a CrossFit desert and I wanted to share my passion with the great people of this area."
Affiliate Name: CrossFit Beverly
Affiliate Owner: John McMullen
Affiliate Since: September 2011
Location: Beverly Neighborhood of Chicago, Ill.
Square Feet: 2,200
Number of Members: 92
Describe your affiliate in six or fewer words:
Best family, friends, firefighters and coppers.
How did you get your box started?
My previous career was coming to an end by bad economic times. I always had a passion for CrossFit. The southside of Chicago was a CrossFit desert and I wanted to share my passion with the great people of this area. I got my L1 (certificate) and shadow coached at another affiliate. I put together a business plan, got an investor and opened the box part time while continuing to work at my previous career. The company I worked for closed, the box started doing well and here we are, a full-time CrossFit box living the dream. However, none of this happens without our amazing community of athletes.
Do your members compete in the CrossFit Open/Games or in local competitions?
Yes, in fact we are in the beginning of a program preparing our athletes for the 2013 CrossFit Games Open. Local competitions are also on the calendar.
What do you and your members do together besides train?
Drinking seems to happen quite a bit.
Best lesson you’ve learned so far:
Listen and pay attention to your athletes. They confide in us like they would with their priest. We owe them our full attention.
Advice you wish you had been given:
I have been impatient at all I want to accomplish, in the words of Veruca Salt, "I want it nowww." This is a marathon, not just the conditioning of the athletes, but the building of an affiliate. Look at each milestone as a rung up a ladder to the greater goal.
What question you would love to ask other affiliate owners:
What do you do with people who are toxic to your mission?
Why do you do this?
Nothing makes me happier than experiencing other people's accomplishments. Watching someone’s first unassisted pull-up or muscle-up, or hearing that the doctor said they could go off their diabetes medication. If an athlete meets a goal, I'm their biggest cheerleader.
Tell us something cool, unusual, or just slightly different about your affiliate:
We are in a neighborhood where athletes have lived their entire lives. Save going away to college, they all set roots here. Many have bought the house they grew up in or live on the same block. Many of our athletes are cousins, brothers and sisters, married to a brother or sister of an athlete, or hung out together in elementary school. When a new athlete looks at our member photo wall they say, "Oh, I know him ... I grew up next to her …" I gotta say, it's kinda bizarre to me as I ran far away from home as soon as I could. But after living in this neighborhood for 11 years, I understand why they all stay. Good people, great community.
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