"Have business systems in place, automate things, clone yourself soon and often."
Affiliate Name: CrossFit Bolton
Affiliate Owner: Alex Possamai
Affiliate Since: 2008
Location: Bolton, Ontario
Square Feet: 4,000
Number of Members: 90
Describe your affiliate in six or fewer words:
Determined, powerful, entertaining, purposeful, motivating, community.
How did you get your box started?
CrossFit Bolton started in my two car garage in 2006. I was competing in an event called Fire Fighter Combat Challenge (and) following the crossfit.com program while training at a local gym. After being spoken to numerous times about chalk, hoarding an entire corner of the gym and "scaring the old people," I decided to take action. I built a shed in my backyard, moved my lawnmower, brooms, shovels etc. into the shed, and turned my garage into a CrossFit gym. My friends came over to train and they started bringing their friends and family members. They started to offer me money for my help, so I decided to affiliate, register a business, get insurance, etc. Four years later, I'm in a 4,000 sq. ft. unit with 90 members.
Tell us who you were/what you did before you owned a CrossFit affiliate.
I work full time as a firefighter with the City of Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services.
Do your members compete in the CrossFit Games Season or in local competitions?
Yes, but not as many as I'd like to! CrossFit Bolton had athletes finish 21st and 28th at the 2012 Canada East Regional. Our athletes do well at local competitions and we came in first place at a local team competition last weekend.
What do you and your members do together besides train?
We do everything together. Outings usually involve food.
Best lesson you’ve learned so far:
Be careful how flexible and generous you are because some folks will take advantage of you. Be kind, but firm.
Advice you wish you had been given:
Have business systems in place, automate things, clone yourself soon and often.
What question would you love to ask other affiliate owners?
There are too many to list. I am friends with many local affiliate owners and we bounce ideas off each other frequently.
Why do you do this?
I love being surrounded by people that love fitness and exercise as much as I do. I love being part of a community that has high standards, embraces hard work, commitment and is dedicated to leaving the gym a little better than when they got there. I love teaching people how train optimally so that they perform better at everything in their daily lives. I love the testimonials I receive from the people who are no longer on medication or the people whose diseases are in remission because of our diet and exercise advice. I love the 52-year-old ladies that couldn't do one chin up when they met me, but can now do 20 in a row. I love the guys I coached through their first CrossFit workouts that can now snatch 225 pounds.
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