April 4, 2013
Family Ties: CrossFit Temecula South
By Jaala A. Thibault

“The team is successful because we are family. We care about each other on a level that's deeper than a single weekend.”

For Team CrossFit Temecula South, familial bonds, a strong community and the ability to overcome obstacles, is the glue that holds them together.

Each member of this team has faced some sort of extraordinary challenge in the last year. They have dealt with injuries and the loss of family members, yet they have come together, gotten stronger and are currently sitting tied for 33rd place in Southern California, just within reach of a spot at Regionals.

“The team is successful because we are family,” Anneke Marvin, team member and co-owner of CrossFit Temecula South, says. “We care about each other on a level that's deeper than a single weekend.”

Currently sitting in 45th place in SoCal, Marvin is one of the heaviest hitters on the team. But she attributes much of her growth in CrossFit to her husband, Dusty, who not only co-owns the gym with her, but also is the team’s coach and programmer. Together, they have three kids, and have found that maintaining a box with strong connections has helped them in their personal life, as well as with training.

“Because we have other moms and dads on our team, we really try to help each other out with watching each other's kids, so that everyone can get his or her workout in, or babysitting so we can enjoy a night off,” Marvin says. “We've been at competitions where we're each wrangling the other's kids, or we've chipped in on one babysitter so all of our kids are in one spot … it really does take a village.”

Married couple Faye and Murphy Morgan also add to the bonds that strengthen the team and have benefited from the strong community at the gym. Both athletes have contributed to the team’s score during the Open, despite having to overcome the loss of Faye’s mother last winter.

“When my mom was sick in the hospital, our gym really rallied around us,” she says. “They all shared in the pain of the loss. We received countless calls, texts and cards. Friends cared for our dog; meals were delivered to our home; offers to watch our boys came streaming in. Anneke established a donation fund in my mom’s honor with all proceeds benefiting the International Melanoma Research Foundation. Members and friends from our box, who had never even met my mother, reached deep into their pockets to donate in her name.”

Another challenge Faye is currently facing is positive — she is 15 weeks pregnant. Regardless of being with child, she is currently ranked 104th overall in Southern California.

The Morgans are approaching her pregnancy and CrossFitting cautiously.

“Faye ran and worked out through her previous two pregnancies, right up until delivery,” Murphy says. “And I trust that she is in touch with her body and will make the right decision for what is best for her and our baby.”

There aren’t just marital connections on this team; Kenny, Beau and Aimee Jones strengthen the family factor on the team, as well. Beau and Kenny are cousins, and Beau is married to Aimee. All three Joneses have contributed to the team’s score while balancing full lives and facing their own sets of challenges. Kenny and Beau are both full-time firefighters, while Aimee teaches P.E. The fact that Kenny and Beau are firefighters helps Aimee, who has struggled with multiple severe pulmonary complications in the last year.

Finding strength and motivation through training with his cousins, Kenny has experienced a new level of family bonding.

“It has brought us a lot closer as athletes and family members than we have ever been before,” he says. “It’s definitely bonding when we are side by side pushing each other to our limits.”

Through the ups and downs, family has helped this team achieve that which they did not know was possible.

“None of us were Division I athletes, nor can we commit to training like that now,” Faye says. “Most of us are parents. We work full time. We are full-time students. We volunteer at our kids’ schools. We are firefighters, teachers, coaches, tutors, veterans and Marines. CrossFit is probably the fourth or fifth major commitment of our days. We have been through some very rough times, each in our own right — loss of loved ones, military deployments, personal challenges, layoffs. But we get into the gym at the beginning or the end of each day and leave all of this outside, if just for that hour. This is what makes us good and helps us to get stronger … we are strong in resolve and fight hard not just for our own gains, but for one another’s, both personally and as athletes.”