Small But Mighty: CrossFit Murphy

March 25, 2013

Laura Gonzo

"In a small town, you find that people are used to doing everything. In a small town, you can't specialize."

Photos by: Erik Laney

As we roll into week three of the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games Open, the team from CrossFit Murphy is sitting in fourth place in the Mid Atlantic Region, and tied for 40th worldwide.

What makes this more impressive is that CrossFit Murphy is a small affiliate, from a small town in western North Carolina. Of their approximately 50 members, 21 are competing in the Open.

And they’re giving it everything they’ve got.

“All we do is come in and do work every day,” owner Erik Laney explains. “We don’t follow anyone else’s programming. We treat every member like an athlete and we’re very competitive.”

Laney offers some insight as to how these homegrown athletes are successful in CrossFit.

“In a small town, you find that people are used to doing everything. You’ll have an athlete that played volleyball and basketball, and then turned around and ran track every year,” he says. “In a small town, you can’t specialize.”

As CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman is fond of saying: “Our specialty is not specializing.” So, the athletes at CrossFit Murphy are right at home.

“Our members are comfortable with the transition from being multi-sport athletes to CrossFit athletes,” Laney continues. “Their work capacity is very high.”

CrossFit Murphy lost the chance to compete at the Mid Atlantic Regional last year because one of the team members missed the deadline to post one of the workouts.  

“Getting a team to Regionals is our No. 1 goal right now,” Laney says. “We approach every Open Workout as a group, as a team, as a family.”

And he means family both literally and figuratively. There are three siblings on the competition team: Ray Gutierrez, currently tied for 21st place in the region; Matt Gutierrex, 43rd; and Amanda Gutierrez Johnson, sitting in 45th place for Mid Atlantic women.

Small but mighty, CrossFit Murphy is a team to watch.