CrossFit builds body of Christ - The Echo News
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CrossFit builds body of Christ

A new fitness class brings students together

By Victoria Lawson | Echo

Sophomore Daniel Black pushes through another set of hanging snatches. (Photograph by Riley Hochstetler)

Sophomore Daniel Black pushes through another set of hanging snatches. (Photograph by Riley Hochstetler)

While some Taylor students prefer to spend their February evenings in their dorms wrapped in a warm blanket, juniors Ivy Oleson, Christiana Phillips, and Jake Smarrella can be found in the KSAC working up a sweat.

Oleson, Phillips and Smarrella are certified level 1 CrossFit trainers and coach Crew, Taylor’s version of the high-intensity fitness regimen, CrossFit. The three coaches train with CrossFit outside of school, then take their training back on campus to share their passion for healthy lifestyle choices and fitness through Crew. They have been delighted to see a significant increase in participation and are excited about what Crew is achieving in the area, particularly in the way of community building.

For Smarrella, the vulnerability and trust he sees in the people he coaches makes Crew training meaningful.

“For me, CrossFit is a very intense experience,” Smarrella said. “The workouts are really hard, and they challenge you, and you get a little glimpse of what someone looks like at their worst. Eventually, people come to you with problems that aren’t like, ‘How can I do pull-ups better,’ but it’s more like, ‘I’m dealing with this in my life right now, and I just want to tell you about it.’ It’s a really good atmosphere for people to be really vulnerable with each other, and I think that’s why the community grows so much.”

The trainers emphasized that while Crew is meant to be challenging, there is a misconception that Crew trainers are intimidating. Oleson wants to reassure people that one does not need to be fit to try it, as the program is welcoming to people of all ages and levels of experience. She has seen an age range of 16 to 53 throughout her time coaching on campus, and she wants people to know Crew trainers are willing to meet people where they are at on their fitness journey.

Phillips is also passionate about helping people achieve goals and discover what they are capable of.

Three Crossfit members break a sweat together as they complete a endurance circuit. (Photograph by Riley Hochstetler)

Three Crossfit members break a sweat together as they complete a endurance circuit. (Photograph by Riley Hochstetler)

“Some people come to maintain fitness, some people come because they did sports in high school and they really miss that aspect of camaraderie through physical activity, some people come to lose weight…. there’s a motivation behind why people come to that space,” Phillips said. “If I can help that person meet that need and reach that goal, that’s what drives me as a coach… I think being able to understand people’s stories and the process of getting them into that space is really cool for me personally.”

As the number of students trying Crew continues to grow, the KSAC is considering adding additional class times to the current schedule. Crew currently meets Monday to Friday in the KSAC at 7-8 p.m. and 8-9 p.m. and the price has dropped from $50 to $35. Oleson, Phillips and Smarrella are hoping to see you there.

 

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