Monday, June 2, 2014

Sustain Me

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." ~ Psalm 51:10-12

Sunday, May 18, 2014


So many changes have occurred since 2008 when we were the one and only CrossFit box in Southwest Missouri. At that time, we were a bare-boned maybe 750sq ft room embedded within Next Level Fitness Academy, a hodge-podge group of class offerings such as hip-hop dance, Pilates, Capoera, bootcamps, and personal training. Our CrossFit model was in stark contrast to the practices of each of the other disciplines. If CrossFit Springfield was going to be successful, we had to jump ship on the idea of an all-inclusive training facility geared toward integrated fitness philosophies and go all in on the CF affiliate model. Jessi and I chose to move forward together to get our L1 CrossFit Certs and begin CFS. We moved out of the facility we were in and went up the road to lease a building that had previously been used as a liberty bank. I programmed and we both taught daily WODs while Jessi handled our books and member billing. Meanwhile, Jessi completed her nursing degree and I my Sports Med degree at MSU. Throughout this time our member base began to grow and thrive - we were quickly moving to the point where we felt our business model was becoming a more stable operation. In 2010, we decided to take the plunge and seek out a larger, more permanent location where we could facilitate our then 200+ member base.

We moved to Sunset street on Kansas Exp into an industrial complex space that had previously been used as an MMA studio. The space was around 7500 sq ft and was the perfect next home for CFS. It was here that we began developing a more structured operation - daycare, more class times, rowing classes, and also developing a greater desire to see our top athletes refine and build the necessary skills to become high level competitors.

Around this time, while still coaching several classes a day and maintaining CFS daily programming, I also began to pour more into my own desire to compete as a high level Crossfitter. All the while, because we were still the only CF gym in town, our growth continued to surge. SO much to the point that after just one year, we were ready to explore new options for a larger space.

Within the next year we had moved into a now 12,500sq ft facility and were bringing on more coaches to staff our growing class schedules. Around this time we had reached probably around 300-400 members.

I'll be the first to admit that because of my own personal desire to compete at a high level, I began backing off of the amount of classes I was coaching in order to primarily program the website and focus on my training. I don't regret this decision as it ultimately helped to promote our gym and led to my success as an individual competitor - however, the fact that it took time away from me being in the trenches consistently as a coach, I believe it hurt our gym.
Fast forward to 2013, after signing two athlete sponsorship deals, I felt an even greater sense of urgency to compete and perform - again detracting me from the hands-on day-to-day grind of coaching and being a presence at CFS. As an aside, I must be sure to state that the pressure was intrinsic and only from within myself - JUNK Brands and 1st Phorm have ALWAYS been overwhelmingly supportive of me FIRST as an individual and SECONDLY as a competitor. For this, I am eternally grateful.

From late 2012 to the beginning of 2014, I competed in ShredFest, The OC Throwdown, RAID Games, The Open, Regionals, WOD Wars, Planned and directed HOA, and competed at Wodapalooza. Without question, this overextended myself and detracted from my ability to pour into CFS, our members, my family, and much of anything else.

So earlier this year, after Wodapalooza and after much prayer and reflection, I drew a line in the sand and made a very deliberate decision. I chose to be intentional about shifting my personal focus and energy back to THE GRIND. No more long, drawn-out seasons of energy poured into my own pursuits, but rather to once again go back to the basics of leading our members at CFS by becoming the leader, owner, and coach that I should have focused on being ALL ALONG.

CFS is no longer the only place in the Springfield MO area for CrossFit. The market is now literally 10 times bigger than it was in 2008. With as many boxes as we now have in the area, many CrossFitters have looked across town and said, "Where is the most convenient place for me to train at?" That is a completely logical and understandable notion. And I'm OK with it...However, my response will be to pour every ounce of my being into making CFS the BEST place it can be to not only train and to be coached, but also to give our current athletes the opportunity to experience what our first members felt in full force: COMMUNITY. Fully Engaged COACHING, TEACHING, CARING, and ENCOURAGEMENT. High-fives, handshakes, and lot's of hugs. It's what our box was built upon and what it has been lacking and what I pray will never take a backseat to ANYTHING ELSE.

I have always said that I believe God gives us the exact amount of time, talent, and energy to do all that which HE has called us to do in life. As God's Spirit and Will allows, I will remain steadfast and wholeheartedly committed to the task of forging a healthy CrossFit community at CrossFit Springfield; Physically, Mentally, Spiritually, Emotionally, Financially, and Culturally. I feel blessed and so thankful for the many coaches, athletes, members, individuals and friends who have remained faithful and loyal to our gym and our mission. A mission that will never be one that is easily accomplished. There will always be the need to HUSTLE and GRIND. I, for one, have learned to both EMBRACE and CELEBRATE it.

As always, thank you for your commitment to excellence and to each other.


Love and Cheers,

Jeremy Mhire