For work and for fun, I travel as often as possible. Since I prioritize exploring, training and experiencing "local culture" while on the road, I typically will hit the local trails or even downtown areas for a run or ride. Whenever possible I reach out to the local CrossFit boxes to ask about possible drop-in if they are not already packed.
After a short run in the Aspen snow and sleet today I joined an evening class at Aspen CrossFit. I was immediately impressed with the unique setup of the gym and the motivating, positive vibe.
Head Coach & Co-Owner Erik Larson started Aspen CrossFit just last year, and has more than doubled the size of the gym in a remarkably short period of time. Starting from scratch, he has leveraged his passion for learning and excellence along with very strong attention to detail (his "other job" is CPA) to create a unique training environment. One of Erik's goals was to work with kids in the community, and a local teen art student painted a massive outer-space themed logo mural on one of the walls.
When you walk into the gym, the first thing you notice is the bright green color and positive messages written on the walls. Quite a contrast to most other CrossFit boxes. As someone who has always been fond of basic, hardcore "dungeon gyms" blasting Pantera, I was surprised by how much I dug the clean and bright atmosphere of the place. You really would never expect it based on the exterior of the building's industrial triple white garage doors.
There is something about walking into an experience, a Story, not just a place. This 'vibe' is the holy grail of merchandisers and restauranteurs. You can't look anywhere in Aspen CrossFit without seeing a motivational quote from a Viking or Voltaire or about accountability or excellence.
Nothing except the basics will be found here. Home-made whiteboards. Local students made the jump boxes in Wood Shop. Nothing but the basics are here, but they are just organized & executed uncommonly well. Sound familiar?
After doing a long 7 minute AMRAP warmup (10 wall ball/10 situps/10 box jumps/10 mountain climbers) and short Mobility session with bands (that would be considered a "workout of the day" for some) the Workout of the Day was "Angie".
Angie is a tough workout for anyone at sea level. Angie is evil in Boulder at an elevation of 5430'. At 8,000', Angie is a psychotic vixen who mocks you while standing on your chest. Not much oxygen at 8,000'. Not enough for a full-throttle workout like Angie, anyway.
The following photographs were taken just before getting back on the road. Erik was generous with his time before and after the class and you can tell his passion is 100% genuine. If and when I open my own facility "one day" I will certainly apply some of the elements of Aspen CrossFit's ambiance....in a hardcore, dungon type way of course!
Check it out: