For Owner Danielle Resha, CrossFit 128 is Working Out
She captained her high school soccer team, played women’s semi-pro football for the Boston Militia and now, at the age of 21, she’s one of Wakefield’s youngest entrepreneurs.
“I’ve always been big into sports and fitness,” Resha says. She got into weight-lifting during her three years as a kicker, fullback and tailback with the Boston Militia, a women’s football team owned by Ernie Boch, Jr. While attending Suffolk University she decided to try out one of the CrossFit gyms in Boston. After she got certified as a coach, the gym hired her.
Resha realized that while CrossFit facilities were springing up all over, there wasn’t one in Wakefield yet.
“I figured it would be a good location and a good opportunity,” Resha says. “It all kind of fell together much faster than I had planned.”
She found out that starting up and running a business is never an easy task.
“It was a lot of work,” Resha admits as she sits on one of the exercise benches at her gym. “I didn’t know anything about running a business or how to go about this. One day, I drove by this building and saw the ‘For Rent’ sign and thought, ‘That would be an awesome CrossFit space.’”
She got some help from her family, Resha says, but none of them had ever run a business of this kind either. It took a lot of time and research to make it happen.
“It just seemed like the perfect time to do it,” she observes. “CrossFits are popping up everywhere.” She realized, “I have to do this now or the opportunity’s going to go.”
Resha explains that as long as you pay your affiliation fee every year, you can use the CrossFit name. It’s a decentralized network with each gym setting its own program. There may be variations in style from gym to gym, she says, but the fundamentals are the same.
“It’s safe to say that most of the gyms follow the CrossFit principals,” Resha notes.
CrossFit, she explains, “includes every single thing you’d get out of every other gym.” There’s weight-lifting, power-lifting, gymnastics, cardio and core fitness exercises. “Rather than take 10 different classes,” Resha says, “you can do it all here in an hour.”
Resha says that she and two other coaches at CrossFit 128 lead three classes a day – morning, noon and night. The gym’s growing membership is currently about 50 and is evenly split between men and women.
Resha points to a sense of community at CrossFit gyms that you don’t get at other fitness facilities.
“At most gyms, they’d have no idea who you are,” Resha says. “Here it’s very individualized. I know all of my members. I know where they live and what they do for work. The biggest thing is the community we have here. We make friends. We hang out.”
She says that the sense of community serves as an incentive for members to keep coming because people will notice if you miss a class. “You get held accountable,” she adds. There are also regional events that athletes can enter and compete against other athletes.
“There’s no max or minimum,” she stresses. “You just make it fit with your schedule.” Also, you can take any class throughout the day, so you don’t have to commit to the same time every day.
The CrossFit program can also be scaled to any level. “I can have someone walk in that first day and be working out next to someone who has been doing it for four or five years,” Resha observes. People can push each other, she says, and they often want to catch up to the more advanced athletes.
Resha says that most people come to CrossFit 128 because they want to lose weight and get stronger. She tells people not to worry too much about a number on a scale, assuring them that they will look and feel a lot better.
Getting stronger is the goal of a lot of the men in CrossFit, Resha says, but even some of the women who came in at first with the goal of losing weight are now “all about getting stronger.”
“We give you the tools to improve your diet,” she says. “It’s up to you how much you want to put into that aspect.” In this area, she observes, the camaraderie component of CrossFit once again comes into play.
“When people get involved here they just start eating better because everybody else is,” Resha says.
Like anyone starting out in business, Resha has had to make some sacrifices. She put other things, including college, on hold.
[This story originally appeared in the January 7, 2015 Wakefield Daily Item.]
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