Circle City Strength & Conditioning originated in my garage in the summer of 2009. At that time, I was training clients in my garage gym several times a week and I had a community of students from my yoga classes and Bridging the Wellness Gap program that often gathered for trail runs and other group workouts. I have been a professional trainer since 1993 and have trained from a holistic approach since 1996 when I began to integrate all forms of conditioning, strength training, variations of Olympic lifting, cardio/endurance, yoga, bodyweight/gymnastics, meditation, nutrition, and so forth. I spent the next 11 years delving deeper into this mode of training and sharing it with my clients and BTWG community, which started in 2004.
In late 2007/early 2008 I starting to incorporate workouts from Mountain Athlete , Gym Jones , and CrossFit into my own practice. There was much I liked about this style of training as it had a great deal in common with what I was already doing, yet it was effectively implemented into a group coaching environment. I then began to share my experience and what I was learning with my clients.
After completing the CrossFit Level 1 trainers course in 2009 I invited my clients, yoga students, and graduates from the BTWG program to start doing group workouts in my garage a few times per week. We often used the soccer fields behind my house to train outdoors and we only had a few pieces of gear – a couple bars, a few dumbbells and kettlebells and two medicine balls. That was about it. That fall we continued to train in my garage and a friend of mine who is a plumber built our first pull up bar out of steel pipes which would hold up to five athletes. I really thought we were a big deal.
As winter hit and the weather got colder, the classes quickly grew and we ran out of space. In January 2010 we opened our first commercial space on Northfield Drive, a 1000 sq. ft. “box”, literally a box, that was nothing more than an industrial space with a bathroom. The name of our gym at that time was “PR Fitness”. We were the very first garage gym to open in Brownsburg, at a time when no one had any idea of what a garage gym was, what Mountain Athlete or Gym Jones was and no one had even heard of CrossFit, but here we were, doing our thing – learning, experimenting, growing and having a heck of a good time doing it!
To equip our new community with the necessary tools, I spent hours searching Craigslist and Play it Again Sports. I drove all over the Indy area to pick up Olympic bars, weight plates, dumbbells, benches, kettelbells and even found our first set of used bumper plates – what a find that was! For us, it was a big deal to get in our first set of Rogue jump ropes and my friend built us a pull up “rig” that would hold 6 or 7 athletes! I spent countless hours building our plyo boxes from scratch as well as our sandbags and other gear, making multiple trips to the local Thrifty Supply store or Lowes. Often I was doing this in the heat of summer with no A/C covered in sweat, dust, dirt, and blood (I’m prone to injury when tools are involved). After a long day of classes and clients, I would stay after hours to sweep and mop the floors, empty trash, clean the bathroom and then go home to “do the books”, write workouts, post on our blog and social media, return phone calls and emails, schedule Foundation sessions and anything else needed to continue to bring my vision into a reality. All of this was in addition to my full time job outside of the gym and not getting paid a dime for my efforts. Talk about a labor of love! Yes, my wife is a Saint for supporting me all these years.
Within a few months of opening PR Fitness, Coach D started teaching a couple classes a week as well. I think we maybe had a total of 5 classes every week at that point. Danielle completed her CrossFit Level 1 in October of 2010 and she really helped recruit new members and our community quickly grew. By November we had outgrown our space and later that month we moved into our current location on South Point Circle, just two minutes from our original space.
Much has changed in the years since a handful of us were training in my garage. In February 2013 we changed our name to Circle City Strength & Conditioning as this more accurately represents who we are as a community and the direction we are heading. Our current space is over 3,700 sq. ft. with our main area providing us with over 2,500 sq. ft., more than twice our old location. In addition, our membership has grown more than double in size and we continue to grow each month. We now have a team of 7 coaches, a tight community, more equipment, fancier equipment, a pull up rig that will easily hold 13 athletes, I have folks who help keep our gym clean and run our website and social media outlets. We now have 19 classes on our weekly schedule! And in May of 2013 we became home to CrossFit Brownsburg . Yet one thing remains today that has been there since Day One – a true love and passion for helping others change their lives using fitness and wellness as the vehicle for transformation and freedom in their life. This principle and passion is at the very heart and soul of CCS&C and it is what will always be present as we grow and expand in the coming years.
I have many fond memories of, literally, building this gym into what it is today, of the countless hours of actual blood, sweat, and tears that I have invested and will continue to invest far into the future. CCS&C is the manifestation of my dream and God’s calling for me and I’m truly blessed to have the team and community that makes CCS&C what it is and what it is becoming. It’s been an honor to serve all those who have passed through our doors and we look forward to having you as a valuable part of of our community.