WOD Wisdom: Celebrating six years of No Excuses CrossFit

The original No Excuses CrossFit coaching staff. (L-R) John McGriff, Laura Koller, Kyle Maynard, Jerome Edwards, Ben Davis

The original No Excuses CrossFit coaching staff. (L-R) John McGriff, Laura Koller, Kyle Maynard, Jerome Edwards, Ben Davis

No Excuses CrossFit is going to celebrate six years of being an affiliate on Saturday, Dec. 6.

Six years.

That’s a lot of WODs, a lot of sweat and a lot of burpees.

CrossFit has grown enormously since December 2008 when owner Kyle Maynard was the first to open a CrossFit gym in Gwinnett County.

The growth of the sport has helped No Excuses thrive, but so have the great members and community.

Over the last six years we’ve had more than 2,000 people WOD at No Excuses CrossFit. Most of those people were in the old location, about 100 meters from our current location on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.

It was a small space, about 2,000-square feet. There use to be one handmade pull-up rig in the corner that would hold about six people. Before the WOD, you had to figure out who was going to face which way, so you didn’t kick each other.

The classes were small, really small. If you were going to do the 6 a.m. class or 9:30 a.m. class, you had to sign-up online the night before or a coach wouldn’t show up. Sometimes you would WOD with just one or two other people.

A handful of the original members from that first year still train at No Excuses CrossFit. Greg Hayes is our longest active members. He has a true love for CrossFit and has supported the gym more than anyone from the first time he hit a WOD.

Just like Greg, Paul Whaley has been with us for more than five years. Paul will be the first one to tell us when we are doing something wrong and the first one to tell us when we are doing something right. You have to love his honesty.

Leslie Brigman is the longest active female member, which is impressive considering she almost quit after the first three months. She decided to stick it out until the six-month mark and she’s been WODing with us ever since (even during pregnancy).

There’s not a more likable member than Ashley Kubiak. He’s one of the reasons so many police officers, firemen and military people do

Greg Hayes, left, is No Excuses CrossFit's longest active member. He has been at No Excuses since February 2009.

Greg Hayes, left, is No Excuses CrossFit’s longest active member. He has been at No Excuses since February 2009.

CrossFit. It helps him at work. Every few months he’ll tell a story about about how he was chasing down a suspect and caught up to him because he does CrossFit.

Rick Clements is your classic CrossFitter. He loves a good beat down WOD. Maybe a little too much. But he keeps coming back. Just like a lot of people have over the last six years.

Kelly Wallo, Tony Palazzo, Amy Kelly, Will Johnson, Julian Pierce and Tecumseseh Peete have been with us for more than four years.

Scot Poore, Robert Thornton, Mike Matthes, Matt Ziesmer, Daniel Cottmeyer, Bob Sawyer, Mark Ford and Carl Cook have been with us for more than three years.

They’ve been part of a gym that has held more than 2,100 classes over the last six years.

In those classes, a lot of friendships and at least six marriages have been born.

Brandon and Leslie Brigman, Blake and Laura Mattison, Ben and Laura Davis, Craig and Betsy Pake, Chuck and Amy Reagin and John and Liz McGriff met their spouse at No Excuses CrossFit.

When Kyle and Ben opened No Excuses CrossFit in 2008, they were just in their mid-20s. They made stupid mistakes like partying in Athens until 4 a.m. and then getting up to coach the 6 a.m. class. But they’ve also made a lot of good choices. Like caring for others. That spread through the

Leslie Brigman is No Excuses CrossFit's longest active female member. She's been training with us since the summer of 2009.

Leslie Brigman is No Excuses CrossFit’s longest active female member. She’s been training with us since the summer of 2009.

more than 25 different coaches No Excuses has had over the years. Being the first CrossFit gym in Gwinnett County, No Excuses has a footprint in many gyms in the area.

Former coaches Andre Urquiza (CrossFit HD) and Karen Ward (DFC CrossFIt) have opened their own gyms. In addition, former members Amanda Greaver (CrossFit Goat), Chris Brown (CrossFit Pure), Betsy Pake (CrossFit South Hall), Steven Platek (CrossFit Gwinnett) and Erick Colindres (CrossFit TruAlliance) have opened their own gyms as well.

It’s been six year’s since that first WOD at No Excuses CrossFit. Since that first day, there has always been one mission at No Excuses CrossFit — Bettering Lives, One Person At A Time.

No Excuses CrossFit has done that in a way that can’t be counted like reps or pounds lifted. But instead by the friendships, bonds, relationships and marriages over the years.

— Coach Brandon

One comment on “WOD Wisdom: Celebrating six years of No Excuses CrossFit

  1. Amy Kelly on

    Awww Congratulations NEC! I remember the day I took that photo! I also want to say thank you and as I have told Ben, Kyle and Jerome before…if it wasn’t for CrossFit specifically No Excuses I would not have had the strength emotionally or physically to go thru what was before me. If you can get thru a CrossFit WOD you can get thru anything! I know in my heart, mind and soul that God used Kyle and No Excuses gym saved my life 4 years ago at 42 years old and I am so grateful to have had the experiences and training from those amazing Coaches pictured above! There is still nothing like the CrossFit community as far as the camaraderie/ fitness combo!!! God bless you and your endeavors as you continue to change one life at a time!

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