Happy Birthday No Excuses CrossFit!

Happy Birthday No Excuses CrossFit! You’re eight years old today. It was on this day in 2008 that Kyle Maynard and Ben Davis opened the doors to the gym for the first time.

Coach Ben Davis

Coach Ben Davis

A lot has changed since then. We’re no longer in the same location (the old gym was about 200 meters down Lawreceville-Suwanee Road and is now an interior design store). Classes were small. If you had more than 8 people in class it was considered big. If you attend the 6 am class, you had to sign-up online the night before or a coach would not be there.

The programming moved around a lot. There was no Essentials, Fitness or Performance levels. The closest thing we had to that was our Basics program. We didn’t do ring pulls, we did assisted pull-ups with a rubber band.

There was no childcare. There was no CrossFit Kids or Teens class. Our pull-up rig was a built by a local welding company and you could hold about eight people on it at one time if everyone faced a certain direction.

There was no Rogue or Progenex. No one wore Reebok Nanos or Nike Metcons. The shoe of choice was Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

We ran a Groupon one time. We don’t talk about Groupon. …

Our Nutrition Challenges were known as 30-day Paleo Challenges and you would put $20 in a box and whoever lost the most weight at the end won. It’s evolved into much more nowadays with 1-on-1 nutrition coaching.

The CrossFit Games were still in first years at the Ranch in Armoas, Calif. There was no CrossFit Open, no CrossFit Games on ESPN. To find a local competition was pretty rare. Now you can find several just about every weekend of the year, including Birthday Bash VIII on Saturday.

Gym outings would happen on the spur of the moment. Now they are planned out months in advance like Friday Night Throwdown, Gwinnett Braves game, Hugo Open, Lake Party and Birthday Bash.

Brandon, Chris and Laura weren’t even members at the gym in 2008. Brandon was still working at the Gwinnett Daily Post, Laura was a student at Berry College and Chris was a personal trainer at Life Time Fitness doing crazy workouts. So I guess not too much has changed.

The gym has grown a lot in 8 years. Not only is the location four-times bigger than the old spot, but the membership has grown as well. We have nearly two dozen people that have been with No Excuses CrossFit for nearly half of its existence. Greg Hayes is our longest current member with seven years under his belt. Paul Whaley, Leslie Brigman and Rick Clements are not far behind with seven years of experience as well.

Scot Poore, Robert Thornton, Mike Matthes, Matt Ziesmer, Hiro Tada, Bob Sawyer and Carl Cook have been members for five years.

Paul Hymel, Angie Drexler, Kim Guthrie, Lisa Orlandella, Jamie Rollo, Lori Parker, Greg Carefoot, CJ Minniefield, Armando Wirshing and Glen and Nicole Wiklins for four years.

Gym event in 2011

Gym event in 2011

During the last eight years, we’ve held more than 16,000 classes and have had more than 2,250 people WOD at the gym.

No Excuses CrossFit was the first affiliate in Gwinnett County and you can see its roots firmly planted in Northeast Metro Atlanta. At least eight former coaches or members at No Excuses CrossFit have opened their owns gyms in the area.

As we reflect on the past eight years and remember all of the good times, the tough times and the fun times, we want to thank all of our members — past and present. Without you, this place would not be possible. Thank you!