We’re Opening A CrossFit Gym

Trey Whitaker
3 min readOct 18, 2020

Written: July 2017

Short story:

We’re opening our own CrossFit gym.

Long story:

I worked for large organizations for 40 years. Lived the ‘Office Space’ life. Walked the hallways and sat in cubicles. Made the daily commute to and from the office. Even had a modicum of success along the way. Enough to afford a small home in a quiet town with more cows than people.

Last spring, for the final time, I carried my personal items out of the office. I tossed them into my Jeep, made the commute home and laid in a sunny hammock for a few days. When the fog of decades of work began to lift, I thought about going back to the grind. It’s what I knew. Despite the occasional bits of drudgery, there was the safety of a paycheck and a defined role to play.

As I laid in my sunny hammock, I thought about those decades of corporate life. There’s a certain amount of conformity that’s required when working within corporate America. Over the years, I was fairly successful in playing along but, on more than a few occasions, a co-worker said to me, “You really shouldn’t be working here. You should be doing something else.” They were urging me to escape the cubicle.

As last summer passed, I painted my porch, walked my dog, did lots of CrossFit and wondered about what I really loved to do?

I loved athletics. Always had. From a small kid playing wiffleball, throwing snowballs and tossing a Nerf football to a grown-up parachuting, marathoning and grappling. If I wasn’t participating, I was coaching or spectating with a camera always in hand. In recent years, my passion for CrossFit had been nurtured by great coaches and the results I’d realized.

Since I had the opportunity, I threw myself into CrossFit. I became a certified trainer. I did competitions. I went to the CrossFit Games. I judged at Wodapalooza and the CrossFit East Regionals. I became a coach myself. If there was a CrossFit course available, I signed up for it. Gymnastics, Anatomy, Strongman, Aerobic Capacity and CrossFit Level 2 Trainer. My social media accounts became a constant stream of CrossFit photos. My whole family was now training. Even my dreams were about CrossFit.

From time to time, friends would ask, “When are you going to open your own gym.” I always scoffed at the idea. I’m was far too old and stodgy for such an outlandish venture.

When again, if I had an awesome partner, I might just consider. Enter DJ Harris and we’re off to the races.

Scary excited would sum up my current feelings, but I’m looking forward to seeing how this CrossFit journey evolves.

No matter the outcome, there will be no cubicles. No ties. No suits. Just lots of t-shirts, shorts, chalk clouds and high-fives. I’ll take that.



Trey Whitaker

Former CrossFit gym owner, corporate manager, paratrooper, youth sports coach and jujitsu black belt. Now a trail steward at Haleakala National Park on Maui.