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CrossFit E2 – It’s not a cult, it’s a community

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Ross Wright opens new gym offering high intensity workouts with encouraging messages

By Stevie Lowery

 Two years ago, Ross Wright decided he wanted a career change.

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He knew he wanted to do something fitness related, maybe even open his own gym. Initially, he thought about building a gym, possibly in Loretto. He even had blueprints drawn up, but finding land to build on became an issue. Then, he and his wife, Sarah, considered buying a gym, but that didn’t work out, either. In the meantime, Ross had a friend that asked him to try CrossFit at Horse Country CrossFit in Danville. He started going in February, and immediately was hooked.

“I fell in love with it,” Ross said.

CrossFit blends functional movements from diverse fields (including gymnastics, weightlifting, running/rowing) and executes them at high intensity.  

Within two weeks of going to Horse Country CrossFit in Danville, Ross decided he wanted to open his own CrossFit gym in Lebanon.

“I knew this is what I have to do,” he said.

But, it was a huge leap of faith for Ross, and for his wife, Sarah.

“We prayed about it,” Ross said.

“I spent two years praying that he would change his mind,” Sarah said, laughing.

But, he didn’t.

Ross actually quit his job and started working to become certified as a CrossFit trainer.

“I just felt like God told me, ‘No matter what you’re doing, just keep me first and you can do whatever you want,’” Ross said. 

While Sarah was supportive of her husband, she was also very nervous. She was now the sole provider for their family. And they were investing in something that she wasn’t sure would work in Marion County.

“But, we both believed that if we prayed that God would give us signs along the way,” she said. “And we just had so many points of affirmation. I switched jobs and my income increased dramatically. And, we had a lot of people confirm it for us the first month. We did much better than we expected.”

Ross officially opened the gym, CrossFit E2, in July. He’s been encouraged by the number of people who have joined the gym, so far. He said getting people to come and try CrossFit can be difficult, which is why the first workout is free.

Sarah said what she likes most about CrossFit is the convenience of it and the community aspect.

“This is a program for anybody,” she said. “It’s not just for the physically fit. It’s for anybody that is willing to put in the time and the effort. If you want to be successful at CrossFit, just don’t stop. Keep showing up.”

Ross said he loves the workouts.

“I love the intensity. I love the variety,” he said.

And they both enjoy the positive, encouraging atmosphere at CrossFit E2. In fact, the “E2” in the gym’s name stands for “Equipping and Encouraging.”

“We are equipping you for life,” Ross said. “Crossfit is functional movements. Movements you use daily. The workouts are designed to help you with everyday life.”

Along with equipping people to live a better, healthier life, CrossFit E2 also encourages its members in a variety of ways, physically, mentally and spiritually, Ross said.

“I’ve got scripture on the wall, Bible versus for the week and Christian music playing,” Ross said. “And I’m here for anybody that has any questions and might want to know about Jesus or God. I’m here.”

While all of the music is Christian music, Ross said most people don’t even realize it. It’s rock, rap and alternative music, which supports the gym’s encouraging atmosphere, Ross said.

“We just try to keep it positive,” Ross said.

And he keeps it safe. Ross is very cautious about making sure people use proper form with all of the exercises.

“If you look on YouTube you can see all kinds of CrossFit fails,” he said. “Those people aren’t being coached properly. They’re not being safe.”

Another misconception that Ross and Sarah hear a lot is that CrossFit is a cult.

But, Ross is ok with that. 

“We’re not a cult. We’re a community,” he said.

“You will always have a community here to cheer you on,” Sarah said, “to push you to encourage you.”