CrossFit Goes to College

By Juan Hernandez

In Affiliation

November 30, 2008

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Juan Hernandez describes his experience of CrossFitting at his college, the University of North Carolina.

I heard about CrossFit over the summer from a buddy doing it at a YMCA back home, and started the workouts here at UNC during orientation week. At first it was only me, reveling solo in the pain like a monk in a monastery. After about a month, I ran into David Blumberg, and Eugenio “Junior” Valdez. Together, we pushed the pace, embarking on the fight to better ourselves, and, as the adage goes, to make ourselves all that we could be. The workouts became more and more intense as we tried to be the first to finish. Others in the gym began to take notice.

As time went on, we’d run across more and more people performing the WOD on their own. Knowing that there had to be lots of other CrossFitters out there who would also enjoy hooking up with partners, we started a Facebook CrossFit group. In mid-September, we had 10 to 12 CrossFitters. By early November, after we’d initiated a regular workout time and invited anybody interested to join, we’d grown to 40 UNC students, including 10 girls.

If all goes as planned, Crossfit UNC will be fully operational by next fall. After my cert, there’s a lot of paperwork to fill out, and plenty more bureaucratic hoops to jump through. Until then, we as a group will continue to better ourselves and the CrossFit community by putting our major goals into practice: the spreading of the CrossFit philosophy of self betterment and the acceptance of CrossFit as an elite workout program.

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9 Comments on “CrossFit Goes to College”


wrote …

Awesome job, Juan. Your story (life) is inspirational. I'm impressed with your sence of direction, determination and focus. CrossFit really does attract the best people out there. Keep pushing!


wrote …

Juan & Company, that is awesome! I have wanted to do something like that at my university (Purdue) ever since I joined the "Fitness Club" a couple years ago. The club was really just a body building club and I soon became disinterested in the meetings and activities. Nobody really cared what I had to say about fitness and about Crossfit. Hope all works out for you guys, sounds like you've got the numbers to back it up.


wrote …

cool stuff!
i wish that could have happened here at U of Toronto, but I've only been cross-fitting consistently for a few months, and I'm due to leave pretty soon.


replied to comment from Nicolas Gruber

I've been looking to start a similar Non-for profit club here at Purdue as well Nicolas. We have a few people doing it now.

Email me if you're still interested. We should talk.


Michael Reynolds wrote …

Great job. See if the ROTC departments will help you out and/or sponsor you as a "club" (because I'm sure lots of the Army and Marine folks are doing CrossFit). That's how the UNC skydiving club started out. I was doing CrossFit workouts back in '01 and '02 at the Rec and getting the same stares and comments from the Spring Break beach-muscle crowd and the rec's own "personal trainers." Just stick to your guns and explain for the 100th time that half-squats and biceps curls aren't functional or impressive. -Michael Reynolds, UNC Class of '02, GO HEELS!


wrote …

Juan- Great article. Your determination is inspirational. Hopefully CrossFitters at campuses across the country will follow your lead!


wrote …

Good stuff Juan! Its funny the same obstacles you face at your university I face with the military and there gyms. It would be cool to hear an update in a couple of months good luck with your process!


wrote …

In a time when most Freshman in college are more worried about the next frat party your determination to make something real and beneficial to the community is refreshing. Keep up the good work! Your efforts give me hope for your generation!
Semper Fi


wrote …

What's crazy about this for me is that I just graduated from UNC last year and was doing Crossfit everyday at the gym. It might have helped that my roommate worked at the gym, and had actually recommended crossfit to me that I didn't get bugged too often to cut it down. Everyone would just look at Gregg he would nod and say I was okay. I love crossfit, and love UNC. Keep it up!

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