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Meet Kurtis Bowler by Kurtis Bowler - CrossFit Journal

Meet Kurtis Bowler

By Kurtis Bowler

Video Article

When CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman arrived in Washington in September 2003 for a one-day seminar that ended with Helen, Kurtis Bowler immediately knew he had not been doing CrossFit at all in the preceding months.

“Prior to that, I thought I was doing CrossFit,” Bowler says. “But it turned out all I was doing was not resting as much between weightlifting exercises.”

At 19:35, he finished “dead last” in Helen.

“Got beat by a lady, a 53-year-old lady that weighed 95 lb. soaking wet,” Bowler jokingly says.

Less than a year later, Bowler opened Rainier CrossFit in July 2004 in Sumner, Wash. He’s now also a member of the Level 1 Seminar Staff and the North West Regional Director.

Bowler says one of the reasons the CrossFit community has been so important to him is because of his oldest son, 12-year-old Casey, who is deaf and has fragile X, a condition similar to autism.

“It doesn’t matter where we go with CrossFit, Casey is always Casey, and he’s always at home … ,” Bowler explains. “He’s grown up in this environment, and this is his happy place. And everybody always treats him like Casey. … That may be why the community part of all this is so important to me, because it’s been huge for him.”

Bowler’s other child, 7-year-old Sam, is one of the lucky kids who’s grown up in a CrossFit gym.

“He was born and raised in a CrossFit gym. Like this is all he’s ever known. He thinks that this is what everybody does,” Bowler says.

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Additional reading: Defenders of the Realm by Hilary Achauer, published Oct. 29, 2012.

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18 Comments on “Meet Kurtis Bowler”


EC S wrote …

Love this. Thanks for sharing, Kurtis!


wrote …

It's so wonderful to see Kurtis, the original CF Strongman and his family featured. Great story!


wrote …

Awesome! The Bowlers are the best!



Eli Lambert wrote …

What an amazing job Kurtis did running the show at the Level I course I went to this last October at CrossFit Bellevue. To be fair to all other Level I Instructors, this was my only experience taking the course; but I can't imagine it could get much better. This article was well done; very moving.
NADIA, great to see your name on here. You did a fantastic job too.

I have to ask: What happened to the goatee?
(to be clear, the question is for Kurtis)


Adam Neiffer wrote …

Love the video! Kurtis and Laurie you are amazing examples for the rest of the CrossFit community of how it's supposed to be done. Thanks for all you do.

-Adam & Lauren


wrote …

Kurtis, you were my judge in the 2010 "pyramid Helen" event... after everyone seemed to think the event was over, and they started packing shit up, and shut the clock off when I was still running my last lap, you helped me push through to get to the "shoulder to overhead" part and I appreciated the way you handled the situation. Thank-you for that,

DJ Wickham


wrote …

Awesome to see a coach and affiliate so close to home (I live in Bonney Lake, WA) featured in the journal. I am certainly considering making Rainier CrossFit my home when I return from my current deployment in Africa!


wrote …

The original CF Strongman for sure. Kurtis is a true gentleman who exudes all the best qualities of a CF coach.


wrote …

Kurtis, we have a 13 year old daughter who is profoundly deaf and has bilateral cochlear implants. Our entire family crossfits and I KNOW Crossfit has only made our daughter more confident. Thanks for giving us a look into your life.


wrote …

That is one cool dude!!! Pleasure meeting you at my Level I in King of Prussia last April!! Keep up the great work!


wrote …

The Bowlers are an awesome family! Kurtis IS the original CrossFit strongman. Alyssa and I will be up to visit you guys soon!


wrote …

You're a class act man. Glad it's all working for you and your family.


wrote …


Wow. That's all I have to say. You are an amazing man. Definitely had me tearing!


wrote …

In addition to all the things Kurtis talks about here, he's also an original member of the CrossFit Risk Retention Group's Board of Directors and as valuable an asset to that organization as he is to the rest of the community. What a fine man and fine family. It's a real treat to know him and good to see him getting this deserved attention.


wrote …

Class act for sure. You have a wonderful life and great perspective. Definitely the mark of a true man when you get emotional about your boys. Thank you for all you do and what you represent.

~ Greg


Joseph Alexander wrote …

Fantastic tribute. Strong man, big heart. Much respect.


wrote …

Ive never met Kurtis but he seems like such genuine and humble dude. His kids are precious too, wish you the best as you continue your box sir!


wrote …

What is that song in the beginning?? Someone help! That sounds like an awesome song to do a strength portion too.

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