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.
HD file size: 284 MB
SD wmv file size: 135 MB
SD mov file size: 64 MB
Please note: For smoother viewing of HD videos, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).
Additional reading: Defenders of the Realm by Hilary Achauer, published Oct. 29, 2012.