Wilna Appel is the owner of CrossFit Power Beyond Measure (PBM) in Pretoria, South Africa.
Appel and her brother, Gerhard van der Merwe, are former professional athletes and now full-time trainers.
“We both love new stuff, and CrossFit was the thing for, I think, both of us . There’s always new things to learn,” Appel says.
For the brother-sister duo, the focus is community and personal relationships.
“It’s not about the numbers for us," van der Merwe says. "I think it’s more about getting people in and having a conversation with them and seeing that they're coming here to enjoy ... (our) company and train and go out with a smile.”
“I wanna know the people that I’m training. I don’t want them to be strangers to me,” Appel adds. “I don’t want to have too many members to let it get too impersonal.”
That philosophy resonates with the box’s members. Willem Erasmus, who has been doing CrossFit for about two years, says the people in the gym helped him get through a hard time.
“I went through some bad stuff recently, and they were there to support me, help me, to pick me up,” Erasmus says.
He adds: “I’m grateful for them in my life.”
Film by Mike Koslap
Additional reading: Dallin Frampton: CrossFit in Kenya by Emily Beers, published Sept. 17, 2012.