By Nathan Loe
A group of six athletic looking college kids were finishing up a workout at CrossFit 38655 last week, and the air smelled like chalk.
The walls were covered in both blackboards and whiteboards that had personal best times and messages drawn that almost entirely filled the walls.
The first afternoon class had finished their workout, and they were chatting happily, shoving and joking with each-other.
The business is located in a building behind the Hampton Inn and Suites on Jackson Avenue in Oxford.
Manager Hayley Gregory has been at the gym since its beginning two years ago, and has witnessed its growth.
With about 100 members and counting, Gregory said there is still plenty of room to go around.
“We’ve doubled (in size) over the past year,” she said. “But still, we’ve got a lot more room and would love to get bigger than we are.”
Students at Ole Miss have a lot of options when it comes to getting in shape around Oxford, but according to Gregory the draw to CrossFit (CrossFit 38655 especially) is the community and friendship that comes with it.
This catalyst for encouragement is something that you may not find in many other local gyms or large fitness centers, she said.
“I think we have really established an awesome community here where we have college kids cheering on athletes over 40, and, you know, two groups of people who may not get along in another setting that are encouraging each other here,” Gregory said. “I think that’s one thing that draws people.”
The coaches (including Gregory) are all relatively young in the fitness industry, but incredibly qualified. Gregory has multiple coaching certifications, as well as a master’s degree in exercise physiology.
This kind of qualified coach is needed for people of any age to become versed in CrossFit and the many complicated movements that it requires.
Last week, students were weightlifting and doing some complex gymnastic movements. (They even taught me some.)
Gregory said those who comes should learn the process of signing up for classes, as well as the free-form approach for beginners.
“The best way to learn about CrossFit is just to come in and try it out,” she said. “It’s always the best way to get things going. All of our class times and workouts are posted on our website and our Facebook page. Just come in 10-15 minutes before class and we can get you started.”
For more information about CrossFit 38655, visit crossfit38655.com