Our Story

So why the heck did I decide to open Fox River Strength and Conditioning along with North Aurora CrossFit? I guess the best place to start with that is looking at my history and what I’ve found with fitness and CrossFit. I have a pretty diverse and exciting background regarding athletics. I’ve always been active and I’ve mostly been “fit” as well. From soccer to ice hockey and from those ball sports a transition to triathlon. Somehow I got it in my head that I just had to do the Ironman triathlon. I grinded away my body and my time to get this average guy through the 140.6 miles of that race on three occasions and at the end of that third burnout was at an extreme. I was triathlon fit, but I wasn’t healthy. My knees were achy and my neck
and back kept me up at night and in pain during the day. I was thin. Really thin. This may be what triathlon fitness is, but in my opinion, looking back, healthy was not an adjective you could use.

I had done what I set out to do in triathlon, finish Ironman Hawaii, so after Kona I gave up the sport and gave up fitness in general. I turned to my career and family and just let myself go. My health issues lingered with my neck and back continuing to have a big negative impact on my quality of life. I entered physical therapy and between that and a fair amount of prescription medication, I finally got my neck and back to a poor, but albeit manageable state. By no means was I healthy and by no means was my neck and back issues solved. At about this time I had a few employees telling me about CrossFit and their love of it. I also witnessed transformations in their bodies over just a few short months. Fitness started creeping into my mind again and I found myself on a work trip, hotel bound, watching 6 straight hours of the CrossFit games. The next week I took the plunge.

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So, I walk into this Crossfit box and they start me, this skinny, fat, weak, pushing 40, ex-triathlete on some of the foundation exercises. I ran out of air almost immediately but I had coaching there, direction, and attention specific to my capabilities. They brought me on and set the direction for the work and pushed me when I needed it, and slowed me down when I needed it. My body started adapting almost immediately and something started to happen that has never happened in my prior 39 years on this earth, I started putting on muscle, and not just a little. That skinny fat? It started to melt. The visceral fat I’d been carrying around began to disappear. The neck and back problems? Well, those ended up being severe muscle imbalances I’d developed in triathlon and sitting in front of computers and in cars. The functional movements and lifts fixed that too. I’m not on prescription pain killers anymore and I sleep through the night like a baby. All told, I walked in with back and neck issues, and a body weighing 160lbs. This 160lbs was comprised of 30% fat. After 2 years on program, I weigh 185lbs with just 16% of that fat. Now, numbers are numbers so I’ll tell you what is the clearest benefit I’ve received from the program: I’m healthy, and I really am fit.

And that’s why I’ve opened Fox River Strength and Conditioning and North Aurora CrossFit. Access to this type of coaching and facility was absent in our community. The core value that comes from the programs we offer is something special. It is something that can change lives for the better. Whether you want to get light, get heavy, get healthy, or get right, we can help get you there.

For me, Mark, through not only my weight loss journey but also my life journey I have had a few “ah-ha” moments where my life transformed. It has led me to this exact point in my life, transforming lives here at Fox River Strength and Conditioning, Home of North Aurora CrossFit. My first “ah-ha” moment was having children, second was losing over 100 pounds, and third was becoming a personal trainer and currently coaching and using CrossFit as my fitness modality here at FRSC. My passion and dedication in my life is assisting our athletes to be better, not only physically but mentally and emotionality as well.

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