FARMINGTON — Chris Baade is 51 years old and in the best shape of her life.

While she has always participated in or taught various types of fitness, her daughter introduced her to CrossFit two years ago and that, Baade said, has revved up her fitness level.

"It's the people, the workouts," she said. "Every workout is different."

CrossFit is generally defined as "constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity." The exercises and movements performed in CrossFit originate from a combination of body weight training, Olympic weight lifting and gymnastics.

Animas CrossFit in Farmington finds its home in an old U-Haul warehouse -- a large, rectangular building with corrugated tin siding. Owner Jesse Hickey, a Farmington firefighter, said that many CrossFit gyms, or "boxes," establish themselves in buildings like these, because not much more is needed. The only component of the CrossFit gym that uses electricity is the digital timer on the wall. The inside is minimalistic, with matted floors and a metal frame holding gymnastic rings and pull- up bars, and resistance bands standing in the center. Other equipment lining the walls includes weighted medicine balls; variously-sized weight plates for weight lifting bars; wooden, moveable steps of different heights; a "glute ham developer," or GHD; and kettlebells, small, round, cast-iron weights with handles attached.

One appealing quality of CrossFit is its structure. Clients come to the gym during scheduled class times, and a "workout of the day," or WOD, is assigned. A trainer guides beginners through the workout and provides help and support for everyone in the class.

The WOD is written on a marker board in the center of one wall next to the entrance, for people to see as soon as they walk in the door. On Saturday morning, Friday's WOD was on the board and used as an example for a free trial class offered every Saturday. It read: "AMRAP 18 min," "100 m run," "10 TTB," and "10 med ball cleans."

Medicine balls and the workout of the day, or WOD, board is pictured Saturday at Animas CrossFit in Farmington.
Medicine balls and the workout of the day, or WOD, board is pictured Saturday at Animas CrossFit in Farmington. (Molly Maxwell / Special to The Daily Times)

Translation: "As many rounds as possible in 18 minutes: 100 meter run, then 10 toes-to-bar, followed by 10 medicine ball cleans. CrossFit has its own language, but one that is easily learned.

Jason Overturf is a trainer at Animas CrossFit and has been doing CrossFit for two and a half years.

"Form and safety are coming first. If I see someone pick up a bar with a rounded back, I'm going to holler at you," Overturf said.

CrossFit is commonly associated with firefighters, military and police. Hickey said while it is popular with these professions "because of its functionality," Animas CrossFit members come from a variety of professions. Ages range from 6 to 79 years old, he said.

CrossFit participants warm up before a class Saturday at Animas CrossFit in Farmington. Shown are kettlebells, wooden steps, and a GHD, or glute ham
CrossFit participants warm up before a class Saturday at Animas CrossFit in Farmington. Shown are kettlebells, wooden steps, and a GHD, or glute ham developer. (Molly Maxwell / Special to The Daily Times)

Whether it is surpassing personal milestones or comparing one's time or weight to another person's, competition is prevalent in CrossFit.

Tawnee Woosley, 21, is from Farmington and plays softball for Mesa State University. She said that when she returns home for break, she puts her softball workout aside and comes to CrossFit. The competitive nature of the sport, both with herself and others, keeps her coming back.

"My goal has been the muscle-up for a year, and I still can't do it," she said.

The muscle-up is an advanced CrossFit move in which a person hangs from gymnastics rings and pulls themselves up and over to a position where their arms are straight and hands are below the hips.

Baade advises newcomers to "give it time. Try to come at least a month and get a taste of every workout."

Stephanie Hickey, a physical therapist, co-owns Animas CrossFit with her husband, Jesse. The Hickeys rely mainly on word of mouth to promote their business, and with around 115 members, it seems to be working.

"We would rather spend money on new equipment than advertising," said Stephanie Hickey.

She said that exclusivity in CrossFit is a misconception, fueled by seeing the CrossFit Games on TV.

"The person that finishes last gets more support than the one who finishes first," said Jesse Hickey.

For Baade and many CrossFitters, the sport is more than just a workout routine, it is a way of life.

"I said to my husband the other day, 'I don't obsess about CrossFit,'" she said. "He said, 'Yeah, you do.'"

IF YOU GO

What: Animas CrossFit is hosting Cancer Crusher on Saturday, Dec. 21. This is a charity event that raises money for a local cancer patient. Registration opens at 10 a.m. and the event starts at 11 a.m.


Participants will compete in teams of four, representing either Emergency Medical Services or the police department.

Experience is not needed and beginners are welcome.

More Info: For more information, call Animas CrossFit at 505-801-9603.

WANT TO TRY IT?

Where: Animas CrossFit is located at 6161 E. Main St. in Farmington. Free trial classes are offered from 11 to 11:45 a.m. on Saturdays

More info: www.animascrossfit.com or call 505-801-9603.

More info: www.CrossFit.com.

Molly Maxwell covers the outdoors for The Daily Times. She can be reached at mollykmaxwell@gmail.com.