How It All Started
As a former collegiate athlete, at the age of 25, Condition One CrossFit founder, Kyle Counts, had high cholesterol, was overweight and the most deconditioned he had ever been in his life. As a dad of two young boys and with a family history of high blood pressure and heart disease, he realized he needed to make major life changes or there was a very real possibility he would not get to see his children grow up. He began running, changed his diet, added weight training and did home based workouts. While he began seeing changes to his health and fitness level, he recognized there was still something missing that made it difficult to stay motivated. While working in St. Louis, he stopped by nearby Gorilla CrossFit to check it out. The WOD absolutely destroyed him, and he was hooked, quickly realizing the CrossFit program held the missing piece he was looking for, a community. With the gym being located near his place of employment yet an hour away from home, he found it difficult to be as consistent as he would have liked, so he purchased some basic CrossFit equipment and carved out a small area in his garage that allow him to WOD at home when he couldn’t get to the gym. While he enjoyed the effectiveness of the functional fitness based workouts, without the camaraderie and encouragement from his fellow gym members, it just wasn’t the same. He realized this was so much more than just a workout and wanted to complete his Level 1 to pursue his passion for coaching.
After completing the CrossFit Level 1 Course, Counts shadowed his coach for several months and begin thinking seriously about opening up a gym at home in his detached garage. As he learned more and more about the fitness industry, he saw a lot of misconceptions about what it meant to be fit or healthy, and using CrossFit as a foundation, he wanted to build a community of people in his hometown who shared his mindset that health and wellness is about what’s happening to the body on the inside more than what you see on the outside. He knew there had to be other people out there like him who wanted to work out, but didn’t want to do it alone.
He put feelers out on Facebook to gauge interest and talked to some friends, but found many people couldn’t grasp the concept of the program without having experienced it, so he made the decision to start intro classes and see what happened. He cleaned out the 600 square foot garage, put up his one and only pull up bar and ordered a few more plates and bars. On January 10, 2013, Condition One CrossFit had its first intro session with only six members. For three months, they worked, sweated and became the foundation of the COCF community. As they began to see the physical results, their friends started inquiring about what they needed to do to get started, so another intro session was scheduled for April, and this time eleven people showed up. Before they had even completed their intros, their friends and family were asking how to get started, and the May intros brought and additional thirteen people to the community. Counts soon realized this could be so much more than he initially envisioned. By October 2013, the gym had grown enough an expansion of his garage was needed. An additional 1100 square feet was added and Kyle invited several members to pursue their Level 1 and join him in coaching.
Here We Grow Again
By the middle of 2016, membership had climbed to over 120 members, and had once again outgrown the space, so the decision was made to relocate to a larger and permanent location within the Sullivan City limits. On December 31st, 2016, the first class was held at the new 2,500 square foot facility in Sullivan, just off of Historic Route 66.
With a mission of ensuring everyone regardless of age, ability and fitness level has access to lifelong, functional fitness, Condition One CrossFit strives to provide safe and effective training for everybody while keeping community at the forefront of the gym. Through various charity events, competitions, the Open, team or partner WOD’s and even the occasional bonfire or party, the camaraderie at COCF is the glue that holds it all together. We work, we sweat, we encourage, we cheer, we laugh and we cry, all together as one community, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!