Back in the “olden” days… you know before 2020 and all this crazy pandemic business, 20 Mile did some really fun stuff… like BBQs at the gym, CrossFit Open Announcement parties, workout showdowns, competitions and so much more. It was the way 20 Mile CrossFit members connected. AMers and PMers got to hangout, you could meet the families of your workout buddies, members got to connect with coaches they didn’t know, and everyone got to meet and get to know the owners.
Sadly, COVID has put a hard stop to any and all fun social gatherings, making it tricky for people in our community to connect. Not to mention the fact new people are joining our 20 Mile posse every day, which is absolutely incredible!
With everyone being so distant the last eight months (geeze.. has it really been that long?!!) and with so many new people joining our community, I thought it might been fun to do a little something to bring us back to our roots.
Do you guys know the 20 Mile ownership team? Those of you who know them, how much do you really know about them? Do you know where they grew up? What sports they played in high school? What made them “drink the CrossFit Kool-Aid“ for the first time, or why they were inspired to invest in a gym?
Me either! I’ve been a member at 20 Mile CrossFit for almost four years and while I know all of our owners, I realized I don’t know much about their stories. So, this week I want to take you all on a little excursion to meet the four members of the 20 Mile Fitness Collective ownership team.
Monica Brandt was born in south Texas, but moved to the centennial state when she was a toddler, so she is just about as close to a Colorado native as you can get without actually being one. Her family was extremely sports oriented growing up so she played just about every sport you can imagine as a kid, her dad coaching her in every single one of them. As she got a little older she began specializing in lacrosse and field hockey, and eventually went on to play lacrosse at Colorado State University.
When Monica’s collegiate lacrosse career came to an end after graduation, she struggled to adjust to living without the rigors of being a competitive athlete. She got out of shape and started gaining weight. She realized she needed to find something that would help her enjoy working out again. By chance she found a CrossFit Groupon in 2010 and decided to give it a try. It didn’t take long before she was hooked! CrossFit provided an outlet for the competitive part of her that made her an amazing athlete all those years growing up. Plus she loved how CrossFit could be adapted to the needs and ability of anyone, and it provided variety that kept workouts from getting boring.
A couple years later, Monica was a CrossFit certified coach and began exploring the idea of opening up her own CrossFit gym in north Aurora. Then in March of 2013, smack dab in the middle of the CrossFit Open, Monica heard through the grapevine 20 Mile CrossFit was getting ready to close their doors. She had subbed a few times at the gym and just couldn’t imagine the members showing up and not having a place to complete their Open workouts.
“It was the perfect win-win situation, I wanted to open a CrossFit gym, and 20 Mile had an established community of members and already owned all the equipment. The investment was really a no brainer!”
Today Monica’s resumé is not limited to CrossFit coaching and ownership, she also owns and manages a couple of maintenance businesses, dabbles in fix and flip real estate, and coaches lacrosse and field hockey. And that’s all in addition to being married to Mike (who she met through another coach at 20 Mile), being Mom to 1-year-old Landon, and being a dog mama to Moose and Bubba.
To say owning a CrossFit gym is a lot of work is an understatement, and 2020 has been the most difficult of the last seven years. Period. But when reflecting on why she continues to stick by 20 Mile Monica’s answer was simple:
“I love helping make people’s days ‘Better Than Yesterday’ wether it’s by helping a member reach a physical goal, cheering for someone when she finally makes her first muscle up after months of failed attempts, or cracking a silly joke that makes someone laugh when he’s having a tough day. It brings me so much joy to watch how CrossFit positively impacts the lives of the people in our community.”
When I asked Monica if there was a piece of encouragement she wanted pass along to 20 Mile members this is what she said:
“Everything is Figuroutable. With enough patience, work and drive YOU CAN achieve pretty much anything, so keep working to solve those puzzles.”
Stay tuned for more owner stories coming at ya this week!