Big Bears Most Fit

Pat Burton & Andy Meadors as Big Bear’s Most Fit

Functional movement for a strong body…

Ask Pat Burton and Andy Meadors about CrossFit and be prepared for a long listen. They live and breathe CrossFit and are passionate about its benefits. Both are certified coaches and their brand new CrossFit box, which is what the centers are called, opens in Big Bear Lake Jan. 7.

7K CrossFit was born from the love of the sport, Burton and Meadors say. Burton, a full-time firefighter, has been involved with CrossFit for about seven years. He went the more traditional route of fitness and exercise, but Burton says he was bored. A couple of his firefighter colleagues began doing CrossFit at the station, and that’s where Burton’s relationship began.

For Meadors, it’s been about two years since the graphic designer started CrossFit, reluctantly and with some fear. With back injuries and chronic back problems, Meadors says he was in pain and feared CrossFit would lead to further injury. Instead he found a way to kiss the pain goodbye, Meadors says. His first day, Meadors picked up a 45-pound empty bar and says he was in a lot of pain. As he developed strength in his core, his back and overall learning to use his body properly, the pain went away. He now deadlifts 315 pounds with zero pain, Meadors says.

CrossFit isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, Burton and Meadors say. But if they try a sip, they just might find they like it. If not done properly under the guidance of a certified coach, it can be dangerous, Burton and Meadors say. Their No. 1 goal in the box with their clients is safety.

CrossFit is functional movement. It involves gymnastics and weight lifting, building strength from the core to the extremities. It means being able to pick up a box properly, pick up kids and grandkids, shovel snow, put that box on the shelf, stack and even chop firewood, and in Burton’s case, build strength and stamina for a career that is physically taxing.

Think high intensity, fat burning when thinking of CrossFit. The athlete’s metabolism is shocked into performing, Burton says. But the base of CrossFit, like many fitness programs, is nutrition, Burton says. If you stop at McDonald’s before coming to the box, you will hate yourself, Burton says.

Those just beginning CrossFit at 7K must take an essentials class to learn the basics and build from there. It involves education, learning what and why you are doing something.

Burton and Meadors’ journeys through CrossFit have been different. But they both believe in the benefits of CrossFit. “I’ve never felt better than with CrossFit,” Meadors says.

“We’re success stories, and that’s where our passion comes from,” Burton says. CrossFit is about quality of life, and while it may be based on Olympic weight lifting, CrossFit involves your entire body, Meadors says. He says there is a stigma associated with CrossFit that it’s too hard, that you need to get in shape before you embark on CrossFit. “Throw that out the window,” Meadors says. Think longevity, he says. “My biggest goal is to not end up in a nursing home having someone wipe my butt,” Meadors says.

Functional fitness for all ages, Meadors and Burton say. CrossFit is for everyone, and their clients include people from age 10 to 90. There are stories after stories that involve success, Burton says. There are recoveries from auto immune disease, overcoming injury, obesity, even bulimia, Burton says. There are so many benefits, and it comes back to the support in the box, Burton says.

“We need that support, we are social creatures,” Meadors says.

7KCrossFit is at 41922 Fox Farm Road, Big Bear Lake. Call 310-780-5232 or visit www.7KCrossfit.com for more information.