As a new widow, I moved home to Sandpoint to be closer to family, but I knew that I would need to expand my community here in order to grow/survive after such a devastating event. I wanted to find like-minded people and being six months post-partum, I wanted a challenging, peer-accountability environment to keep me going. A CrossFit friend from Georgia kept nagging at me to try CrossFit—he told me it was a good fit for me and I should give it a try. One day at church I was briefly introduced to Whitney, and then later that week I ran into her and Ruth at a children’s event. I thought to myself, “Wow, look at their arms! I want arms like that. I wonder where they work out?” So I struck up a conversation with them, joined CrossFit that day (telling Kenny that my “Why” is because I want arms like them), and they have become some of my closest friends in town.

Although Kenny made me feel welcome during foundations, I was still nervous...I thought CrossFit would be a bunch of big, muscle-y, sweaty, shirtless (and probably hairy) guys working out next to me, with the occasional phenomenal She-Ra thrown into the mix. I am so lucky that reality is so much richer than my assumption! Sure, there are huge muscles and shirtless guys and She-Ras...but they are joined by young moms like me, grandmas, grandpas, dads, young people, people in all different stages of their fitness journeys. Real people. Authentically nice people who care about their health and each other.
— Katie Smith
At first I didn’t know what to expect. You hear about crossfit athletes and the “fittest on earth” and that’s kind of intimidating, but I tried it out anyways. Kenny and the rest of the coaches were all very welcoming and knowledgeable, and my original thought of it potentially being intimidating was immediately thrown out.
— Austin Humble
Truthfully, I have been interested in CrossFit for years. I just hadn’t justified in my head investing that amount of money in myself when I could get a much cheaper gym membership other places. That being said, I was never satisfied long term at other gyms and would slowly loose interest as I never felt like I was truly enjoying it or knew what I was doing. The more I looked into CrossFit, the more I thought it’d be a good fit for me. I finally got to a place where I was ready to invest in me for me. I signed up with a friend who was interested as well and found I loved it just like I thought I would!

My first impression was watching the 4:30 class doing all these things that I didn’t think I’d be able to do anytime soon. But then I saw these pregnant ladies doing it and thought well crap, if they can do it, so can I! I still get inspired regularly by other members and their accomplishments. I also love the community of it and just how different everyone is who is going here.
— Crystal Baines
My sister in Tampa had recently started CrossFit and was really excited about it. I was working out in the standard gym on my own, in good shape and pushing myself fairly hard. But CrossFit seemed like a way for me to further challenge myself and to potentially step up my game athletically. I liked the idea of having everything programmed for me as well, and the competitive opportunity to see how I compared to others in workouts.

My first impressions were definitely good. I was excited for the newness of this, a great bunch of people. I saw right away that CrossFit would bring my weaknesses into the light and make me a better athlete all around. I realized I had mobility issues and how important a mobility and proper movement focus would be to my improvement. I was excited about the prospect of learning new skills and just getting better all around. My impression hasn’t changed much, but I have a deeper appreciation for the community aspect and how CF brings so much self-worth and confidence to people of all skill levels. I love how there is a place for all levels, and how we support one another to be our individual best. One change in perspective is that its more about being MY best, versus competing against everyone else.
— Rick Evans
I joined CrossFit Sandpoint two years ago, at age 41, after many years of living a sedentary lifestyle. Immediately I lost 40 pounds which convinced me that CrossFit gets results. My athletic background was limited to youth sports, outdoor activities, and powerlifting for high school football. I had not trained seriously for over 20 years. CrossFit Sandpoint provides unlimited coaching, use of equipment, nutritional guidance, a great training atmosphere and rapport. In addition to the CrossFit classes, I have enjoyed training with Kenny in the explosive Olympic lifts. Today I am stronger and in better shape than I have ever been thanks to CrossFit.
— Bart Casey
Before joining CrossFit, I was spending upwards of two-three hours per night being a cardio-bunny at another gym. Hopping between different machines, changing my playlist on Spotify five times to find the right track to pump me up before bopping back over to weights... No amount of steps on the StairMaster4000 ever felt enough, even though I was well-aware my time spent was beyond excessive, given my demands elsewhere. Ain’t nobody got time for dat. I didn’t have an agenda, but a feeling - a feeling of pure, utter, ass-whooped exhaustion - that I was always trying to achieve, but rarely did. Some former co-workers and friends encouraged me to check out CFSP. I don’t recall the WOD, but I was certainly served a heaping slice of humble pie, a-la-mode, with a generous amount of ass-whooping. Please, sir, I want some mo’.

Really though, my first impression was that it wasn’t easy, at all. I came home depleted, but simultaneously so invigorated. This hasn’t changed. It still isn’t easy and if it ever is, I did something wrong. I love that each and every person can come in, scale appropriately to a healthy level of ability, but always push themselves. There’s no glass ceiling, no cap, no limit. I like that.
— Kara Berlin
I just wanted to say thank you to CrossFit Sandpoint, Kenny Markwardt, and the rest of the coaches/owners of our local Crossfit “gym”. I have never experienced a more all around, full body health approach from any other fitness facility. These guys are honest/sincere in their coaching and ethical in their business practices which is rare anymore. I will continue to support Crossfit Sandpoint for years to come and I think you should too!!
— Jake Humble
I was trying to find a way to get into shape and lose some weight, so I joined SWAC. I not only felt very uncomfortable but did not know how to use the equipment. Consequently, I just started using the fire station gym (I work at City Hall) on my lunch hour. Eventually one of the firefighters asked why I did not go to CrossFit next door. I about fell off the treadmill laughing. In my mind that was where all the in-shape hard body young, athletic people went. After realizing he was serious, I asked a few more firefighters if they really thought I would be able to do it. I then made an appointment with Kenny and he showed me the facility and assured me I could do the workouts. I will say it took about a year for me to not feel nervous every time I walked in the doors.

My first impression was that this place was nothing like I had ever seen. I was totally out of my element and scared…really scared! I honestly believed there was no way I could do it, that I did not have anything in common with anyone, I would be laughed at and fail. But the class setting and coaches were so cool! I was also surprised to see people of all ages and abilities. I think that was the most important thing, people my age (and older) were not only there but doing all that crazy stuff! It was also the hardest I had ever exercised in my whole life.

CrossFit Sandpoint is still the coolest place and although I am not scared (well most of the time) and I still work harder than ever, the people are still just as friendly and encouraging. I’m not going to lie, at first I thought all those people saying “good job” to me as I was laying on the floor just trying to breathe after a workout was obnoxious, but it grows on you, and before you know it, you have said it back! Because honestly if you make it through a workout you deserve a “good job” from someone! I love that everyone has a genuine interest in celebrating not only their own successes but everyone else’s. I love that it does not matter what background or ability someone has when we are in class everyone is treated the same. I also love that I don’t have to think about what exercise I should do and that it changes so I don’t get bored!
— Melissa Bethel