Scott Panchik, a now four-time CrossFit Games Athlete, was introduced to CrossFit by his dad in 2009. His father had been following CrossFit HQ’s programming for years.
At the time, Panchik was in football training at the University of Mount Union. While home for a summer, he started going to CrossFit Pittsburgh with his dad and some of his dad’s friends. “[I] just fell in love with it. It was a lot of fun. It was different than any other training regimen I’d ever done. Every day was something new. The camaraderie you got from working with people on a daily basis just made it exciting,” he said.
Panchik missed out on his senior year of college football due to an ACL tear. After undergoing surgery and rehab, Panchik graduated and moved to Mentor, Ohio, to become a physical education teacher and football strength and conditioning coach. There, he returned to CrossFit training.
In 2012, Panchik competed in his first CrossFit Open and placed 27th overall. He took fifth place at the Central East Regional and, ultimately, fourth at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games in Carson, California.
But he knew he could not compete forever. His experience getting hurt in college football taught him that lesson. “I look at competing as something that isn’t going to last forever. It’s something I do for myself,” said Panchik. “I still am looking at the big picture and the big picture is that no athlete can do this for the rest of their life. I want to create something that is going to leave me happy. It’s going to leave me helping people and something that I can come back to and have forever to support my family. Competing is great. I love it. I love every minute of it. But an injury can happen … You’re one injury away from not being able to play the sport.”
Shortly after taking fourth at the 2012 CrossFit Games, Panchik sat down with his family and told them he wanted to open up a CrossFit gym. At the time, his dad was close to retiring and his twin brothers were looking to compete someday, so the family moved to Mentor, Ohio, to open CrossFit Mentality together. “Now we’re about two years in and business is going well. My fiancé started working here. It’s just a family affair. I’m blessed to be able to do what I love with the people I love. Doesn’t even feel like work. Just a lot of fun every day,” explained Panchik.
And that is the idea behind CrossFit Mentality. With his injuries, including one at the CrossFit Games last year, Panchik said overcoming adversaries is why the gym is named “Mentality.”
“Being a CrossFit gym owner, you’re not just in the business of the fitness industry. You’re really in a business about relationships,” said Panchik. “Our goal in here is to make the best hour out of your day. It’s an hour that you can come in here and forget about everything going in your life and just unload and take it out on a workout, and we’re going to push you to be the best person you could possibly be and help you reach the goal that you set for yourself. “
Panchik would encourage every Affiliate owner to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of their own goals, as well as their members’ goals. When you do that, he said everyone around you is set to be successful.