It’s 2008 and the streets of a sleepy neighborhood in Portland, Maine, are lined with an unusual amount of cars. In a nearby garage bay you can hear the thump of weights hitting a padded concrete floor. Over and over, a steady thump, thump, thump. The sound of co-founders Seth Page and Drew Crandall doing CrossFit with friends, and the growing heartbeat of what is now CrossFit MF.
Like many CrossFit enthusiasts, Page was growing tired of the traditional gym experience. So when he came across CrossFit while training at the police academy, he fell in love with it. At the time, there were no Boxes in Maine, so Page and Crandall decided to take it upon themselves, buying some equipment and setting up shop in the garage bay of Crandall’s parents’ house.
“Over time, friends and family started seeing us doing it and wanted to join us,” said Page. “Eventually, they started throwing us a couple bucks here and there to come train with us, so we could buy more equipment and kind of outfit more people at once.”
This homegrown garage Box worked for a while. But, as more and more people spread the word, and cars started to clog the neighborhood streets, Page and Crandall decided to make the jump from garage bay to Box space.
The Box just took off from there, and now CrossFit MF is one of the premier Boxes in Maine with members competing in the Reebok CrossFit Games and top level Coaches, all with some sort of athletic background.
“Our gym is kind of known for putting out high-level competitors within the sport of CrossFit now,” said Page. “But just because we have 15 athletes that are a cut above everybody else in the state, people think that everybody that comes to our gym is like that, but it’s just not true.”
Page said this has been both a blessing and a curse — many members come to CrossFit MF to train at the competitive level, but others are intimidated by its reputation. But Page stressed that CrossFit MF is an inclusive Box, and that CrossFit training isn’t just for athletes.
“We try to promote the more active side of the community. People that like to go outdoors, people that have other hobbies outside of just going to the gym,” said Page. “And we think that our program can get people more prepared and more able to go do those other activities that they like.”
Page said they try to make the program as accessible as possible. All new members undergo a mandatory month of the beginners program to make sure that they can perform all the movements safely before they begin the actual program.
For Page, the choice seems simple. You can go to a lesser Box and receive lesser training with mediocre results. Or you can go to his Box and receive the training from top-level Coaches who have proven they can get you the results you’ve always wanted.