LiveBIG at Windy City


Justin Marcis said he was a fit guy within the four walls of his business, Windy City CrossFit. But he wasn’t doing much with his fitness outside of it.

He realized this after his first daughter was born. “I just looked at what I was doing in my life,” said Marcis. “I wanted to be a role model in terms of not just working out, but I get out there, go do things. I seek adventure. I go explore the world and I wanted to do that so that my daughter could see that it’s OK to do that. I want her to go out and do those things eventually in her life.”

That’s where LiveBIG Adventures stemmed from. It’s not an official program, but rather a name for what Marcis encourages his staff and members to do. And that’s to use their fitness out of the Box.

LiveBIG is a trending hashtag around the gym, and Marcis has dedicated a portion of his website to document the global adventures of his community. He’s also brought it into his decor. “We have LiveBIG up on the walls. We have framed posters of people that are in the mountains, doing their thing, and we have a slideshow on a big TV,” explained Marcis. “The feedback [on LiveBIG Adventures] has been amazing.”

Whether that’s biking part of the Appalachian Trail or going to surf camp, Marcis encourages his staff — both in words and with stipends — and his members to get out of the gym. This is in line with his business’ mission statement. “We believe the quality of our health determines the quality of our life, and nothing is more important than that. So, that’s where we feel it all starts,” said Marcis.

And it’s not that Marcis encourages each of his members into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. In fact, LiveBIG can mean whatever each member wants. But determining the meaning of LiveBIG for someone begins with a new member consultation. There, Marcis and his staff determine a member’s goals, and they make sure to ask the why behind any ambition: For example, why does he or she want to lose weight? And then he determines how he will help them do that.

That goes the same for his staff. Marcis will ask them three questions:

1. What do you envision personally?

2. What do you envision professionally?

3. And how can we get there?

Overall, LiveBIG Adventures is simply another way Marcis is inspiring his members and staff to use their fitness outside of the Box. Yes, he can put together a training regimen for specific goals, like hiking around the Big Sur area. But ultimately, he looks to improve their quality of life in whatever way he can. “What we want to do is help people live big, whatever that is that they want to do,” he said. “It goes back to our mission statement.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at