BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Each Monday, we introduce you to someone -- or a group of people -- helping to build Buffalo and Western New York in our City Shapers segment.
This week, 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik takes us to Harborside CrossFit.
Coaches Jeff Bavisotto, Lindsey Phillips, and Josh Makar own Harborside CrossFit in Buffalo. The three met while working at a big corporate gym and decided to branch out on their own in November of 2014.
While they live in the suburbs, they wanted to start their new business in Buffalo.
"The revitalization of downtown Buffalo was like just happening then, and we were pretty excited about it, and kind of believed in it, and there were no CrossFit gyms in Buffalo at the time. So, we were looking around downtown, and we ran into this awesome space, and we loved the feel of it, and how rustic it is. I mean, it's a century-old building. It has a ton of character," says Phillips.
Another one of the reasons why the owners picked this space is because it's on the part of Seneca that connects downtown Buffalo to Larkinville.
They transformed the building, which was most recently a plywood business, into their dream gym.
"What we kind of stress here is just don't worry about what everyone else is doing. Work on your technique. A big thing with CrossFit is intensity, but we want that technique to be sound before we kind of push you a little bit more," says Bavisotto.
CrossFit is intense, but the coaches say it isn't meant to be intimidating. Beginners start with a month of "on ramp" classes where they learn techniques before joining a class like the one Makar led the day we visited.
"We have 18-year-olds, we've got 70-year-olds. We have people that are ex-athletes, we have people who came in super-fit, we have people that have never picked anything up off the ground other than a bag of groceries," says Makar.
Since opening, Harborside has grown to more than one-hundred members who not only support each other, they support Jeff, Lindsey, and Josh.
“If we run into obstacles, a lot of our members will do whatever we need to help us overcome them. Which is awesome. It allows us to grow the gym like even closer, and it helps us out, too," says Phillips.
Kelly is looking for more City Shapers. If you'd like to nominate someone, you can send her an email.