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“Why people struggle to achieve their fitness goals” with Christy Buffington on the Koolers Lifestyle Podcast – Episode 8

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[00:00:00] Christy Buffington: Oh, definitely. My favorite thing to say is, is, or I say it all the time, I guess, is like, if it was easy, everyone would have a six pack, right? Like, we’d all walk around like, I touched a dumbbell and now I’m completely in shape and everything’s great. But, you know, and I think the people don’t realize is like, yeah, maybe it’s uncomfortable, but it’s, it’s for your lifelong health.
[00:00:22] Like maybe you’re in your forties now, but you’re not gonna be forever, right? You’re not gonna be in your twenties forever. And , it’s like you have to think about those things and maybe you’re a little more uncomfortable now to be more comfortable.
[00:00:36] Matthew Kuehlhorn: Welcome to the Cooler Lifestyle Podcast. I’m your host, Matt Kuehlhorn and I’m excited to have you join me as I interview community members and business leaders from the communities in which I live, work, and serve through my business cooler garage doors.
[00:00:49] We’re gonna bring you highlights on characters in our communities. Why? Because community matters, and I want to know more about who is behind our business and leadership [00:01:00] in order to understand and support the community fabric that our relationships makeup . And collectively, we can build stronger communities that support our lifestyles, our youth and our health.
[00:01:16] Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Cooler Lifestyle Podcast. I’m your host Matt Kalhorn, and today I’m sitting down with Christy Buffington, owner of CrossFit, Gunnison Out Cold Strength, and she’s been my coach in the past. I haven’t made it into the gym for a little bit, which is a bomb. Christie, thanks for joining.
[00:01:36] Yeah, thanks for having me. Are you at your home? I am. Looks
[00:01:40] Christy Buffington: comfortable. Yeah. My dog is sleeping on the couch here. I love it. .
[00:01:46] Matthew Kuehlhorn: Christie, where did you
[00:01:46] Christy Buffington: grow up? Brownsville, Texas. So on the border by the sea would be it’s slogan. So. Right on the very tip of Texas. Right by the ocean and Mexico. Wow. [00:02:00]
[00:02:00] Matthew Kuehlhorn: Is that, um, I mean, it almost sounds awesome.
[00:02:03] Were you near the, like the beach? Is it a beach community?
[00:02:06] Christy Buffington: Yeah, we’re like 10 minutes from the
[00:02:07] Matthew Kuehlhorn: ocean. Okay, cool. What was it like growing up there?
[00:02:13] Christy Buffington: Um, it, I mean, it was pretty awesome. I think that’s where I kind of started being more outdoorsy, going to the beach, surfing, you know, with tiny waves, but.
[00:02:22] getting all that in. Yeah. But it was, it was really fun. No seasons though, which inspired me to move somewhere that actually had seasons.
[00:02:30] Matthew Kuehlhorn: Ah-huh . Yep. Right on. Um, so you’re owner of CrossFit Gunnison, you purchased that from Faith, is that correct? Yes. Um, when did that happen? How long ago?
[00:02:42] Christy Buffington: Um, five years Will, uh, July will be our five year anniversary.
[00:02:45] Right
[00:02:46] Matthew Kuehlhorn: on, right on. Yeah. That’s awesome. So gimme a, a concise. Southern tip of Texas. Mm-hmm. into Gunnison, Colorado. I think if [00:03:00] my memory serves, you had some time in the front range. Oh yeah. How’d you make it into, how’d you make it into the Valley?
[00:03:07] Christy Buffington: Well, I’m, I like lo my parents, my grandparents lived in Denver.
[00:03:11] That always inspired me to move to Colorado. Um, then I lived in Fort Collins and then Steamboat. and then met Nate and we both moved to Steamboat and then, you know, moved to, moved to Denver, which kind of allowed us to get all the gym experience that we came to Gunnison with cuz we did both managed and coached gyms for almost 10 years down there.
[00:03:35] But we were like itching to get back to the mountains and so we traveled, kind of did a road trip like all over the US to see what mountain town we wanted to open a. awesome. And our shortlist was like Sandpoint, Idaho, big Sky, Montana, and actually Gunn in Colorado. So that kind of like started a little fuel for the fire [00:04:00] of where we wanted, you know, our next journey in fitness to be.
[00:04:03] Yeah. And like where we’re gonna open a gym. Yeah.
[00:04:08] Matthew Kuehlhorn: It’s quite a distinction in those towns. .
[00:04:11] Christy Buffington: Yeah. They’re all a little different. Yeah, I think,
[00:04:14] Matthew Kuehlhorn: yeah. Very cool. So what, what locked in Gunnison for you? What did it?
[00:04:20] Christy Buffington: Uh, Nate, my significant other and business partner, um, he was coaching at a gym in Denver and one of our members, current members was going across the Gunnison and they kind of chatted and he was kind of letting us know that faith who was currently owning the gym definitely was maybe gonna sell, sell the.
[00:04:43] you know, and, but he is like, she’s not sure yet. You know, this was before she had decided and a couple months go by. We hadn’t heard anything. Both of us kind of tired of working for other people. Did. Nate just randomly called him like, you know, called Jack, who it was and Oh, okay. Jack was like, [00:05:00] you gotta get down here.
[00:05:01] Faith’s selling the gym. So we literally like had friend’s birthday party, we canceled, we drove to Gunnison and talked to Faith, and then we. Coaching classes less than a month later. No kidding. Just left everything and just came out here. Oh, that’s
[00:05:17] Matthew Kuehlhorn: awesome. Serendipitous. Yeah, . Very cool. So you mentioned, um, you know, be very, being very intentional about checking out mountain towns to continue your fitness journey.
[00:05:32] When did your fitness journey start? How did, how did that develop for you?
[00:05:37] Christy Buffington: I mean, for me it started. Like pretty young. I always played sports and then in college I always like lifted on the side and did all this stuff and was just always really into it. Wanted nutrition to be my major and you know, you listen to other people more than yourself.
[00:05:54] Sometimes like didn’t go that path, you know? And so it was always [00:06:00] kind of something we were really into. And then we found CrossFit. In like 2010 and got just loved it and was just like decided, you know, like, this is something I wanna do. I started coaching part-time. At the time I was working in oil and gas and then I decided, I worked with an oil and gas for like eight years.
[00:06:23] Wow. And coached part-time, uh, towards the end of that. And then probably, within like three years of coaching part-time, I decided to quit like my six figure oil and gas job to be a poor, struggling coach for other people. . Wow. .
[00:06:47] Matthew Kuehlhorn: How’s that journey going? Are you
[00:06:49] Christy Buffington: glad you did it? Great. I mean, I think I’ve always been happiness over anything else.
[00:06:54] Yeah. So I think that’s super important to do something that you love versus. , you know, working [00:07:00] for the man and not loving what you do.
[00:07:02] Matthew Kuehlhorn: Yeah, yeah, I hear that. Um, couple questions. I want to come out at once, so I’m gonna stage ’em, so Yeah, go for it. You’ve, you’ve mentioned, um, five year anniversary coming up with, with the gym and, and thus in Yeah.
[00:07:16] In the Gunnison community. What do you, what do you love about this area and, and about being part of the community?
[00:07:23] Christy Buffington: Well, Gunnison, everyone’s so adventurous, which is, Really like speaks to me. I love doing things in the mountains and outside and just being in Afghanistan, you’re just immersed in all of it.
[00:07:35] And you know, I think that I’m just excited to see where the gym’s gonna go. We’ve grown so much from where, what we got it from was like think, you know, we had like 15 paying members when we bought the gym, and so. You know, it’s exciting to kind of explore more of our community and now, you know, Stan’s a really tight-knit community and it’s [00:08:00] kind of hard to move here and get to be, become a part of that community.
[00:08:04] And I feel like now we’re actually starting to be a part of the community and kind of getting the word out of what we actually do might not be what people’s perception is. Like. We actually want to help people be outside, not be in a. Those type of things. So kind of just excited to see, you know, where the growth of the gym will go to help people be outside more.
[00:08:25] Yeah.
[00:08:27] Matthew Kuehlhorn: Yeah. I love that. Um, so just so all the listeners know, like I’ve been a member, I’ve seen what you do. Yeah. And I think, um, you know, from my experience having some form of coaching, whether it’s specific to boxing, which is one of my passion, But even going back to like high school days of lifting and, you know, for whatever reason I found CrossFit and I, and I really, really enjoyed it.
[00:08:54] And it’s a large part and because of it is a passion for you and [00:09:00] Nate, like I can tell, um, the, the quality focus that you guys put into coaching is, is really special. And so I just wanted to acknowledge that.
[00:09:14] CrossFit has its own. Mm-hmm. myths. Um, and so what is something that, you know, our listener may think about CrossFit that is not necessarily true? Or what might they need to know about CrossFit that they’re not gonna necessarily know unless they get in? Um, I
[00:09:35] Christy Buffington: would think the number one thing we hear the most, just like meeting people in the community and just really any community, is that they feel like they need to be in shape before they start CrossFit.
[00:09:46] And I think that’s probably the biggest misconception. You know, our gym is here for everyone and it’s what gets you into shape, right? It gets you to the goals you wanna have for your health. It’s not something that you already walk in [00:10:00] necessarily. Healthy or in shape, right? Like everything we do is made for all ages and ability, and then we are able to change movement based on people’s abilities or past injuries that they might be walking in with.
[00:10:14] We can modify around that, and I think that’s the number one thing is people think that you have to be this like super yoked jacked person to do CrossFit, and by no means is that true.
[00:10:28] Matthew Kuehlhorn: Yeah, that’s good because there is that impression. Um, you know, CrossFit, the marketing of it, you know, is around the strongest people in the world, whatever phrase they, they use and Yeah.
[00:10:40] Yeah. And yet, uh, I would agree and concur like it can be for everybody. And, um,
[00:10:50] the, um, yeah, the gym community. How would you describe that?
[00:10:56] Christy Buffington: I think that’s the biggest part of [00:11:00] at least CrossFit donnison is the community, right? Like your friend next to you in class hasn’t seen you in a while. They’re probably gonna text you and be like, Hey, where have you been? You know? And we do community events like, and we wanna do more things to help the community.
[00:11:13] This year, this Christmas we did, you know, we adopted a family as a gym and are getting them gifts and that all the. Kind of grabbed, you know, grabbing gifts for this family. And I think the one aspect that people don’t realize it’s, it’s a community more than anything. It’s a gym, but it’s both, you know,
[00:11:32] Matthew Kuehlhorn: a hundred percent.
[00:11:33] Yeah. I’m kind of surprised I haven’t gotten a text from Jim yet asking where I’m at.
[00:11:38] Christy Buffington: Yeah.
[00:11:42] Matthew Kuehlhorn: Um, what do you think holds people back from attaining their fitness?
[00:11:49] Christy Buffington: I think, you know, I think our health and the way we look is part of our own mental health. Yeah. And I think it’s, it’s uncomfortable to go somewhere that [00:12:00] you feel uncomfortable. Right. So I think a lot of times we hold ourselves back because we’re scared, you know, we’re scared to disappoint, you know, coaches or feel awkward in front of people next to you that aren’t even paying attention to you.
[00:12:16] Right. I always think it. No one’s, no one. You don’t want, they don’t want you to look at them, and they’re not looking at you as much as you don’t want them to look at you. Yeah. So it’s, you know, everyone, I think that’s the main reason people don’t achieve their fitness goals, right? Is that they po they feel this judgment that’s actually not there.
[00:12:40] Matthew Kuehlhorn: All right, so here’s maybe a business question, and I’ve certainly thought about you and your gym a lot because I just love the topic of business in general. And then yeah. You know, as I get involved with that community, uh, my mind can’t help think about it. But what, what is it? What [00:13:00] is it people buy when they buy that me?
[00:13:04] Ooh, that’s a good question.
[00:13:05] Christy Buffington: Specific. Um, I mean, I think they buy coaches, right? It’s like, I mean, we do personal training also at Crosswalk Gunnison, but you know, it’s, it’s that individual level of coaching and attention that we provide versus, you know, if you’re on the Peloton bike and you’re buying that app or.
[00:13:24] You’re just going to the gym by yourself. You don’t have someone there that’s knowledgeable, that really actually does care about you and your goals and your health and your wellbeing of your safety, right? Whether you’re making sure you’re doing things correctly, you know, and a lot of people don’t know how to do their own programming.
[00:13:44] So say you’re like, okay, I want to get more in Schaffer ski season. Well, are you doing squats correctly? Are you, you know, doing things where to achieve those goals? Yes. And we we’re able to help people achieve the goals that they, they wanna, they wanna have. [00:14:00]
[00:14:01] Matthew Kuehlhorn: Yeah. So, side note, um, yeah. You know, when I, when I mention you and Nate as, as far as coaches, you know, it really stands out to me is your attention to detail on individual form.
[00:14:16] Mm-hmm. . Right. Which I think is critical because not only is that gonna make any training more effective, it’s also gonna make it safer. Yep. And, and help limit or reduce, um, any injury where somebody just going out wanting to get jacked may throw themselves outta whack pretty quick. Um, but what I find fascinating, you know, staying in that thread of business is, you know, it’s, it’s not comfortable.
[00:14:44] Like, yes, gyms are, gyms are not comfortable, right? So you’re not selling comfort. Um, but what I heard come out of that was, you know, you know, it’s the, it’s facilitating their journey towards reaching their goals, [00:15:00] whatever that might be. Whether it’s to, mm-hmm. ski a certain line or bike. Compete or just ultimately feel better, right, because it’s, it builds self-confidence.
[00:15:12] Oh yeah. That’s cool. So yeah, I think
[00:15:15] Christy Buffington: people, when they’re like tired at work, they don’t realize that it could just be, cuz they need to move actually more than they’re moving, you know? A hundred percent.
[00:15:23] Matthew Kuehlhorn: A hundred percent. Have you watched the Netflix documentary called Stutz yet? . I have not. Oh my gosh.
[00:15:31] You need to do I need to ? Yes, yes. It’s S T u t Z. It’s beautiful. Okay. Um, and I keep referencing this because it’s so applicable and it’s, it’s totally applicable for this conversation. The one tool that’s, I mean, there’s multiple tools in this thing, and I’m not gonna give you any more details, but one tool is called the, the aspect of reality.
[00:15:54] And there’s three aspects of this re of reality. of the human reality [00:16:00] and we, we can’t leave it. The first one is pain. Yeah. We’re always gonna have pain just being human. Right. Um, the second one is uncertainty. The third one is constant work. Mm-hmm. . So when you’re bringing up, you know, and we’re talking about the gym and, and CrossFit gym and.
[00:16:21] you know, we’ve talked a little bit about the, maybe, maybe it’s a stigma, maybe it’s just a misinterpretation of, of CrossFit and not needing to have that in-shape component as you go in, but it will help you get there. Um, there is gonna be some discomfort along the way. There’s gonna be that pain, which is unavoidable, right?
[00:16:39] Yes. That alone can be a blocker to somebody going to attain certain physical goals. because they don’t want to necessarily induce more pain. But if we recognize that we can’t get out of it anyway, and then we become intentional about where we want to drive certain [00:17:00] focus, it can actually attain more than we ever thought was possible.
[00:17:05] Christy Buffington: Um, oh, definitely. My favorite thing to say is, is, or I say it all the time, I guess, is like if it was easy, everyone would have a six pack, right? Like we’d all walk around like, I touched a dumbbell and now I’m complet. in shape and everything’s great. But you know, and I think the people don’t realize is like, yeah, maybe it’s uncomfortable, but it’s, it’s for your lifelong health.
[00:17:27] Like maybe you’re in your forties now, but you’re not gonna be forever, right? You’re not gonna be in your twenties forever. And it’s like you have to think about those things and maybe you’re a little more uncomfortable now to be more comfortable later.
[00:17:42] Matthew Kuehlhorn: Totally. , what wakes you up? What gets you really juice?
[00:17:45] Like when you have a good coaching session, whether it’s in group or individual, and you just like, that was it. What is that?
[00:17:54] Christy Buffington: Uh, when people do like something for the first time, like, and you’ve been really like working with them and you [00:18:00] know, they’ve been working hard, whether that’s like their first pull up, you know, their first double under, you know, just, or they finally like that power clean, clicked for the first time.
[00:18:11] you know, and you just see someone’s excitement. You know, there’s, there’s nothing better than that love, and I don’t like, love it. Think like, I try to give high fives and be excited, but I don’t think I can ever express like how that makes me feel for them, and like how excited I actually am on the inside, you know?
[00:18:26] Yeah, yeah. Love it. Especially, I’m not like the most bubbly human
[00:18:37] Matthew Kuehlhorn: you’re pretty energetic, that’s for sure. Um, , what are you excited about over the next few years? What do you, what do you see in development for, for the gym, for maybe even fitness in general?
[00:18:48] Christy Buffington: Well, I mean, I think mine and Nate’s like long-term goals, I mean, would obviously be being more focused on our al cold strength, which when we, before we moved here, we had a barbell club in Denver, which we just focused on the [00:19:00] USA weightlifting, which is snatches cleaning jerks.
[00:19:04] And just doing more like strength focus. Right now we have, we train Western Ski and Snowboard team, their free ride team. Awesome. Uh, four days a week. And so just doing more of that stuff in the community of, you know, branching out besides just doing CrossFit of other things that are strength and conditioning related for, you know, sports specific, um, training for, whether that’s a sport team or you know, a, a ski team, whatever it might be, just.
[00:19:34] More branching out into that, that realm of things. Gotcha. And then, yeah, just, just kind of getting into that more over the years.
[00:19:43] Matthew Kuehlhorn: Yep. Any cold plunges coming, saunas? Anything? No. .
[00:19:50] Christy Buffington: I, I’m scared to do that. Are you ?
[00:19:54] Matthew Kuehlhorn: What? I bet you’d enjoy it once he got in there. I don’t know. Just temporary. Temporary [00:20:00] discomfort.
[00:20:01] Christy Buffington: Yeah. And then like we ki we like to do, we’ve already started doing more like mountain bike rides, just trying to do more community-based, you know, programs. Uh, I’m really trying to get this Steve’s, uh, fire, which is forging resilient youth. It’s CrossFit for resilient youth. Um, we’re trying to get that started right now.
[00:20:17] So kind of try to give back to the community a little more. Is always,
[00:20:21] Matthew Kuehlhorn: always a bowl. Yeah. Um, I was gonna go to Youth Next. Tell me a little bit more about that. What, what is that?
[00:20:27] Christy Buffington: So, 4G resilient youth, uh, me. Both volunteered for them twice a week in Denver. Um, and it’s crafts fit for at-risk youth. Yeah.
[00:20:38] So, and got uson. We don’t have a ton of programs set up. We have mentors, but we don’t have a ton of programs that are for kids that are, that are always like non-stop going where it’s something like every day that, or you know, a couple days a week they have somewhere to go after school. Yeah. And things like that.
[00:20:56] So this kind of gives them a place and then teaches them. [00:21:00] You know, CrossFit, which is essentially just exercise, right? It’s like you can call CrossFit a thousand different things, but at the end of the day it’s, it’s exercise, you know, and bench press and you know, all these different things that will help kids kind of release some endorphins, but like in a healthy way.
[00:21:15] Yes. So it’s one of our big goals right now of getting that program started.
[00:21:21] Matthew Kuehlhorn: I love that. Let me know how I can help with that. Yes, definitely. Um, I definitely have a, I mean, my, my history before starting a garage door company was all in nonprofit and, um, worked with mentors and a lot of that population, so it hits a chord in the heart.
[00:21:39] Yeah. And I would love to see more opportunities, especially with movement. And, um, you know, that just trips into a conversation around somatics and, and moving energy. All sorts of awesomeness can come out of that stuff. So good for you guys and Oh yeah. And truly let me know how I can help. I’d happy, happy to be brought into that.[00:22:00]
[00:22:00] Um, so five years from now, 10 years from now, what it’s gonna sing, CrossFit, how cold strength look like. Um, hopefully
[00:22:11] Christy Buffington: a bigger space. . Yeah. Um, definitely. And. . I don’t know. We, I mean, we’d ideally, right, we’d be the premier place where people go to exercise and lift weights and have different classes for different ages and you know, have a seniors class, have a kid’s class and everyone in between and y yeah.
[00:22:34] Just kind of being the place where people know that, hey, I need to get in shape. This is where I want to
[00:22:39] Matthew Kuehlhorn: go. I love it. Are we, is is CrossFit Gunnison? Um, At the highest elevation of CrossFit gyms? No,
[00:22:50] Christy Buffington: cuz Krista Butte has one. They’re higher than us and Breckenridge has one. So there’s a bunch of the bound towns have ‘
[00:22:55] Matthew Kuehlhorn: em.
[00:22:55] Gotcha. Okay. ,
[00:22:58] Christy Buffington: unfortunately no. Yeah. . [00:23:00] Yeah,
[00:23:00] Matthew Kuehlhorn: it’s great altitude. That would be a cool stat. Either way. It’s great Altitude . Yeah. Um, how do interested folks get ahold of you guys, see what’s going on, get involved.
[00:23:11] Christy Buffington: Um, our website, CrossFit Pretty easy to remember. Has all of our information.
[00:23:19] Matthew Kuehlhorn: Awesome. Um, social handles.
[00:23:21] I know you play on Instagram. Yeah, I see some photos.
[00:23:25] Christy Buffington: I think it’s just CrossFit, Gunnison. Right
[00:23:27] Matthew Kuehlhorn: on. We’ll drop all those into the show notes. Um, and I will give you a public promise. Christie. I will be back.
[00:23:36] Christy Buffington: Awesome. . Just need to get it’s
[00:23:39] Matthew Kuehlhorn: recorded now. Some priorities cleared out and I’ll free up my time. I.
[00:23:43] Working out at noon and it’s been just challenging to free up the space. Yeah, sure. , I will make that commitment and, um, yeah, I certainly appreciate you, I appreciate what you guys bring into the community and, um, we’ll promote it every chance we get. [00:24:00] Thank you so much for the conversation,
[00:24:01] Christy Buffington: Christie. Yeah, no problem.
[00:24:04] Thanks for having.