The Story of Great Bay CrossFit
Unbeknownst to them at the time, the ‘seed’ of Great Bay CrossFit was planted years ago. Eric Morris and Jeremiah Richter first met at a local CrossFit affiliate in the fall of 2009, where Eric was working as the head coach and Jeremiah joined as a member-athlete.
Eric and Jeremiah came from very different backgrounds; Eric had seemingly known for years that he was destined for a career as a coach in the fitness industry, whereas Jeremiah had just begun working at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as an engineer. Nonetheless, their shared interests in CrossFit and athletics built the foundation for a great friendship.
Over the next few years, the guys spent plenty of time training together and pushing one another while preparing for Northeast Regional events, where they both competed from 2010 – 2012, along with several other competitions. All the while, Eric continued to learn and grow as a coach and fitness professional, while Jeremiah decided pretty early on in that he needed to find a more rewarding and challenging career path.
The as-yet unnamed entity which would become Great Bay CrossFit, Strength & Conditioning formally went into the planning stages in early 2012. Eric and Jeremiah had both become increasingly disenchanted with their respective experiences at their current affiliate. The decision was made to make a change, and suddenly the gears were turning.
Throughout the spring the guys scoured the seacoast of New Hampshire for a space to call home for the new gym. In late spring they found what would eventually become the first home of Great Bay CrossFit on Nimble Hill Road in Newington.
The guys ran into their first major obstacle in July, 2012 when a memorable turn of events left Eric jobless, Great Bay CrossFit still not yet in existence, and many others without a spot to perform their workouts. Not to be deterred, the gang did what any group would have done in their predicament: they took to the streets. Eric ran outdoor workouts throughout the summer months of 2012. With little equipment other than a bunch of homemade sandbags, a group of up to 15 gathered several times a week, usually at the Portsmouth High School or Portsmouth’s Urban Forestry Center, and got their workouts in. Despite the limitations, Eric, Jeremiah and many of the loyal gang now look back fondly on those months, understanding that those days were likely to have been a once in a lifetime experience.
Over the course of the summer, t’s were crossed and i’s were dotted, and Great Bay CrossFit, Strength and Conditioning opened for business on October 1, 2012.
Since day 1 Eric, Jeremiah, along with the first assistant coaches at Great Bay CrossFit – Jill Weeks, Cait Cedarstrom, Tessa Mehlig, and later Kellen Gosselin, have been hard at work on their quest to build a top notch training facility. Leading up to the first days of Great Bay CrossFit, CrossFit had become an increasingly polarizing fitness movement. It was loved or hated. It saved lives or ruined joints. It was the best experience in the world or the dumbest fad imaginable. The guys have never stopped questioning the way things “have always been done”, have never stopped seeking creative solutions to common problems, and have never stopped working to combine the best elements of CrossFit and traditional training methods while eliminating all of the worst.
In its first 1.5 years in business, Great Bay CrossFit has steadily grown into a community which is home to well over 100 clients, 3 coaches and 3 wild dogs. The gym has developed a reputation as a “different” training facility, which is great since that was the reason it was created in the first place! In July, 2013, Jeremiah left his previous employment at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to join Eric in full-time management of the gym and business. The two bring very different skill sets and perspectives to the table, and combined with the input from the rest of the coaching staff, continue to conquer one challenge at a time, grow, evolve, and improve.
Great Bay CrossFit has made its name to this point as a facility which is driven by a couple of paramount objectives: 1) Ensure that health and performance of each client are considered chief goals, are both prioritized and are pursued in parallel, 2) Help all clients to progress toward their individual goals, and 3) Work to guarantee that every single person that becomes involved with Great Bay CrossFit, on any level, has a positive experience.
We are confident that our quality-driven approach will continue to open up a world of possibility for the facility and community we have here at Great Bay CrossFit. We look forward to many years of challenges and successes in spreading our message across the Seacoast and helping as many folks as possible get themselves lean, strong, and healthy. We extend our greatest thanks to our coaches and clients who have worked with us to this point and helped Great Bay CrossFit, Strength and Conditioning grow into what it has. And we thank you for visiting our website and considering Great Bay CrossFit.
-The Great Bay CrossFit Team