Anyone lucky enough to meet Christi Turner will immediately be struck by her petite stature and soft-spoken demeanor. Her warm smile is even a match for her kind spirit.
But don’t let her gentle persona fool you—the Cold Storage Crossfit owner can manage a heavy situation on her own.
Take, for instance, the times she needed to change the five-gallon water jugs in her former office’s break room.
“I’d go to pick it up to switch the water and the guys would say, ‘Oh Christi, let me get that for you.’ I’d be like, no, let me show you how it’s done,” she laughs.
Yes, Turner’s strength is deceiving, and she attributes it to the skills she’s learned from doing CrossFit.
For those unfamiliar with the fitness phenomena, CrossFit is a fitness regime that began in a Santa Cruz gym by its founder and CEO, Greg Glassman.
According to the crossfit.com website, it is “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity….Workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more.”
It’s a phenomenon that Turner nearly missed experiencing.
When a work friend asked her to try it back in 2008, she almost didn’t go. She said that she lacked motivation, was out of shape, and didn’t know where to start. Like so many others, Turner was reluctant to show up on that first day.
“There’s a stigma that comes with CrossFit that it’s too intense or it’s too hard, that you have to be at a certain fitness level,” she adds.
After going that first day, though, she said that she was immediately convinced it was where she needed to be.
Now, as Cold Storage CrossFit (CSCF) coach and owner since February 2011, she believes the same for every person who walks into her gym.
In her introduction classes, Turner always asks newcomers what their goals are. Though an occasional response will be from someone preparing for a Spartan Race, law enforcement or the military, Turner said that with Hollister demographics, she usually hears that people just want to get into better shape.
Many of her members have achieved that, and much more.
Jacqueline Fancher, a member of CSCF since its opening, has been doing CrossFit for eight years.
“It has definitely increased my endurance, flexibility, mobility, and strength,” Fancher says.
“The workouts have taught me how to move and lift properly in everyday life to avoid injury.”
Turner explained that in CrossFit, one of the phrases often used is: Routine is the enemy.
It’s this lack of routine that builds the strength and stamina in the everyday person, she says, and in her opinion, CrossFit skills transfer to real life more than any other fitness program.
“The movements that we incorporate are considered functional movements that, outside of the gym, kind of help translate to real life.” says Turner. “Push presses would help someone in putting luggage on an airplane shelf; push ups would help someone getting off of the ground.”
They are also movements that help when members are trying to recover from injuries. Along with teaching the correct movements, the coaches address these injuries or weak areas, by walking around and giving individualized cues.
Though members are taught in group classes, Turner explained that each receives individual attention.
“Coaches make sure that you’re moving correctly and safely,” Turner says. “You’re also getting a comprehensive program that over time, will help close the gaps that are your athletic weaknesses.”
Natalie Morgan, also a member of Cold Storage CrossFit, had to deal with a number of back issues for years before beginning CrossFit.
“After learning and being coached on posture, my sciatica has gotten a lot better, along with all my other back pain,” says Morgan. “I’m able to do things that I never thought I could do.”
CrossFit also continues to be a fitness program that many first responders or those in the military trust to get them ready for their job.
Turner says that first responders and those in the military never know what the day is going to bring.
Hollister Police Chief David Westrick can attest to that, saying that his job often requires him to be on his feet for hours, with a lot of walking and running.
“I used to come home exhausted and sore,” says Westrick. “I’d typically stay sore most of a week. With CrossFit, it’s nothing. I’m right back in it with no real soreness or need for day off or two.”
Turner’s 6,000-square foot gym not only supports its members’ physical goals, but it also supports the life-needs of its members.
She allows unlimited classes and open gym access for her members, and calls her gym family friendly. She often tells moms and dads to bring their kids, and has created a lobby with enough comfortable seating for kids to sit and relax, books to read or color and has bathrooms nearby.
Turner has nurtured this community by forming teams for the Red Ribbon 5K this month, gym workouts for the holidays or celebrating the gym’s anniversary with competitions among members, just to name a few.
Many members of the gym have also attributed their success to the Cold Storage CrossFit coaches and community of members.
Morgan says the Cold Storage CrossFit community has made a difference to her.
“I feel like I fit in and everyone makes me feel so welcomed and comfortable,” she says.
Fancher agrees, saying that the atmosphere at the gym is friendly, supportive and fun.
“Everyday at CSCF is different than the day before and the workouts are designed by knowledgeable coaches,” she adds.
Turner says the transformations she sees in members go beyond physical.
“I hear stories like, I never used to be able to play with my kids, now I can,” she says.
“Lifelong friendships are made here,” says Turner. “The community vibe—you just don’t find it in any other gym. We’re just accepting and welcoming of any fitness level and any personality.”