By CrossFit Bellevue coach and owner, Dan Cerrillo
CrossFit Bellevue was started by a group of former Special Operations Warriors who moved to the Seattle area to work on a security detail. We were all connected by the camaraderie our former units possessed, built on hard work and a desire to be the absolute best operators we could be. We knew our weapons, vehicles and training were useless if our bodies failed us.
The first few years on the detail were busy, and we fell out of our strenuous workout routines. We missed working out and working hard together, pushing each other past our known limits. We missed being warriors.
One of our teammates began doing CrossFit, and the rest of us decided to join him. CrossFit tired and challenged us, and immediately we were in the best spirits we had been in years. We had been educated by a fellow warrior named Dave Werner, who pointed out that we had all done CrossFit before without realizing it, except none of us ever bothered to understand the system or the methodology. Most of us had modified the workouts, practiced poor form and routinely gaffed off the workouts we didn’t like. Dave’s teachings sparked a fire in our team.
To accommodate our busy schedules, our team started independently following the workout program featured on the CrossFit HQ website. As the weather warmed, we started meeting in Bellevue Park to perform the workouts together. Before we knew it, we were joined by people from other security details, and continued to add group members. It was then that Dave and his wife, Nancy, suggested we open a CrossFit gym of our own.
CrossFit Bellevue was founded in 2008 in Factoria in a 2,500 square foot facility with 15 foot ceilings. The gym started slowly at first but, by February 2009, we were seeing exponential growth. By June 2010 we had outgrown our original space. I purchased my partners’ shares of the business, sold my investments and retirement accounts, quit the job I hated, and dove in.
Today, CrossFit Bellevue boasts the largest and best-equipped CrossFit training facility in the Pacific Northwest. Our facility is more than 13,500 square feet with 30 foot ceilings and features two indoor sprint tracks, 21 regulation lifting platforms, a large children’s play area, and a full basketball court. We have ropes, rings, bars, GHDs, medicine balls and other equipment to provide a varied offering to clients. Our future is bright, but we are driven to greater heights by our outstanding clientele; without them, we are just a gym. Here at CrossFit Bellevue we are a community and we live by the philosophy that we are only as fast and as strong as our most fragile member, and no one will ever be left behind.