We’ve written on several occasions that personal challenges are frequently a driver behind the idea for a new venture. This is the first time, however, when we’ve spotlighted a couple who have different challenges that inspired their start-up.
Crissy and Shane Glarrow opened South Landing CrossFit in 2016 in what is now the booming Sevier Avenue area of South Knoxville. As noted on the company’s webpage, the two are firm believers that “as individuals become physically healthier, other areas of their lives are enhanced as well.”
During a recent interview with Crissy, we learned more about their individual motivations to live healthier lives. She was a Division I gymnast for the University of Kentucky, but says she struggled with her diet.
“I had an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise,” Crissy told us, explaining that she felt guilty when she ate, so she became compulsive about exercise after eating. Shane is a Type 1 diabetic, so proper nutrition was always of primary concern. In the case of both, they clearly see the impact of fitness and nutrition on their health and well-being.
So, how did their new business come about?
“We were at St. George Island five years ago walking on the beach,” Crissy said. The couple started talking and decided they wanted to start what became South Landing CrossFit to focus on the emotional, social and physical health of individuals.
At the time, she was working as the manager of a gym, but the couple decided to start putting aside some funds each month “to keep the vision alive.” They also started buying equipment and even began offering free workouts on Saturday mornings at Island Home Park just down the road from the facility they opened on November 14, 2016.
“It was a sweet time for us,” Crissy says, adding, “Never underestimate small beginnings.”
At the outset, they had 15 clients. Now, a little more than three years later, they have 160 clients with the majority residing in South Knoxville.
“We’ve grown as a business, but our vision has remained the same,” she says. “We are providing a safe community for people to transform their lives.”
Their approach starts with what Crissy calls “celebrating the can.”
What does that mean?
“We are very big on what you are doing well,” she says. By encouraging individuals to accentuate the positives, Crissy says she and the other trainers are able to help “people believe in themselves again and find joy in their lives.”
South Landing has clients from all stages of life, from someone on a 100+ weight loss journey to another person who wants to be able to run and play alongside kids or grandkids. Regardless, the Glarrows’ goal is to help each and every person who walks through the door find their potential and strive to live their “healthiest and happiest life.”
“It’s so rewarding to help people find confidence to live the life they always wanted to live,” Crissy says. “Some of our clients have said that they feel most encouraged in their day when they are at our gym.”
Those free Saturday morning sessions are still held at 10 a.m. at 1020 Sevier Avenue After all, helping others benefit from what they have learned about exercise, health and well-being is the Glarrows’ goal.