Damian Arguello is currently serving a life sentence at Limon Correctional Facility, a men’s maximum-security prison outside Denver, CO. One day he picked up a copy of Muscle & Fitness magazine and read about the Filthy Fifty. He gave it a go and loved it. He started to read what he could about CrossFit and tried to get other inmates to do the WODs with him.
More and more men joined Arguello’s workouts and it evolved into Redemption Road CrossFit with classes three times a week for upward of 30 other prisoners. In April, the core group of 10 men attended CrossFit Inc.’s first seminar at a prison.
How’d they do that?
In late October 2017, Denver Police Sgt. Aaron Brill emailed CrossFit’s Training Department asking about the possibility of a group of inmates getting their L1.
Brill, a former CrossFit affiliate owner, had been visiting the prison twice a month to help inmates with movements and instruction. The email eventually made it’s way to Dave Castro, who responded simply, “We can do it.”
In April 2018, ten inmates received their L1, the first time a CrossFit L1 seminar has been taught inside a prison.
“When you learn how to deal with someone different than you, you take that lesson outside of the gym with you,” said Jonathan Williis one of those ten. “CrossFit is a medium to communicate that, that you’re valuable. When you walk through here, it doesn’t matter who you are…you are worth every ounce of my time and energy.”
Several of the ten L1 coaches will never teach a CrossFit class outside of Limon’s walls. It makes no difference to them.
“You want someone getting out of here to know that they have value. Who knows that other people have value because they have value,” said Chris Harris, another L1 coach at Limon.