CrossFit Low Oxygen Becomes the First “Fit To Recover” Affiliate
In mid-October, CrossFit Low Oxygen in Frisco, CO, became the first affiliate of Fit to Recover, a Utah-based organization creating community for those in recovery.
One big thing: Along with owning a gym, helping people has always been a dream for Jared and Taneil Dennis, who run CrossFit Low Oxygen.
The Dennises are new owners of the Frisco gym (they closed on the purchase the day COVID forced the gym’s doors closed), but say they knew before owning an affiliate that they “aspired to create something that could help people, not just with exercise, but also help people who were struggling in other ways.”
- “For myself, I came from a family with lots of substance misuse including my father and brother,” says Taneil Dennis.
- “I knew that the propensity for drug abuse was there and I learned that exercise was a way to replace that with something healthy,” she continues. “COVID was a challenging time for everyone which prompted us to start thinking about ways that we could help people who were struggling.”
Jared Dennis works for law enforcement and says he’s seen the effects of drug and alcohol misuse first hand.
The big picture: Fit to Recover, led by Ian Acker, started as a small group of friends supporting each other in sobriety through fitness and fellowship.
Since their official opening in 2015, they’ve grown to a community of more than 450, with programs that go beyond fitness to include their four pillars of a balanced life: nutrition, community service, creative arts, and fitness.
- Outside expansion is new to the organization. They have only just started their affiliation courses, beginning with CrossFit Low Oxygen
- “When we heard Ian’s story, his mission, and his program we knew it was something that we needed to bring to Summit County,” say the Dennises.
CrossFit Low Oxygen’s Fit to Recover certification required a two-day immersion at the organization’s Salt Lake City headquarters, and covered topics such as understanding substance use disorders, setting culture, and what exercises and activities to program for a person in recovery.
The bottom line: As a “Fit to Recover” affiliate, CrossFit Low Oxygen now offers classes under that title, separate from their regular group classes. It’s available to anyone in recovery — with the condition that they are sober for 24 hours — and for those supporting someone in recovery. The classes are geared to give people a space where they can work out together, process feelings, and celebrate sobriety, no matter how long it’s been.
CrossFit Low Oxygen held their first Fit to Recover community connection class on November 7. It was structured as an “I go, you go” workout, to promote and encourage confidence, explain the Dennises, and was capped by a check-in and time to express gratitude.
The Dennises plan to continue growing their Fit to Recover course, and will soon have the classes on their regular gym schedule.
“CrossFit is just as much about working out as it is about community. In these community environments people have accomplished amazing things,” say the Dennises. “Combining that same supportive community environment with the Fit To Recover philosophy will be a great partnership for anyone, especially those in our community with substance misuse disorder.”
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