Morning Chalk Up Community

CrossFit 785 Pops-Up for the Community

May 15, 2022 by

If you happened to walk, run or drive by City Park in Manhattan, Kansas, on Saturday morning, you most likely saw a group of 20 people ranging in age from 10 to 60-plus swinging and squatting kettlebells, sweating and laughing and having an all-around good time while getting their fitness in on a steamy May morning.

The pop-up workout for the athletes of CrossFit 785 and those in community was a first for owner Jason Lembright and his right-hand woman and in-house chiropracter, Jessica Campbell.

"Jess and I were talking about ways to get out in the community and be seen," Lembright said. "Get outside, do some fun things and interact with the community. We will do these every couple of weeks."

Lembright, who won the Men's 45-49 division at the 2022 Fittest Experience in Austin, Texas, and finished 28 spots out of qualifying for last year's CrossFit games in the same division, opened CrossFit 785 12 years ago this past week after being introduced to CrossFit by a friend.

CrossFit 785 hosted a pop-up workout on Saturday, May 14, in City Park at Manhattan, Kansas

"I did my first CrossFit workout at K-State (Kansas State University) rec and never stopped, and that was about 14 years ago," Lembright said. "It would be easy to sell the gym, walk away and do something else but there is 70 people that love this place so I'm going to hang onto it as long as I can. It's an extended family."

Derron Stein was one of those people who does not belong to the gym but came to the workout anyway.

"I was in town for my brother's graduation, and I was trying to find something to do outside of drinking," Stein said with a laugh. "It was a good workout. I didn't think the outside was going to be that hot, but it was a good workout. I liked how everything came together. It was a really good program."

With kettlebells ranging in weight from 10 to 53 pounds, the partner workout consisted of 100 reps each of American kettlebell swings, goblet squats, snatches and taters followed by a 1-mile run.

Also among the group were a pair of graduating K-State students, Gavin Woodward and Jack Cooper, who have been pillars in the 785 community and will be severely missed by fellow athletes and coaches.

Roughly 25 percent of 785's membership comes from Kansas State students, giving the community plenty of welcoming and friendly faces for every new person entering the gym.

To learn more about Lembright and the 785 family, visit


Dan Froehlich, CF-L1, did his first CrossFit workout on Feb. 19, 2013, after receiving a D-minus on his health report card following his 37th birthday annual checkup. Since then he has been a part of three different gyms: CrossFit on the Plains, Auburn, Alabama; CrossFit Midpoint, Little Rock, Arkansas; and CrossFit 785, Manhattan, Kansas. He enjoys writing about people and events and can be reached at [email protected] for story ideas.

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