Starting a business can be tough in San Pedro. Beyond tough. There is no buying a beach bar, lounging in the sun and counting your profits. Or easily starting a restaurant or a real estate company or well…anything. A business here, like everywhere else, requires passion, LONG, long hours, expertise and something new and exciting. Now add to that – You need to please locals, expats and tourists (all with potentially different wants and needs) and there is a distinct “slow season” where it can be well REALLY slow. I mean “can’t pay your utilities bills” slow.
This is Drew. And, in my opinion, he has really thought through all of these things.
Here’s another pic I snagged from his website. Wonder what he is pondering?
Drew loves what he does and is (almost) making me and about 100 other people love it. He has converted some members into something of a cult. I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid yet…in fact, some of those cult members are starting to freak me out. You love weighted squats and pull-ups? That’s just weird.
But I have to admit. Keeping me (no lover of the gym) coming back to get sweaty, dirty and winded…that is quite a feat.
(Yes…the board behind him says deadlifts, hand stand push-ups and hollow rock…misery.)
Drew and his wife Maggie moved to Ambergris Caye from California and opened DJ’s Seaside Restaurant & Bar earlier in the year. They offer the best hamburger in San Pedro. About 3 months ago, in the same building, they also opened the CrossFit gym, their true passion, and in those few months, they have over 100 members. Drew taught classes in Los Angeles (he’s wearing a t-shirt from his previous gym in this pic) and loves this sport and loves getting you to love these workouts too.
Walk in almost any time in the morning or late afternoon/evening and you will see this. Crossfit gyms in general do not do air conditioning or fancy machines…they keep it low tech, old fashioned, almost militant.
Nobody walks out of there dry.
Archie and Wayo from Wayo’s Beach Bar post-workout.
I am in no way fit. In fact, I’ve been living la vida gorda for a few years now. Lots of beers and stewed chicken. But I’m starting to work on that.
So a few weeks ago, I began attending Drew’s 9am beginners’ session about 4 times a week. Though I should be going to more. Apparently the only rest day should be Sunday. Things are just starting to get better. If I had written this post Day One, there would have been lots of bitchin’ and complaining. Beet red,sweaty and feeling like I’d been punched in the stomach, I left that first WOD (work-out-of-the-day…pronounced “wad) feeling as though I had been beaten with a stick.
Later that evening, I felt much much worse. I was longing for a warm bath, assistance descending stairs and a bucket of Tiger Balm. These workouts are tough. Super tough.
But there is a reason that over 100 residents of San Pedro have signed up for this gym, there is a reason there is a very active (but closed to members only) Facebook community of SP Crossfitters and lots of reasons why this is considered a cult…I asked a few members after Monday’s WOD why they keep coming back for this abuse.
First, here is my group post Tuesday’s workout. Serious sweat and forced smiles.
I decided to ask some of the current members why they like coming to class and here’s what they had to say:
Krista, Owner of Crazy Canuck’s Bar (going for 3 months and DEFINITELY part of the cult) – she loves the high intensity of the work-outs, she loves the enthusiasm of the instructors and she looks forward to going 6 days a week. Krista aka GingerScoop is going home to the states for a month soon and will be visiting CrossFit gyms there. She is my CrossHero.
Charlotte and Lemuel
Lemuel enjoys the more intense 8am class and loves the Kettle Bells and that the class is different each day. You never get bored.
Charlotte likes that you can move at your own pace and there are no torturous machines like you find at regular gyms.
Nicolai from Casa Picasso likes “the challenge of it. You’re there with other motivated individuals and everyone is doing basically the same workout….so its kinda like a team even though its really up to you how much you get out of it…..and after not even 3 months, you see results in both strength and physical appearance….it WORKS.” Nuff said.
I almost forgot…my opinion.
I like crossfit workouts because they are short. They are insanely intense but after a warm-up, it only lasts for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes it seem more manageable.
My very favorite part is watching people of all sizes and all ages kicking some serious ass. It’s super inspiring.
Drew estimates that 75% of his members right now are locals and about 25% expats and visitors. Now that’s a business model for long term success.
If these guys can keep me coming back to CrossFit… a 2.5 mile golf cartless journey from my home each morning at 8am, there must be something to it.
Check out their website for the schedule, the work-outs, the membership fees and lots, lots more. And for those who want to eat healthy too, DJ’s is going to have a whole new menu soon that includes lots of healthy “CrossFit” certified options.
His rate (which I think are REALLY reasonable) of $80bzd a month for unlimited classes is going up August 1st since membership is growing SO fast.
See you there! And you guys will be the first to know if I ever get any muscle tone.
But please feel free to punch me (or anyone else) if you ever see me wearing one of these shirts.
DJ’s is located in the Boca Del Rio area of San Pedro. When heading north from town, it is the last right before the bridge.