Andrew Lilly is the head coach at CrossFit Mind Body Soul in downtown San Antonio. Courtesy image.

CrossFit is a word with a stigma attached to it. It’s also a word with an incredible community connected to it. We moved CrossFit MBS onto West Jones Street almost a year ago, excited about the development of the area and the neighbors like Charles Gonzalez’ Rosella Coffee, San Antonio Museum of Art and Andrew Weisman’s Luxury that surround us.

A view of the CrossFit MBS studio on Jones Avenue. Courtesy photo.
A view of the CrossFit MBS studio on Jones Avenue. Courtesy photo.

The developments heading into downtown off South Broadway have been amazing to watch, as 1221 Lofts, Riverhouse Apartments and other residences pop up and continue to grow right in front of and around us. Not only is this positive for economic growth and the upward mobility of our city, it also means that we have a greater opportunity to connect individuals with our own passion of the CrossFit community.

Like I mentioned, there is a stigma attached to CrossFit – some skewed perceptions and maybe some a little closer to the truth. There are views that CrossFit has a cult-like culture, a crazy obsession, a dangerous field of play, but after all, they are only views, and everyone is entitled to them. However, we know what goes on in the heart of our urban core within the four walls (and sometimes outside of them depending on what the workout is) of our box every day and we know the meaning that it has to each of the coaches and each person that walks through the doors every day.

We see a variety of individuals – from those who have done CrossFit before, to those who are former athletes, to those who have either never or only dabbled in any realm of physical activity before. It’s truly a fitness and a sport for everyone, which is why we know we’re settled in a perfect spot in our distinctly-cultured city.

The urbanization and revitalization of this area of San Antonio is unique in that it is bringing in a diverse collection of citizens to downtown to live, work and play. In essence, the diversity of members of our CrossFit MBS and the CrossFit community as a whole is what makes it so special.

A group of CrossFit MBS members exercise together. Courtesy image.
A group of CrossFit MBS members exercise together. Courtesy image.

Our box is not full of seasoned athletes and weightlifters who spend hours on end working out – it’s a collection of San Antonians, some born and raised here, others who got here as soon as they could and others who are recent transplants – all who love the culture and diversity of our city. There are college students, business executives, stay-at-home moms, young entrepreneurs – any occupation – you name it, we have it. There are people who love exploring local coffee shops like Iama, Rosella and Brown, those who finding adventures along the trails of Mission Reach and the Pearl Brewery, others who spend most of the day in their offices on Broadway, Houston Street or near Alamo Plaza, and still others who love exploring the nightlife at places like Juniper Tar, Esquire Tavern and Blue Box.

One of the best parts about leading this gym is that when our members come in, they leave all their worries behind at the door, because they’re focused on a common goal – one that San Antonio has begun to stand for – that of getting active, healthy and moving. They know that at the center of making our businesses better, our citizens better, our city better, they first have to make themselves better. It’s inspiring to watch and even more inspiring to be a part of.

A woman partakes in a rope exercise at CrossFit MBS. Courtesy photo.
A woman partakes in a rope exercise at CrossFit MBS. Courtesy photo.

The beauty of CrossFit is that we truly do have the opportunity to support individuals on improving themselves every day – here, we focus on that through mind, body and soul (hence the MBS in our name). Whether it’s through better form and technique, faster times on workouts or heavier weights on their lifts, it transitions from the gym to their daily lives – whether that’s in their job at the Frost Bank Tower, taking their family for a bike ride through the growing trails of downtown or building a new business idea at Geekdom. The confidence they build in their strength and ability each day in the gym correlates directly with the way they move, act and grow in their everyday lives.

We’re motivated by that very fact each day.

From where we’re sitting (well, standing) on West Jones, we’re proud to be part of the lives of the individuals who are moving our city forward in the urban core. It’s our belief that stronger bodies and minds will lead to a better city. From our CrossFit MBS community to each of you – here’s to a continuing the upward rise of San Antonio!

*Featured/top image: Andrew Lilly is the head coach at CrossFit Mind Body Soul in downtown San Antonio. Courtesy image. 

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Andrew Lilly

Born and raised in San Antonio, Andrew Lilly discovered CrossFit while in college and has been hooked ever since. He is the head coach at CrossFit Mind Body Soul in downtown San Antonio.