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LIVING THE DREAM: Work everything out at Apple Valley CrossFit in Coldbrook

Jordan and Chelsea Apostoleris and Emily and James Martell are now the co-owners of Apple Valley CrossFit in Coldbrook.
Jordan and Chelsea Apostoleris and Emily and James Martell are now the co-owners of Apple Valley CrossFit in Coldbrook. - Sara Ericsson

“It is a welcoming door when you walk in here,” says owner

COLDBROOK – There is no one-size fits all approach to fitness, and that’s why these four new gym owners are encouraging everyone to try one that includes it all.

Two couples - Jordan and Chelsea Apostoleris, and Emily and James Martell – are now all co-owners of Apple Valley CrossFit in Coldbrook, a space that promotes workouts geared towards “functional fitness,” or fitness that improves everyday life with mental and physical gains, according to the owners.

The two couples both train and coach at the gym, and are as much a part of workouts as their classmates. It’s the relationship they’ve forged with them that inspired them to purchase the business in the first place.

“I’ve lost 85 pounds since joining crossfit, and I can honestly say I could not have done it without my peers cheering me on. We’re building a community here – that’s what this is all about for us,” says James Martell.

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All four athletes connected through training at the gym. As both men began working out together, they started joking that they’d like to own it one day.

Jordan Apostoleris is the gym’s top crossfit athlete, and says his favourite day is still when new people try the sport for the first time. “It is a welcoming door when you walk in here. There are no expectations, only people who are happy to see new people,” he says.
Jordan Apostoleris is the gym’s top crossfit athlete, and says his favourite day is still when new people try the sport for the first time. “It is a welcoming door when you walk in here. There are no expectations, only people who are happy to see new people,” he says.

Now, that joke has become a reality, and all four athletes now co-own the Annapolis Valley’s only crossfit box – what they call the area of bars, rings and other instruments used in the sport, which preaches a stripped-down approach to gym workouts.

Treadmills and other machines are replaced with monkey bars and freeweights – “a rudimentary approach to fitness,” says newly-certified coach James Martell – and a functional fitness is promoted.

Jordan Apostoleris says this is why CrossFit offers such a unique workout – speed, agility, strength and cardio are all including in all classes.

“Crossfit is huge right now. They’re spread all over the province, and they all are successful. So it just seemed like a no-brainer – too good of an opportunity to pass up,” he says.

The gym offers several workout times per day, for an hour each – a workout is listed on the board, and everyone participating at that hour completes it together.

“If you’re picking up a heavy box, carrying groceries, bending over to pick up your kid, pulling yourself out of a hole – the idea behind crossfit is that you’re doing a body weight movement, and working your whole body,” says Apostoleris.

And while the sport is often associated with people Jordan Apostoleris calls “meatheads, or super athletes,” he says it’s not the case at all.

“We all do the same workouts for the same amount of time, but they’re scaled to each person’s individual ability,” he says.

Apostoleris is the gym’s most accomplished crossfit athlete, but says his favourite days are still when people arrive to try the sport for the first time.

“It is a welcoming door when you walk in here. There are no expectations, only people who are happy to see new people. We want to encourage people to better themselves mentality and physically, and bring that positive energy home to family and friends,” he says.

Emily Martell recalls a time when she was a newcomer and doubted whether she measured up. She says her peers were the only thing that kept her going. “I thought there was no way I could keep going, but I did, and it was because there was accountability – everyone else stayed, so I did too,” she says.
Emily Martell recalls a time when she was a newcomer and doubted whether she measured up. She says her peers were the only thing that kept her going. “I thought there was no way I could keep going, but I did, and it was because there was accountability – everyone else stayed, so I did too,” she says.

Emily Martell, too, recalls feeling self-conscious about her own athletic ability, until she discovered classes were made up of athletes of many different abilities.

She says the club’s unofficial rule is that all those working out cheer each other on until the last person has finished.

“There have been days where I thought there was no way I could keep going, but I did, and it was because there was accountability – everyone else stayed, so I did too,” said Emily.

All four agree it’s this motivation and this sense of community that drove them to purchase the business in the first place. All four have full-time jobs outside the gym, and say the purchase was only possible with each of them all in.

“We’re all very motivated and hardworking, and excited and keen about this opportunity,” says Chelsea Apostoleris.

This approach is also what they say makes crossfit so unique and special, because everyone is in it together.

And even with the team environment, newcomers are always made welcome when they partake. Chelsea Apostoleris says she can vouch for this, since she is still relatively new to the sport.

“It’s a very supportive community. You can dig down deep, accomplish that movement, and everyone is cheering for you,” she says.

“Accomplishing a challenging goal together gets you through it.”

To contact Apple Valley CrossFit, call 902-690-5259 or visit the gym’s Facebook page.

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