WAXAHACHIE — When it comes to exercise, a line is drawn to classify two types of people: those who thrive upon pushups and burpees, and those who find it their own physical purgatory. Although exercise may be viewed as a love-hate relationship, Crossfit Waxahachie combined with Align Chiropractic is debunking the CrossFit rumors and embracing a fitness lifestyle that’s worth loving.
“With CrossFit, I think it’s a great fitness program,” said the owner of CrossFit Waxahachie and Align Chiropractic, Chris Biles. “It can challenge those that are really advanced in their fitness, but at the same time it can be scaled for somebody that is totally new.”
According to crossfit.com, CrossFit is a fitness regimen with varied functional movements that are performed at high intensities. All workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, and rowing — or, the core movements of life.
“We’re not changing the workouts, it may change in load or intensity, and at times we’ll adjust to a new movement if it’s needed, but we’re always trying to get to the same goal, we’re always trying to do the same type of work,” Biles explained.
Adding to the warm-ups and cool-downs of the high-energy routines, Biles and his wife, Laura, graduates of Parker College of Chiropractic, also offer their professional chiropractic services for the whole family. Being a division of healing, the Biles’ practice, Align, focuses on restoring obstructions in the spine that naturally extend to all parts of the body through the nervous system, regardless of age.
“Laura is the pediatric chiropractor, so she works with the little ones. You wouldn’t think that being new to this world you would need chiropractic care but the birth process is pretty traumatic on a young spine," Biles said. "And it’s beneficial to have a healthy nervous system because that’s what’s controlling and organizing the growth of this newborn.
“I work mostly with a lot of soft tissue injuries — shoulders, knees, elbows — the hotspots for sports injuries. So I’ll see volleyball, soccer, and football players, and our Crossfit athletes if they happen to need some help."
And to his CrossFit members who are in chiropractic distress?
“I really don’t want to see them in here, that’s not what I want,” laughed Biles, “but if they do have some trouble, we’re here to take care of them. We try to head that off by doing some mobility and making sure they're taking care of themselves adequately.”
Beginning in 2010, CrossFit Waxahachie originated out of Biles Family Chiropractic, which has now transitioned into Aligned Chiropractic, after merging this past year.
“I actually stopped practicing chiropractic, got into CrossFit,, and started the gym. I really got fully-fledged into CrossFit, and then from there I got back into doing chiropractic work. We just ended up combing the two. Being able to have some recovery, have the ability to take care of injuries and issues that pop up, Align helps support that, and we’re happy to have that available as well,” stated Biles.
Having a complex understanding of the body, personalized towards movement and rehabilitation has only added to the value of Biles' gym and chiropractic alike.
“As far as CrossFit is in relation to chiropractic physical therapy, we've seen a lot of gyms that actually open up and have good relationships with chiropractors, physical therapists, and massage therapists,” said Biles. "I think we’re somewhat unique since we are the chiropractors and the trainers. It's kind of fun to have, especially a working knowledge of the body that’s tailored towards mobility and recovery — that really helps our gym members a lot."
Starting his own fitness journey with CrossFit, while balancing his chiropractic career, Biles was hooked on CrossFit’s success and community.
“I wanted to learn more. I watched videos, and everything they had on CrossFit.com, reading journal articles and I got certified in 2008 so I could learn more for me,” recalled Biles. "I never intended to start a gym. Then by 2009 we went ahead and started boot camps, ramped up, and affiliated with CrossFit, and now here we are."
Connecting the community to health and healing through a welcoming environment, CrossFit Waxahachie invites the whole family to join in.
“We have everything from CrossFit kids class to some of our younger adult athletes, high school football players, all the way to my mother-in-law who is on her fitness journey — she's 68. You wouldn’t think of her as an athlete, but she comes in, does the work, and is benefitting from it.”
The CrossFit community rises to the occasion of support with friendly rivalry through the workouts, coupled with meaningful friendships cheering for another’s success, no matter their physical level.
“As far as our base community, our members would say, I’m echoing words here; it’s a very supportive group. We have each other’s backs. We’re not just coming in and doing a workout; we know what’s going with your life. It’s a pretty tight community. That’s probably my favorite part, just seeing these connections happen,” said Biles. "You do not just see this number or face at a gym that can come in and get lost, you're making connections and relationships. So that’s a lot of fun to see."
Although CrossFit seems like a positive powerhouse for health and community, some still aren’t convinced of this daunting place and remain intimidated by the program’s intensity. That’s why Biles is debunking the overwhelming stereotype of being fit before joining the CrossFit team.
“They think they need to be ready before they get here, and nothing could be further from the truth. That’s what we work on out there — is getting in shape. Obviously the sooner you start, the more you're going to get closer to those results that you want to achieve. If you want to start, anybody can do this. It just takes doing it,” encouraged Biles.
For the future of CrossFit Waxahachie and Align Chiropractic, Biles welcomes the community to stop by and become part of the team.
“We really love doing what we’re doing, to keep impacting the community, keep making people as healthy as they can be and help support them in that journey. And I think, the relationships do play into our mental health, and that’s as important as our physical health.”
And for those still on the fence about exercise?
“Today’s the day. You want to get started, get going, it’s probably not going to be as difficult as you think and the journey is well worth it,” affirmed Biles.
To be a part of CrossFit Waxahachie’s team, visit crossfitwaxahachie.com, or check out Align Chiropractic at alignwaxahachie.com.
— Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer