Tuesday, March 20, 2012

UTE CrossFit

What started out as a crappy day, turned out to be one of my better ones as a traveling crossfitter.  Normally, when one of my flights is delayed it just means an extended waiting period in some random lounge in some random city.  However, today the situation fell my way.  After a delayed flight from Omaha, I missed my connection in Salt Lake City.  This resulted in a 6+ hour wait at a particularly boring airport.  Out comes the iPad, fire up CrossFinder App, and a mere 7 miles (15 minutes) away  happens to be the "House of Hackenbruck", UTE CrossFit. 
 When I arrive CFU's competitor class is in full swing and athletes are getting busy!  I barely make it to the front counter where I am greeted by Ally, the general manager.  As I've discussed in the past first impressions are huge for me when I visit a new affiliate.  One of the things that is critical, my opinion, is that someone identifies a new face and makes contact with that person.  *** Affiliate owners; Don’t let potential new clients stand around w/o saying Hello.  I call it professionalism, others customer service, call it what you want it's simply polite.  Ally and the CFU personnel excelled in this area.

Soon after getting checked in (drop in fee is $20/$25 if you want a shirt), I was introduced to the session coach who was none other than 2011 CrossFit Games Finals athlete, Lindsey Taylor Richards.    Lindsey led the class of 15 through a routine Hollow positions (Hollow Rock), Supermans, and bar taps all of which were in an effort to get everyone's kip more efficient.  Quick sidebar... Lindsey teaches with an infectious smile and sincerity all the while with an almost tangible intensity that makes you want to try harder.  The technique and drills she taught had recently been brought to them by Dusty Hyland of DogTown CrossFit.  I hope I have a chance to meet Dusty in the future, both Lindsey and Tommy repeatedly sang his praises as a coach.
All of the pull-up prep work came in handy when the wod was revealed, Nicole.

AMRAP 15 min of 400M run, max pull ups.  To say I was excited when I found out I was getting to run at altitude (Salt Lake City 4300'+ ft. ASL) would be a gross overstatement.  Felt like I was breathing through a snorkel for 15 min.
After the wod was complete owner/coach Tommy Hackenbruck took the time to introduce himself to me and talk for a while.  When I had questions regarding the skill taught during the class he not only explained it in detail but we went over to the rings and he demonstrated the technique until my thick skull seemed to absorb it.

UTE CrossFit has a loyal membership of 200+ members.  The athletes have the opportunity to utilize either of the two buildings UTE occupies.  The primary gym is 4000+ sq. ft. while the other building is probably 2500sq ft. and treated more as an open gym area for the athletes focusing on Games competition or working on GOATs.
What I feel like I have failed to adequately relate is the degree of friendliness that I experienced at this particular affiliate.  As I've said in the past I'm no poet and writing is not my full time job.  Simply put the coaches, employees, and athletes I met are good solid Nice people.  No egos even though there easily could be with the caliber of athlete there.  No dismissiveness even though I was only passing through town.
So thank you, Tommy, Taylor, and Aly for turning what could have been a crappy day into one of my more memorable CrossFit experiences.
I plan to schedule more layovers through SLC and hope for an airline delay or two.


  1. Great write-up on my gym. I have been here for 3 years and I love it. The level of competition and training is fantastic, but as you described the friendliness and lack of ego is even better.

    Thanks for stopping in!

    Just a little point. The Lindsey you are referring to is actually Taylor Richards-Lindsay and she goes by Taylor, Tay, or T-licious. She would never correct someone on her name, because she is so cool like that.

    1. Appreciate the insight, Rick. And apologies for the mistake Taylor. See you guys next time through...