Forever Young Crossfit – Orlando, FL – @foreveryoung_crossfit

Never has business travel felt like a vacation. Overwhelmingly, the credit goes to the coaches and members at Forever Young Crossfit for making my past 3 days in Orlando so enjoyable.


But how you ask? Here’s day 1: I’m pretty groggy and I arrive at 6a to find an unusually chatty class for the hour (+1 community points, or CPs). Coach Andres starts up some Sublime on the speakers to set the tone and I know I’m going to like this.

Andres and Gabriel!
Andres and Gabriel!

We spend some time getting loose and…enter FUNNEL TAG. Now this might not be new to you, but it was to me. What a fun way to get the group moving vs. the usual approach (which is also effective, no offense!). Imagine 9 people, 8 form a circle, arms on shoulders and one circle-person is “it”. The person on the outside needs to tag the “it” person. The challenge / agility aspect is having the human circle rotate without breaking to prevent the one outsider from tagging our circle “it” member. Silly. And fun. Nice call, Forever Young.

I think you can see the tower of terror...or, my hotel, in the background.
I think you can see the tower of terror…or, my hotel, in the background

Here’s a look inside…

They run a longer class here and I like that. A solid 60min, potentially 75. Appropriate warm up as a class, skill/strength work, WOD, cool down. All of which are programmed. As for warm ups, the did a few things that were new to me and a welcomed change:

  • Med Ball shoulder warm up: This included strict shoulder press, “russian” med ball swings between the leg, med ball from left foot to right shoulder (switch sides), “Ball on the Shelf”, Air Squats, Around the world, each direction. 20 reps for each movement.
  • Hip warm up with abdominal mat: side opening “fire hydrant”, front rotation, back rotation, scorpion, row the boat
A little oly area
A little oly area

Two of the 3 WODs I did were in 10min +/- 3min range and the music was on point and at full tilt. I know that’s not for everyone, but give me some loud house music and I’m geared. I’m big on the post WOD cool down and, just when I think we’re wrapping up, Andres cues the “Zen” Spotify playlist and we go through a little yoga cool down. Specifically: downward dog, up dog, pigeon, child pose , outside hip stretch Shit, I was waiting for someone to come around with cucumber water and a cool towel for my face. Needless to say, I walked out of that box every day for the past 3 days feeling worked, energized, refreshed and ready for the day.

Bathrooms and shower
Bathrooms and showerLogistics:
  • Website
  • Registration
  • WOD
  • Contact Form
  • Rates: $20/class. Buy a shirt, get two days.
  • Credit cards accepted: Yes
  • Online class check in, waiver and payment: Yes
  • Showers: Yes
  • Lockers/Storage: Yes
  • Requires contact from you / home box before attending: No
  • Offers discounted rates for multiple days: Yes
  • Kitchen: No
  • Services: Yes, Nutrition consultation w/ Andres (
  • Food for purchase: Not that I noticed

The intangible piece that makes this place great are the people. The members were all welcoming and as I mentioned, chatty. And that’s awesome. Someone told me that one true measure of community is how many people stick around to hang after the WOD. How about, well, everyone? I’m writing this as the 16.3 Open workout is scheduled for release tonight and they’ve got a release party and competiton between atheletes planned. One of the members asked me if I’d be around to join them and hang out for the potluck. Really? How thoughtful and inclusive. Stay awesome memebers.

Nice touch...
Nice touch…

As for coaches, Andres and Gabriel were the two coaches I interacted with the most and they were nothing but positive, attentive, corrective and excited to have a drop in. I met Carlos on Monday night when I came by on a run. “Hey Phil, why were you running instead of working out with those guys?” Well, this dummy booked a class through their website and then couldn’t make it due to my flight. I called them and let them know the issue and, no problem since I was planning to come the next day. They make the drop in and waiver process easy for existing Wodify users – I was able to pay and sign with one easy website. I don’t know how this goes for other system users, but it was great for me. I bought a shirt for $25 and with that, I received 2 additional drop in days. Double sweet.

Quick Andres plug: He owns and operates a company called Vive Nutrition. Understand, he’s not someone that’s just naturally in good shape and decided, might as well have a training and nutrition business, right?! He has considerable education – a registered dietician with an undergrad degree and a masters in exercise science (I’m sure I’m totally underselling his pedigree, apologies) – and experience. He fielded my “let’s talk about ketogenic diets and exogenous ketones conversation”, so I like him already.

I’m sitting here on my Southwest flight home feeling a little sore, bummed to leave and but happy to find a welcoming box away from home in Orlando. Oh, and the wod-fearing “hate myself” meter is quite low as I return home anticipating what Castro and the Crossfit gods have planned for this week.

Needless to say, you want to go here while in Orlando. Find your #suitcaefitness, no excuses! Lord knows, there’s a IHOP next to your hotel begging you to ditch all plans of making good choices for unlimited dessert…er…pancakes.

The "local fare" near my sheraton.  Granted, Ihad a great dinner at "Pio Pio" down the street.
The “local fare” near my sheraton. Granted, Ihad a great dinner at “Pio Pio” down the street.

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We are busy. We are overbooked. We are traveling. We are unmotivated. We are tired. We are agitated. We are unproductive. We are overweight. We are unhappy. We are why. I'm a pharmacist, I travel regionally for work and have been all of these things. What elevates me from these emotional ditches? Good health. My nearly 100 year-old Italian grandmother "Nana" said a long time ago: "If you don't have your health, you don't have nothing." Considering she still rakes leaves and gives me hell for, well, just about everything, I think she's pretty damn sharp and fit. On the other end of the spectrum: My dad died at 65 from a heart attack. He was a diabetic, a previous smoker, a recovered drug addict, a food addict, hypertensive, arthritic, immobile nearing amputation and, simply, wasn't living. For all intensive purposes, I'm fit and healthy. Armed with degrees in biology and pharmacy (read: loans) and these two family stories, you'd think staying on track is easy. Newsflash: it's not. Traveling / Working / Fathering / Mothering / fill-in-the-blanking are obstacles we all have to overcome. So, how do we do it? Suitcase Fitness was born from the hope that by sharing my small health and fitness victories while traveling, others may be inspired to find new ways to stay engaged with their health. My vision is that others will use this venue to share their "baggage" and small steps taken to overcome health challenges. I get by with a little help from my friends. - The Beetles The things that last, never happen overnight. - Slaves

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