Introducing the CrossFit MetroEast Team
Meet the fitness experts ready to help you achieve your fitness goals and your potential.
I knew I was going to open a gym when by the time I was 15 years old. I grew up in the gym watching my dad own and operate his own fitness center from a young age, and as I began training myself, I fell in love with fitness and capitalized on opportunities to increase my knowledge. Back then, I used fitness as a way to progress in my athletics. Earning a starting position and getting on the Varsity squad were the major motivators for me to work hard in the gym. That hard work and dedication on and off the field helped earn me a college scholarship to play football, but I was already looking on to my career after sports. I pursued a degree in Athletic Training from McKendree University because I knew having an understanding of sports related injuries and rehab would allow me to better serve potential clients later on. While I no longer practice as a Certified Athletic Trainer, I use the skills I learned in my degree on a daily basis with our clients. By my sophomore year of college I was already working as a personal trainer and gaining experience helping clients reach their health and fitness goals.
I was offered a full time position by a local physical therapy and fitness company where I worked for 6 years gaining experience in therapeutic rehab, fitness, and management. I found CrossFit in 2007 around the time my first son, Jack, was born. The short intense workouts were perfect for me to do quickly at work or while my son was napping. Even when he was awake in his pumpkin seat, he seemed enamored by watching me throw a barbell around or jump rope. I was doing most of these workouts in my college weight room or at the fitness center I worked at. I pulled all of my workouts off CrossFit.com and watch movement video after movement video for exercise demos I wasn’t already familiar with. I enjoyed the difficulty of the workouts, the novelty of doing something different everyday, and having a “score” I could compare against others and myself. Being fresh out of college athletics, I quickly fell in love with the budding “sport” of CrossFit. I began finding ways to train at gyms 50 miles away on the weekends and soaking up all I could about this “new” fitness program. In 2008, I got my Level 1 CrossFit Trainer Certification and began implementing CrossFit training principles with many of my one on one clients at the time. In 2009, I got my first taste of the sport of CrossFit when I participated in the CrossFit Regionals trying to earn a spot to compete at the CrossFit Games – I didn’t make it . My athletic career in CrossFit included numerous competitions and multiple appearances at the CrossFit Regionals, but In 2010, my focused began to shift. With the help of my former employer, We started my CrossFit affiliate so that I could officially offer CrossFit training to our local community. We began offering classes in the back of our fitness center. We bought a couple rowers, a few kettlebells, and some bumper plates. It wasn’t much, but it was an opportunity to pursue my passion. By 2012, I realized the potential our CrossFit program had and was itching to take the next step in my career. With little in my pockets other than a whole lot of passion and work ethic, I left my job and took our CrossFit program out on it’s own. We opened up in a blank slate building with about 1800 square feet. It wasn’t fancy, but it was the start of a dream I had had since I was 15. Today, my passion for what I do isn’t fueled by my desire to compete and perform like it was in my early years. My passion is helping our clients live better lives. In over 15 years as a fitness professional, I have found no better training methodology better than CrossFit to do that. These days, my fitness goals look very different than what they did 13 years ago when I started CrossFit. Like many of our awesome clients, I’m just trying to stay healthy for my three amazing kids Jack, Quinn, and Beau, and keep looking good for my beautiful wife, Gina. I’m still super passionate about coaching fitness, but I also love working on our business to keep it running in tip top shape. When I’m not working on our own business, I really enjoy working with other gym owners and business owners to help them realize their dreams and pursue their passions.
Our Professional Coaches
Craig is a part-time assistant coach at CFME. His crossfit journey began in December of 2013 as a way to incorporate some cardio to his weightlifting routine. The intention was to attend crossfit two or three days per week between bench presses and bicep curls. Little did anyone know that he’d soon “drink the Kool-aid” and completely dive into being a full-blown crossfit junkie.
As a former college football player and track & field athlete, Craig brings an attitude of physically and mentally competing every day and trusting the daily process of becoming a better athlete. Crossfit has been the absolute best way to compete with himself and others, while replicating the togetherness and atmosphere of being a part of a team. From flag football on weekends to Spartan Races, fitness and an active lifestyle have remained a high priority in Craig’s life since college.
Craig’s favorite part about being a coach is helping others improve their quality of life through fitness and nutrition. Helping and seeing others achieve elusive goals is a key motivator for him, and led to the motivation to transition to coaching. The broad and scalable fitness that crossfit provides its participants makes every day a fun and new way to evolve as an athlete and coach.
Professionally, Craig is a coach of sorts. He covers a 13-state territory with nine account managers as a part of his team. Traveling within his territory has resulted in drop-ins at more than 30 other boxes and exposure to many different flavors of crossfit. However, he’s always most-happy to get back to CFME for some home-cooked crossfit!
When he’s not working or working out (when is that?), Craig enjoys spending time with his teenage daughter and supporting her budding athletic interests. Thankful for a tight-knit circle of loved ones, he does his best to devote time to fellowship with family and friends.
CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
RPR Level 1 Coach
Sam has been a coach at Crossfit Metroeast since August 2015. He got into the sport at Crossfit Valley Park in February of 2010 to prepare for his selection course in the Air Force. Prior to that, he played all sports growing up and focused on soccer in high school. Since 2010, he has been involved in Crossfit to some degree. An injury led to his discharge from the military in late 2012. The prognosis was not good as far as ever being an athlete again. He leaned on the Crossfit community when he returned and has far exceeded being told he would likely be using a cane by age 25.
He got his Level 1 Certification in early 2013. Since then he has been heavily invested in the Crossfit community as an athlete and coach.
After his injury, he was a coach for people in the Combat Control training pipeline. He helped program everyone’s workouts and provided individual coaching for trainees not currently in a school. Before coming to Crossfit Metroeast, Sam coached at Arch City Crossfit. The opportunity to introduce people, at all skill levels to Crossfit, couldn’t be more rewarding. It makes him incredibly passionate about this place and his role as a coach.
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
Level One CrossFit Coach
Head Nutrition Coach
Millie spent four years as a CrossFit athlete while living in Virginia. It was there she came to value all that the community had to offer, and made it a goal to eventually coach and educate others. Her passions especially lay in helping post-partum women pursue their fitness goals and help them recognize and resolve any possible issues.
Millie and her husband, Travis, have one daughter, Nora, who is 2 years old. Having a young child is why she is also especially passionate about coaching CrossFit Kids. She wants to encourage and help children of all ages develop a strong fitness base and educate them about healthy eating habits.
Outside of the gym Millie enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and always enjoys reading a good book. Her family also includes three cats and two dogs. Millie has an Associates in Applied Science in Veterinary Technology, and is a Licensed Veterinary Technician.
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
Born and raised in Jacksonville, Illinois, Collin attended a small high school where he was a three sport athlete. Training for football, baseball, and basketball, Collin has been exposed to several different areas of fitness. He moved to Belleville in the fall of 2012 when he attended Lindenwood University to play football, but due to injury he had to stop playing after his sophomore year. Collin is still currently enrolled at Lindenwood University Belleville and majoring in Exercise Science. Collin enjoys working with high school and college age athletes developing their skills in the weight room to make them better on the field. Collin started working out at Crossfit MetroEast in February 2014, and received his CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certification in the summer of 2015.
“As a former college athlete I was very competitive and always enjoyed pushing myself beyond my limits. After a neck injury I could no longer participate in sports so I had to find a new way to stay in shape and be competitive. Just going into the weight room was fun, but I felt as though it was not challenging me. I enjoyed being able to go into the gym and try to beat the best score on the white board.”