An interview with Eric Pelletier, owner of Type 1 CrossFit in Wheeling.
Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
A: Type 1 CrossFit is an affiliate of CrossFit Inc, and a place where maximizing health, fitness, and performance are the centerpiece. We teach CrossFit, which is functional movements that are constantly varied with high intensity. We also take a lot of time working on your nutrition and mobility restrictions to make you a better and more capable human. The whole point of CrossFit for us is to support you and your lifestyle in the most efficient, effective, and safe ways possible.
Anyone and everyone who comes in here has different goals for different reasons and those all have to be considered. People who come in all do the workouts on each day, however, each person has different restriction physically that have to be dealt with. We want everyone to be able to be able to squat, press, run, jump, etc. but have to pay attention to individual details and make sure the we address the issues for that particular person. We also work with people on their nutrition, and for us all that matters is that you are feeling, looking, or performing better. Anything you do should be able to tested and retested. If you try something and it works to make you better, then it's good. The end goal is to make you as fit, healthy, or athletic as we can and that can vary for everyone.
Q: What made you start your business?
A: To show people that there is a better way. I found something in CrossFit that was missing elsewhere. The simplicity in the program, but how profound that simplicity was amazed me. The human body should be able to do so many different kinds of things in so many kinds of ways. To be able to help people realize that and optimize that was what made me want to do this. Some of the first people I ever worked with were broken. Meaning they hurt their back in the Navy, were missing ranges of motion, or just did one thing everyday and were not getting the results they wanted. CrossFit (training, nutrition, lifestyle, mobility) as a whole allowed me to address anything that was limiting people and gave me a way to make them better. That is why I started this. To help people get better.
Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?
A: Outreaching and telling a story. My passion is an obvious outpouring of passion for this, however, for me personally the most difficult part was expressing that, at least initially. Once I can talk with people, it's easy to see, but that initial expression was difficult.
Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?
A: It's the most incredible vehicle to change and make people better. The physical, emotional, and psychological changes that come from training hard and getting better is so amazing.
Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Ha ha, no this is not what I expected to be doing. I was very much not athletic as a kid. As a person who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 28 days old, I have always been afraid of physical training and athletics. CrossFit gave me the tools and understanding to make myself personally better. This is precisely why I think this is the best way to effect change and improvement in people. If I, who has always been talked down to and told I can never do this, can do this than no one else has a reason to believe they can't be better.
As a kid, honestly, because of some serious hospital trips and issues with Type 1 diabetes, I just wanted to make to being an adult. Growing up with the constant struggle and pain of knowing that I am "sick" was really disheartening and rough. Now obviously I got over that, but CrossFit gave me a vehicle to express my passion for people and desire to want to show people they can be fit even if they think that can't be. I also am very competitive, so the constant push to get better and improve is spectacular.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: How to make everything better. From training, to systems, to customer service, to ... literally everything. I am constantly thinking about what to do to make it all better.
Q: What is one interesting fact that most people would not know about your business?
A: The name TYPE 1 CrossFit is rooted in me being Type 1 Diabetic, but that it will also be a resource for Type 1 Diabetics who are involved in a strength and conditioning/athletic program.
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?
A: Get a mentor.
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