My favorite part of writing the Box of the Month feature is getting to chat with our gym owners from around the world. You get to meet some amazing people — and Shaun “The Bearded” Hiller is one of them. He and his wife Stacey own CrossFit TBR in Anna, Texas and truly embody what this community is all about. They’re passionate, hard-working, positive individuals who want the best for their gym, their family, and their community. Read on to see why CrossFit TBR is our April Box of the Month.
Can you please give us a brief background on yourself and your box? I was involved in an on-duty motor vehicle accident when working as a California Highway Patrol Officer on February 24, 2004. Unfortunately, that accident left me in a broken, depressed state of body and mind. A once fit 6’-04”, 225 pound body was slowly transformed into a morose, sickly, 298 pound lump of a person. Nearly three years after the accident, I awoke one morning in a state of panic. My heart was pounding out of my chest, and I felt as if I were dying. I drove myself to the Emergency Room to later find out that I was having a panic attack, and overall, I was extremely unhealthy. With a young infant daughter, I decided I needed to make a change. If not for myself, I needed to for my wife and my child. Fast forward to 2009, I decided that I was going to try CrossFit. I signed up at a local affiliate, and found out real quick what all the fuss was about. I discovered the community and drive that I once had in the CHP was available to me outside of the Law Enforcement community. CrossFit was where it was at. My lumbering, overweight body became a sleek, stronger, and fitter image of what it once was. No longer am I 298 pounds, nor am I 225 pounds.
At 40 years of age, I am a healthy, happy, 275 pounds of kickass, with a new attitude and lease on life.After obtaining my Level 1 certification, I found that I thoroughly enjoy sharing my experience and knowledge with others. I became the lead morning CrossFit coach at Kodiak CrossFit in McKinney TX in 2012, and really enjoyed the experience of watching the athletes grow. With my long black beard, athletes fondly referred to me as their “Bearded Coach.” All my time at Kodiak CrossFit was on a volunteer basis, where I generally volunteered 3+ hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week. When I wasn’t coaching, I was researching and educating myself further in the sport of CrossFit at my “9 to 5,” a local engineering Firm. I then decided I wanted to open my own affiliate — the first one in Anna, Texas. My wife, Stacey, and I opened CrossFit TBR on January 13, 2014. The strive to build a solid community of like minded individuals has spread like wildfire. Within 6 months, we knew we had to move. Due to demand, we recently relocated to a 4500+sqft. facility within the same business park, and have over 100+ active athletes, with 5 coaches not including my wife and myself. Based on strictly word of mouth, our client base grows on a daily basis. CrossFit has given so much to my wife and I, and we strive to continually share the CrossFit experience of “community” and healthy lifestyle with the city of Anna.
Were you using any other management system, software or pen and paper, before beginning to use Wodify? In the beginning, we used a traditional “whiteboard” for our athletes. It was there we wrote our WODs, and any other information that we needed to disseminate to our clientele.
What made you decide to implement Wodify? We ended up going with a less than perfect gym management software. It truly was a disaster. WODs got lost in cyberspace, the back office was terrible, and on three separate occasions, the software didn’t charge clients their dues. We became more and more frustrated with their continual “We’re sorry,” with no real resolution. We estimate we lost over $400 dollars in client revenue, and at least one potential client who tried to sign up, but gave up after several attempts that were thwarted due to software “glitches.” What we had wasn’t working, and we knew we needed to make a change.
What was the onboarding and installation process like? It went very well. We were actually surprised at the level of professionalism that came along with Wodify. It wasn’t just “slap two TV’s on the wall and get rollin.” Instead of trying to figure it out all on our own like the last software, Wodify was good at explaining how their software would work for us. The online training and excellent customer support made it easy to transition to the new platform.
How was Wodify received in your box by your athletes/coaches? The staff and clients LOVE Wodify. Obviously, social media plays a huge part in today’s society. Wodify has integrated itself well, making it easy for the clients to use the software, and publish their accomplishments via other platforms such as Facebook.
How did you drive adoption and encourage users to log their results? It was fairly easy. People in general enjoy sharing their thoughts and progress. Wodify makes it easy for our clients to publish PRs, as well as communicate and praise their fellow athletes accomplishments via “likes” and “comments.”
Did you notice changes in how your athletes performed after beginning to see their results in Wodify? No, because they had that option using the traditional whiteboard. However, we do see our clients checking out where they rank on the leaderboard more often.
What would you say to people who think technology does not belong in a box? I would say they need to get with the times. Why would you make it harder on yourself? Technology makes an affiliate owner’s job easier; plain and simple. No ledgers, no chasing down clients for monthly dues, no getting to the box 10 minutes early to write the WOD down on the board. Everything we do involves technology, which generally makes our lives much easier to manage. Why wouldn’t you want that for your affiliate?
How has Wodify changed your personal day to day? Wodify has streamlined our affiliate. With all of the back office features, it has made our job as affiliate owners MUCH easier.
Do you have a favorite feature? If so what? The back office. It’s a plethora of detailed information. LOVE IT.